Author: Jerome Dyson Wright
Synopsis: A fictionalized memoir of a Baltimore hustler from his early days as a teenage thug and stick up kid, through his attempt at a turnaround, ultimately culminating in being drawn back into the ghetto which plagued him.
Notes: This one appears to be 30-50 pages too long, as it sometimes gets dry and boring. But as with many Blaxploitation paperbacks, there are some gems of social commentary though written over 40 years ago, are still relevant today:
- From my observations and experiences I rationalized that when a delinquent turns criminal and he is the result of poverty, it is because he is striking out in rebellion at seeing his parents suffer discrimination in wages and rent and all the better things in life.
- All the people on relief aren’t content to be, like some people think they are. But after a while the thing takes on a pattern, and when you’re born on relief, and all your young life this is the way you have to live, you get used to it – you begin to believe this is your way to live.
Favorite line from the book: “Yeah I know, love makes the world go round! But in my book…money puts the oil on the wheels, and that’s the pure nitty-gritty of it!”