The cover of the 1963 Signet issue of Wright's autobiography Black Boy includes the following statement:
Wright’s unrelentingly bleak landscape was not merely that of the Deep South, or of Chicago, but that of the world, of the human heart. --James BaldwinThe endorsement is "unusual" because it comes from Baldwin's essay "Alas, Poor Richard," which offered critiques rather than compliments of Wright. Signet apparently figured that in 1963, a statement from Baldwin would resonate more profitably with readers.
Overlook the fact that Wright and Baldwin were far from friendly with each other at the time of Wright's death in 1960, and that the Baldwin was hardly writing favorably of his fellow writer. When presented as an excerpt, Baldwin's words function as an endorsement, especially when those words appear on the front cover right above a rebellious closed black fist.
• Richard Wright