Alice Childress

“Alice Childress: (1917-1994) American novelist, playwright, and actress. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Childress was well aware of racism and used her writing as an attempt to change social conditions. Childress joined the American Negro Theater as a young woman and became a prolific playwright. In the 1950s, she wrote Trouble in Mind, one of the first plays with black themes to be produced, and was a peer of such notable black writers as Richard Wright and Lorraine Hansberry. Other notable plays by Childress include Florence, Gold Through the Trees, and Wedding Band (collected, 1971), which was produced at the New York Shakespeare Festival and later broadcast on television. Childress’s novels include When the Rattlesnake Sounds (1975), Rainbow Jordan (1882), and Those Other People (1989). She is best known for the young adult novel A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich (1973), a blistering account of black urban life.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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