James Baldwin (19241987) was an award-winning African American author of novels, essays, plays, and poems. Among his best known works are his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), and his first collection of essays, Notes of a Native Son (1955). He went on to become a prominent public figure during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In 1986, Baldwin, who lived in France for much of his adult life, was awarded the French government's highest honor, the Légion D'Honneur. His short story "Sonny's Blues" was published in 1957.