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According to Wikipedia: "Charles Waddell Chesnutt (June 20, 1858 November 15, 1932) was an African-American author, essayist and political activist, best known for his novels and short stories exploring complex issues of racial and social identity…. Chesnutt's stories were more complex than those of many of his contemporaries. He wrote about characters' dealing with difficult issues of miscegenation, "passing", illegitimacy, racial identities and social place throughout his career. The issues were especially pressing in the social volatility of Reconstruction and late 19th century society, as whites in the South tried to press all people with any African ancestry into one lower caste. At the same time, there was often distance and competition between families who had long been free persons of color, especially if educated and people of property, and newly freed slaves."

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