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Hughes Allison: What You Need to Know About the Author of First Black Detective Story

Hughes Allison was the first author of a black detective story in ‘Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’. Allison was a playwright and writer of pulp fiction.

Hughes Allison was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1908. His family moved to Newark, New Jersey in 1919. Allison attended Bergen Street Grammar School, Barringer High School, and Upsala College. His first short story was published in Challenge Magazine in 1935.

Allison wrote his first play, “The Trial of Dr. Beck” which was produced on Broadway and starred a famous white actor, William Bendix.

Allison also worked as a reporter for True Story Magazine and authored several articles about school segregation. He is most famous for his character detective Joe Hill, who was modeled after the real Newark Police Homicide Detective Carlton B. Norris. Allison died on August 26, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey.


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