James Baldwin's picture book shows realities of urban black childhood

Acclaimed writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin wrote a picture book called “Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood.” It follows TJ, a 4-year-old boy living in Harlem. It has mature themes such as poverty, violence, crime, and drug addiction. It was published in 1976, but soon went out of print. English professor Nicholas Boggs spent some 15 years to help get it published again. We speak with him, plus James Baldwin’s niece, who inspired one of the characters in the book.

James Baldwin with his nephew Tejan. Courtesy of Baldwin Family Photos.

Book illustrations by Yoran Cazac.