Charles Waddell Chesnutt (June 20, 1858 – November 15, 1932) was an African American author and political activist best known for novels and short stories exploring racism and other social themes.
Chesnutt was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Andrew Jackson and Ann Maria (Sampson) Chesnutt, both "free persons of color" from Fayetteville, North Carolina. His paternal grandfather was a white slaveholder. Issues of miscegenation, "passing", and racial identity would influence his writing throughout his career.
Click here to read The Marrow of Tradition, by Charles Chesnutt, one of seven of his works available free from Project Gutenberg.