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Sept. 4, 1908 - Nov. 28, 1960
Grandson of slaves and son of a sharecropper who abandoned him, Mississippi-born Wright moved to Chicago in 1927, and ten years later to New York. Here he befriended Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man), and became Harlem editor of the Daily Worker. From this house in 1938, he often went to Fort Greene Park to jot notes for his novel, Native Son (1940). Indescribing the theme, Wright said: "Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as from a lack of bread." The novel, the first work of an African American author selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club, was adapted as a play directed by Orson Welles (1941). Among his other books are Uncle Tom's Children (1938) and Black Boy(1945). Wright and his family moved to Paris as expatriates in 1946; where he died in 1960, and was interred at PèreLachaise cemetery.
This video made possible, in part, by the Bodman Foundation