Who is the man in the picture below?
Henry Dumas (July 20, 1934 – May 23, 1968) was an African-American writer and poet. He has been called "an absolute genius" by Toni Morrison, who as a commissioning editor at Random House published posthumous collections both of his poetry, "Play Ebony, Play Ivory", and his series of short stories, "Ark of Bones", in 1974.
Dumas was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, in 1934 and lived there until the age of ten, when he moved to New York City. In Harlem, he attended public school and graduated from Commerce High School in 1953.
After graduating, he attended City College of New York, before joining the Air Force. He was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
On May 23, 1968, at approximately 12:15 a.m., Dumas was shot to death at the age of 33 by a New York City Transit Police officer on the southbound platform of the 125th Street/Lenox Avenue station of the New York City Subway. The officer claimed that Dumas had been threatening another man with a knife. The officer said that he ordered Dumas to drop the knife, but that Dumas instead turned, attacked the officer, and slashed the officer's cheek. The officer stated that he fired three times. Dumas's death is often called "a case of mistaken identity".
Dumas was buried in Long Island National Cemetery in Suffolk County, New York. His death is mentioned in the poem "An Alphabet of My Dead," by Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, as well as the poem "Night, for Henry Dumas" by Aracelis Girmay.