Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858–1932) was an African American author, essayist, and political activist who was best known for his novels and short stories exploring racism and other social themes. He wrote stories that appeared in various magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly, where he published his first short story, The Goophered Grapevine, in 1887. His first book, a collection of short stories entitled The Conjure Woman, was published in 1899. He also wrote several full-length novels and appeared on the lecture circuit. Some of his other works include The Passing of Grandison, The House Behind the Cedars, and The Colonel’s Dream.