Wohl, Burton - Mahogany
(Bantam Books, New York, 1975, 153pp)
A novelisation of Motown’s attempt to break into films via a star vehicle for Diana Ross Mahogany sees its lead character Tracy Chambers torn between enjoying the lucrative high fashion world of modelling and keeping it real in the ghetto with her black activist lover. Almost too tame to be labelled blaxploitation the film and book end in cringingly conventional circumstances.
Lipsyte, Robert - The Contender (Bantam Books, New York, 1969, 136pp)
A coming of age tale in which a black teenager rises above the peer pressures and temptations of the ghetto via the manly art of boxing.
Greenlee, Sam - The Spook Who Sat By The Door (Allan and Busby, London, 1969, 189pp)
Unusual for a thriller in that it is a black revenge fantasy The Spook Who Sat By The Door chronicles the brilliant tactics of a black revolutionary who manipulates the system to join the CIA before building his own guerilla army. Saving most of his bile for liberal politicians and upwardly mobile middle class blacks Greenlee turns racist assumptions on their head by intimating that the bad behaviour of ruling class whites stems from the fact that they simply don’t know any better.
Cunningham, Genevieve - The Mixers (Apollo Books, Woodbridge, 1972, 289pp)
Set in the 1970s, but written in the style of a 50s JD novel The Mixers draws its originality not from its writing style, which despite its rough sex and language is reminiscent of teen "problem" books. Instead the German setting and concern with the plight of the progeny of African American soldiers and German women marks it out from the glut of similar coming of age tales.
Jordan, June - His Own Where (New York, Dell, 1971).
Two young black teenagers attempt to eke out an existence on the mean streets of NYC.
Disch, Thomas M. and Sladek, John - Black Alice (Doubleday, New York, 1968, 206pp)
A darkly comic tale in which a young white girl is kidnapped, dyed black (ala Black Like Me) and stashed in a Southern brothel. No freaks or hippies here, but the novel concludes amidst race riots and church bombings following a Ku Klux Klan attack on civil rights marchers.