J. California Cooper was a well known playwright and author who wrote 17 plays, winning Black Playwright of the Year in 1978. Cooper was respected by many, specifically revolutionary activist Alice Walker, who praised the author for her “deceptively simple and direct” style. Cooper wrote a short story titled "Funny Valentines" that was later turned into a 1999 TV film starring Loretta Devine and Alfre Woodard. Cooper died on September 20, 2014 at the age of 82.

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