Little Known Black History Fact: J. California Cooper

Black America Web

J. California Cooper was an award-winning prolific playwright and author who crafted tales about ordinary individuals living out their dreams. Ms. Cooper died last Saturday, leaving behind a valuable collection of work that readers are still discovering.

Cooper was born in 1932 and spent much of her life in California.Not much has been written about her early life, and all historical entries on her solely focus on her work as a playwright and writer.

Cooper wrote 17 plays in her career, winning the Black Playwright Of The Year Award in 1978. It was via one of her plays that she crossed paths with Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Alice Walker and switched gears in her career.

At Walker’s urging, after she attended Cooper’s play, she began penning short stories and novels because Walker suggested that it was a far more lucrative financial path.

The first of Cooper’s books, a collection of short…

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