This is the ficional story of the great gospel singer Arthur Montana. Arthur was found dead in the basement of a London pub at the age of thirty-nine, yet he lies on in this memoir. Written by Hall, his brother and manager, it is in part a subtle and moving study of the treacherous ebb and flow of memory.
Set against a vividly drawn background of the civil rights movement of the sixties, Just Above My Head explores how Arthur discovers his love for Jimmy - 'with his smile like a lantern and a voice like Saturday nights' - and portrays how profoundly racial politics can shape the private business of love.
Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin had an early career as a teenage preacher. He lived in Paris from 1948-1956 and his first novels, the autobiographical GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN and GIOVANNI'S ROOM established him as a promising novelist and anticipated some of the themes of his later works, such as racism and sexuality. He became a prominent spokesperson for racial equality, especially during the civil rights movement. He lived in France during his last years. Baldwin died in 1987.