November 12th in African American History – Chester Bomar Himes

Chester Bomar Himes

Chester Bomar Himes

November 12, 1984 Chester Bomar Himes, writer, died.

Hines was born July 29, 1909 in Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1928, Himes was sent to prison for armed robbery. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. His first stories were published in Esquire Magazine in 1934. Himes was released from prison in 1936 and in the 1940s he began to produce novels.

His novels encompassed many genres and often explored racism in the United States. His best known works are “If He Hollers Let Him Go” (1945), “The Real Cool Killers” (1959), and “Cotton Comes to Harlem” (1965). “Cotton Comes to Harlem” was made into a movie in 1970 and his “For Love of Imabelle” was made into a movie titled “A Rage in Harlem” in 1991. In 1958, Himes won France’s Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, the most prestigious award for crime and detective fiction in France.

In 1969, fleeing racial oppression, Himes moved to Spain where he died. Himes produced two autobiographies, “The Quality of Hurt” (1973) and “My Life of Absurdity” (1976).

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