Himes was involved in gambling and was later sent to Ohio State Penitentiary for it. While incarcerated, he wrote short stories. Upon his release, he relocated to Europe and won acclaim for a series of novels.
In his story, "One More Way to Die," he depicted an immensely violent world that the narrator, namely William Brown, lived in. This story ultimately illustrated him being racially victimized by authority figures.
Brown worked at a cannery. One day, after work, he went to a joint called Jose's. Brown was drinking beer there when a man, namely Sweet Wine, and a woman came inside who wanted him to buy them a drink. He bought them one merely to "keep the peace".
Sweet Wine left, meanwhile Brown and the woman left shortly after him. They end up stealing his money in an alley. Brown informs the police about the incident and is told that they would locate them. Brown then returned home, retrieved a knife and headed back to Jose's but they never came back. So, Brown walked down Long Beach and spotted the woman at a bar. He picked up a bottle and hit her over the head with it. After that, a fight ensued in the bar between Brown, Sweet Wine and the woman.
Brown accidentally hit a white woman with a bottle during the fight. He later tried to explain to police that it was an accident but they abruptly take him away regardless. He then begs them for his life. Unfortunately, his life is not spared. Also, at the end of the story, Brown's last thoughts are that there is no reason for them to kill him.
Thank you Chester B. Himes for you honest work. HBD!