Roger Mais (1905-1955) was born into a comfortable, educated middle-class Jamaican family. He was swept up in the riots and workers rebellion of 1938, and thereafter was a wholly committed activist and Jamaican nationalist. His 1944 critique of Churchill’s imperialist ideology, Now We Know, brought Mais to court and he was sentenced to six months in prison for sedition. The Hills Were Joyful Together was originally published in 1951, followed by Brother Man in 1954 and Black Lightning in 1955. He was posthumously awarded the Order of Jamaica in 1978.