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Asa Bundy Sheffey is far better known under the name Robert Earl Hayden, given him by his foster family. All of his publications appeared under the name Robert Hayden, and thus when you do research about him, most of the information you find will be under the name Robert Hayden.
Robert Hayden was born on 4 August 1913, in the Paradise Valley neighborhood of Detroit. His birth parents left him with the haydens, a family who lived next door to them, who adopted him.
The area in which they lived was originally called "Black Bottom" by French settlers for its dark, rich topsoil. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries, it was a predominantly African-American neighborhood, with theaters, nightclubs, and gambling being the main businesses in the area. The neighborhood was destroyed mainly by shifting business patterns, the building of freeways, and urban renewal programs in the mid-twentieth century. The area is now occupied by Lafayette Park.
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