Black American writer Chester Himes turned his back on America for good in the 1950s after a brief stint in prison and a less-than-stellar writing career (at least as far as white publishers were concerned) in the U.S. His late fiction, notablyBlind Man with a Pistol and the posthumously published Plan B give vent to his rage against America at the same time that the novels dissect the origins of not only Himes' rage but perhaps also the rage fueling today's white on black violence in America. Alice Mikal Craven looks at how Himes' works potentially illuminate issues of white on black violence in American today.
Alice Mikal Craven is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Chair of Film Studies at the American University of Paris. She has co-edited two volumes on the work of Richard Wright and has published on authors such as James Baldwin, Chester Himes, and Bertolt Brecht as well as filmmakers Rachid Bouchareb and Jean-Luc Godard. Her book Visible and Invisible Whiteness: American White Supremacy through the Cinematic Lens is forthcoming with Palgrave Press in the fall of 2017.