June 10, 2007
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame member E. Lynn Harris was a bestselling author of novels about African-American men in gay and bisexual relationships. Born in Michigan in 1955, he moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) at age three. As a student at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in the early 1970s, he was the school’s first male black cheerleader and the first black yearbook editor. In his nine novels, which have sold more than three million copies, the gay characters are “on the down low,” or have not publicized their sexuality. Harris, a Black man, endured years of abuse at the hands of his stepfather and for years denied his own homosexuality. He died in 2009.