Alice Childress Biography | Author of Trouble in Mind

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Childress was born on October 12, 1920 (some sources say 1916), in Charleston, South Carolina. When she was about five years old, her parents separated, and she was sent to live in New York City with her maternal grandmother, Eliza White. Reared in Harlem, White encouraged her granddaughter's creative side. As a child, Childress improvised plays with friends and was a voracious reader. Childress's education ended after her second year of high school when she was forced to support herself upon the deaths of both White and her mother.

In 1941, Childress became involved with the American Negro Theater. Though technically an amateur group, Childress learned every aspect of the theater, from set building to directing, acting, and writing, in her 11 years of involvement. During this time period, Childress held many menial jobs, including an salesperson and domestic, to provide for herself and her daughter, Jean, from her first marriage. These experiences...

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This section contains 519 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Trouble in Mind Study Guide
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Trouble in Mind from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.