July 20, 1934
Henry Dumas, critically acclaimed author of poetry and fiction who captured, in some of his finest work, many of his childhood experiences as an African American living in southern Arkansas, was born in Sweet Home (Pulaski County). His family moved to Harlem when he was ten years old, and almost no information about his childhood is available. Dumas’s life in the deep South is insightfully depicted in several of his writings. Dumas became active in the civil rights movement and served as assistant director of Upward Bound at Ohio’s Hiram College. Dumas’s work was championed by Eugene R. Redmond, a teacher, critic, and author at Southern Illinois University whom Dumas encountered while working as a teacher and counselor in the Experiment in Higher Education program there.