Charles W. Chesnutt

Charles W. Chesnutt

An African-American essayist, author, and activist best known for his stories exploring race and social identity in the post-Civil War South, Charles W. Chesnutt's work was revived in the 1960's for its relevance during the Civil Rights Movement. A commemorative stamp of Chesnutt was issued in 2008.

Born in 1858 in Cleveland, Ohio by parents who were free persons-of-color and whose grandfather was a slave owner, Chesnutt had a wealth of personal experience to write about the complexities of mixed-race social status in the South. His main source of income was a successful court reporting business. Active with the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Chesnutt challenged discriminatory law and supported education.

Chesnutt published a series of stories called Stories of the Color Line in 1899, which included A Matter of Principle and The Web of Circumstance.

Visit American Literature's American History and the African American Library for other important historical documents and figures which helped shape America.

facebook share button twitter share button reddit share button share on pinterest pinterest

© 2022