Since last January, author Michael A. Gonzales has been writing a monthly column for Catapult called “The Blacklist,” in which he rescues out-of-print texts by black authors from obscurity. Gonzales so far has uncovered little-known works of satire, crime fiction, and urban realism from the middle to the end of the 20th century. In each installment, he interviews those close to the work — usually editors, friends, or the authors themselves if they’re still living — for insight into the book’s creation.

The second piece in the series was on Henry Dumas, author of several collections of poems and short stories, as well as the posthumously published novel, Jonoah and the Green Stone. Dumas was killed by a police officer in a New York City subway station in 1968 at age 33.  The novel was acquired by Toni Morrison for Random House while she was an editor there. With a…

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