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Malinda Williams

poet, short story writer, mythologist, and folklorist, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to Cornelius A. Bennett, a baker, and Kerene Robinson Bennett, a seamstress. Bennett's father died when she was just seven years old, leaving her mother to support the family. Bennett received a typical colonial education at St. Simon's College (1933–1936) and Excelsior High School (1936–1938), which greatly influenced her later interest in elevating and legitimizing traditional Jamaican culture. Though in high school Bennett began writing poetry in English, she later switched to writing in West Indian English, which linguists would eventually come to recognize as a language rather than just a dialect.

Bennett also began performing versions of her poems to audiences in high school and her success caught the attention of Eric Coverley who would later become Bennett s husband Coverley a draftsman and impresario organized a popular Christmas concert ...

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Jonathan Shandell

playwright and actor, was born in Suffolk, Virginia, and raised in New York City. There is no documented record of Browne's early childhood and family life. While living in New York he completed high school in the Bronx at DeWitt Clinton High School, graduated soon thereafter from City College of New York, and gained his first stage experience as a young actor.

In 1935 Browne moved to Seattle Washington where he became active with the Seattle Repertory Playhouse a progressive local theater led by the University of Washington professors Burton and Florence James The following year the Jameses helped establish the Negro Repertory Company NRC Seattle s African American unit of the Federal Theatre Project FTP a nationwide Depression era initiative under the New Deal s Works Progress Administration that provided employment and artistic opportunities for theater artists including many African Americans across the country Browne was an active ...