Amistad’s “From the Stacks” blog series has focused on unique or interesting copies of books housed in the Center’s library collection. However, this edition features a copy of a book found within a small archival collection, the Kenneth Hansen Letters, and related to Amistad’s current exhibition on novelist Chester Himes. Chester Himes’ literary career began with a series of short stories written while incarcerated as a young man in the Ohio State Penitentiary during the ear
To fans of detective and crime fiction, the works of Chester Himes are well known throughout the world, particularly his novels set in Harlem featuring the detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones. Yet, many casual readers may not be aware of the importance that Chester Himes’ brother, Joseph Himes, played both in the course of Chester’s career as a writer and in the eventual housing of his papers at the Amistad Research Center.
When Joseph was injured as a resul