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Charles Chesnutt was a trailblazing short-story author and novelist who presented African-American life in works like The Conjure Woman and The Colonel's Dream.
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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 20, 1858, Charles Chesnutt ran a stenography firm while also writing, offering up a rich collection of short stories and novels on African-American life. A biracial man, his novel The House Behind the Cedars looked at skin color passing while The Colonel's Dream focused on a Southern town. Other works include a bio on Frederick Douglass. Chesnutt died in Cleveland on November 15, 1932.
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They are the famous African-American writers who have fearlessly examined cultural stigmas, provided intimate life details, presented new ideas and created remarkable fiction through literary works. For their prophetic genius, these men and women have received Pulitzer Prizes, NAACP awards and even Nobel Prizes, among other honors. Our list of prominent African-American authors includes Toni Morrison, who has detailed the lives of black characters who struggle with identity amidst racism and hostility; Langston Hughes, a founder of the Harlem Renaissance; and Maya Angelou, who has eloquently chronicled various eras of her life through her autobiographies.
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