January 15, 2021
Q. When you were searching for a thesis topic at Yale, were you aware of "Little Man, Little Man," and how did you learn more about it?
A. I was taking a class on Baldwin, and the professor mentioned there was an out-of-print children's book by Baldwin housed at (Yale's) Beinecke (Rare Books & Manuscripts Library), so I went to check it out. I was fascinated by the backstory and its status as a literary work. Baldwin actually called it a "child's story for adults," and it was written entirely in what he called and celebrated as "Black English," a rarity for children's literature.