I have long considered Baldwin America's best, quintessential, 20th century writer. (The includes the likes of Faulkner, Hemmingway, F. Scot Fitzgerald, etc.). I have been criticized, even chastised, for expressing this belief, particularly in "creative writing" courses as taught by white instructors.
From time to time, down through the years, I've also tried, but failed miserably, to shamelessly copy Baldwin's style and voice. The man was truly in a class by himself. What's the phrase: "Often copied, never duplicated"?