Charles Chestnutt

Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 00:49.

You may not be familiar with Charles Chestnutt, but he was a Cleveland writer who first broke the color line with his popular novel, House Behind the Cedars.  

The House Behind the Cedars tells of John and Lena Walden, mulatto siblings who pass for white in the postbellum American South. The drama that unfolds as they travel between black and white worlds constitutes a riveting portrait of the shifting and intractable nature of race in American life. This edition revitalizes a much-neglected masterpiece by one of our most important African-American writers

The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission notes that he lived on East 73 St. in Cleveland, a solidly middle-class neighborhood at the time.  Ironically, I took some pictures of East 73rd St. today. You can see the charm from this one beautiful house, which incidentally also has a great adjacent garden plot.

From the CCPC blog:

Oberlin College Professor Anne Trubek did not find what she expected when exploring East 73rd Street in Cleveland. Through the efforts of organized residents, some areas hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis remain viable neighborhoods.

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