In summary, If Beale Street Could Talk is a 1974 novel by James Baldwin that narrates the story of Tish Rivers and Fonny Hunt, a young couple in Harlem who face difficulties that are naturally beyond their limits.
Tish, a nineteen-year-old African American woman whose real name is Clementine Rivers, lives in a Harlem housing project and works at a department store’s perfume counter. She is expecting her boyfriend, Fonny’s, child (whose real name is Alonzo Hunt).
Fonny, a twenty-two-year-old African American sculptor, is imprisoned after being falsely accused of raping a Puerto Rican woman.
Tish announces to Fonny that she is pregnant with his child over the phone because he is in prison, and she can only see him through a glass wall.
Fonny initially appears nervous, then pleased, but their conversation is cut short when a guard arrives to end their visit.