On this date the American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist JAMES BALDWIN died in the South of France (b. 1924).  Most of Baldwin’s work dealt with racial and sexual issues in the mid-20th century in the United States. His novels are notable for the personal way in which they explore questions of identity as well as the way in which they mine complex social and psychological pressures related to being black and homosexual well before the social, cultural or political equality of these groups was improved.