Green's Dictionary of Slang has this to say about the phrase "ball and chain."
(orig. US black) one’s wife or regular girlfriend; thus ball-and-chained, married.
However, the earliest citations provided in GDoS are from white fiction writers.
1924 [US] Hecht & Bodenheim Cutie 62: So this is the way you have been deceiving me! [...] with a ball and chain waiting for you at home.
1928 [US] Hecht & MacArthur Front Page Act I: sheriff: Oh, hello, dear. kruger: Sounds like the ball and chain.
1929 [US] H.C. Witwer Yes Man’s Land 185: ‘Oh, please don’t start a row, Egbert!’ murmurs his ball-and-chain.
Maxwell Bodenheim was a white writer from Mississippi. Ben Hecht was a white Chicago writer, though notably also a journalist with no fear of the underground. As Wikipedia describes,
At the age of 16, Hecht ran away to Chicago, where, in his own words, he "haunted streets, whorehouses, police stations, courtrooms, theater stages, jails, saloons, slums, madhouses, fires, murders, riots, banquet halls, and bookshops."
H.C. Witwer is likewise a white American fiction writer.
I was not able to find any assertions for or against the claim that the phrase was originally from U.S. black culture in other sources, including Farlex, phrases.org, and the Online Slang Dictionary.
What evidence is there suggesting that the phrase originated in U.S. black culture?
Are there any earlier citations than the ones from GDoS?
What are the earliest known uses by a black writer?