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.
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.