In James Baldwin’s classic short story, “The Outing,” from Going to Meet the Man, a Harlem church group escapes the city for a summer day-trip of prayer and, more importantly, romance.
Every summer, the Harlem Mount of Olives Pentecostal Assembly gives an outing, around the Fourth of July. There is boating, testifying, and illicit steps towards young love. Delving deeply into the church community he would depict in Go Tell It On The Mountain, this is Baldwin at his most compassionate, investigating the sexual ambivalence and towering religion of a group of young children on their way up the Hudson. “The Outing” is the perfect introduction to an American master.
James Baldwin (1924–1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an… More about James Baldwin