Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name





In Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni's Room, and If Beale Street Could Talk, many characters are missing that certain something to draw them intimately close to each other. For Baldwin, the thing that is missing is the ability to love. Never learning how to express their true love, many characters in Baldwin's texts discover that relationships resembling love earns them power in a society void of it, but these are caricatures that do not reflect their deepest desires. The few characters who are honest enough with themselves to freely express their true love actually end up exposed and are ultimately outcasts of their societies; however, due to their honesty, they are not held captive by their fear: they are, therefore, more free than their counterparts. Through his texts, Baldwin gradually proves how powerful love can be when people are honest enough with themselves to allow intimacy.


Signature pages are on file with the graduate school. An archival copy of the document is available in the Archives Research Center.