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Wed, 10.17.1928

Lerone Bennett Jr., a classical author

Lerone Bennett Jr.

Lerone Bennett, Jr. was born on this date in 1928. He is an African American author, historian, and journalist.

He was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the son of the Lerone and Alma (Reed) Bennett. He and his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he attended public schools. Bennett graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. That same year, Bennett attended Atlanta University for graduate study. Bennett became a journalist for the Atlanta Daily World in 1949, continuing until 1953 and he worked as city editor for JET magazine from 1952-53.

In 1953, he became associate editor for Ebony magazine, serving as executive editor. As an author, Bennett, moves between the worlds of research and reporting, wrestling with the history of race relations in the United States and the present political surroundings in which blacks continue to strive for equal opportunity. In his writings, Bennett establishes himself as a shrewd observer of society's racial injustices, articulating how people of color can overcome bigotry.

Bennett Jr. is one of Mississippi’s most successful black writers of the twentieth century. His writing career includes "Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America, 1619-1966," "The Negro Mood," "What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King Jr.," "Confrontation: Black and White," "Black Power U.S.A.," "The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867-1877," "Pioneers in Protest," "The Challenge of Blackness," and "Great Moments in Black History."

Lerone Bennett also assisted with the movie "Amistad" and has recently written about Abraham Lincoln and American slavery.

Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History
Volume 1, ISBN #0-02-897345-3, Pg 175
Jack Salzman, David Lionel Smith, Cornel West

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