Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldqin was first published in 1954. The author’s name seemed to be popping up all the time some months ago and I realised I hadn’t read anything by him, it was time to rectify that.
Sadly I can’t say that I enjoyed this book much, it’s obviously well written but the subject matter didn’t appeal to me. I’m not keen on religion of any type, and the type depicted in the store-front church in the book, The Temple of the Fire Baptized, even less so. The hysteria and speaking in tongues really puts me off, so I was never desperate to get back to the book whenever I put it down. I realise that that must seem beside the point as after all the book is about horrific racism and its effects and charismatic religion was probably a balm for some. The book was no doubt a trail blazer in its day, and must have been painful for Baldwin to write as it is semi-autobiographical and features a lot of child abuse in the shape of beatings – beating the devil out.
I’ll definitely be trying something else by Baldwin though.
I read this one for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2021 which is hosted by Karen K at Books and Chocolate.