Author Chester B. Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri on July 29, 1909. He attended Ohio State University in Columbus, but was expelled his freshman year for a prank. He began writing short stories and having them published in national magazines while in prision for armed robbery. He moved to Paris, France in the 1950s and then to Moraira, Spain in 1969. He was more popular in Europe then in the United States and primarily wrote about black protagonists plagued by white racism and self-hate. His first novel, If He Hollers Let Him Go, is about the fear, anger, and humiliation of a black employee at a racist defense plant during World War II. He also wrote dective novels set in Harlem, New York City. He won the 1958 Grand Prix de Littrature Policire and the 1982 Columbus Foundation award. He died on November 12, 1984 from Parkinson's Disease.
Melvin Van Peebles established his legacy as the iconoclastic founding father of Black American cinema from directing, writing, producing, and acting in such groundbreaking films as Watermelon Man (1970) and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971). He has been equally prolific across several media as a novelist, musician, and composer. His numerous achievements include the French Legion of Honor, the 1