James BaldwinAt his middle school, (now converted into public housing), Baldwin’s math teacher convinced him to become editor of the school newspaper, The Douglass Pilot. At the age of 13, he wrote his first article for the newspaper, a multi-generational profile of Harlem titled “Harlem– Then and Now” that exemplified his writing talent. There, he was taught by prominent black poet Countee Cullen, furthering the young prodigy’s interest and skill in literature.

Countee Cullen: The poet taught English, French, and creative writing here for many years, including to one of his more famous pupils, James Baldwin.

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