In Cleveland, Ohio, Charles Waddell Chesnutt was born on the 20th in 1858. His parents, Andrew Chesnutt and Ann Maria (Sampson) Chesnutt, were a couple described in contemporary records as being “free persons of color”. Charles’s grandfather was white and was as a consequence of mixed race. Photographs of him, such as the one at right, clearly confirm that he could have easily ‘passed’ for white. As an adult, he became an author, essayist and political activist. Many of his novels, essays and activism focused on social issues, the novels in particular. In 1905, Chesnutt gave a speech to the Boston Historical and Literary Association based on one of his essays titled "Race Prejudice; Its Causes and Its Cure." The work startlingly foreshadows Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech given in 1963. Clearly, Chesnutt was a driven man. Part of the force that drove him so forcefully can possibly be traced to the fact that when he was an infant, his parents tried to sell him into slavery. The deal only fell through when the prospective buyer could not come up with the full $23 that the couple was demanding for their son.