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Frank Yerby
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Author
    (September 5, 1916-November 29, 1991)
    Born in Augusta, Georgia
    African American author
    Specialized in historical novels
    Known mostly for historical romance novels
    Wrote thirty-three novels including; 'Foxes of Harrow,' (1946) 'The Serpent and the Staff,' (1958) 'The Garfield Honor,' (1961) 'Griffin's Way,' (1962) 'Speak Now,' (1969) 'A Darkness at Ingraham's Crest,' (1979) 'Western: A Saga of the Great Plains,' (1982) 'Devilseed,' and (1984) 'McKenzie's Hundred,' (1985)
    Atheist
    He and his publishers hid the fact that he was African American for most of his career and he was heavily criticized for not addressing African American issues in his writings, especially in his early works. Indeed much of his early work was set in the antebellum South featuring white protagonists and potboiler romantic plots.
    In 1955, he moved to Franco's fascist Spain to protest America's racist society.
    The truth of the matter is that most of his stuff was no better than the average romance novel of today.
    Some Christians had a cow over his novel, 'Judas, My Brother' aka 'The Thirteenth Disciple' which portrayed Jesus as a mentally ill mortal and his disciples/early followers as delusional and didn't help his case when he referred to Christianity as 'childish and fanciful nonsense.'
    He is almost completely forgotten today.
    He was the first major African American novelist.
    He was the first African American novelist to sell the film rights of one of his books to Hollywood when it optioned 'The Foxes of Harlow.' 'The Sacaren Blade' and 'The Golden Hawk' were also made into movies.
    He has sold over seventy-five million books, making him the best-selling African American novelist of all time!
    In addition to his novels, he was an excellent short story writer and poet. His short story, 'The Health Card' won an O. Henry Award.
    He did an outstanding job of researching for his historical novels.
    He highly valued his privacy and was known for his writing and not his lifestyle or political opinions like him or him.
    He overcame the not inconsiderable handicap of being born to a white mother and African American father in 1916 Georgia.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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