A Conversation with the Mann by John Ridley
A Novel

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What do you want?

"I want the Ed Sullivan Show."

At the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, like a lot of black Americans, comedian Jackie Mann wanted to be somebody. And for him there was only one way to achieve that: to make it big. Make it, no matter the cost: friends, family, one's own self-esteem and self-respect. This is the story of a young man's journey from Harlem to stardom, a story of Hollywood royalty, New York glitterati, Vegas Mafiosi, Northern bigotry, and Southern racism. This is a story of love, honor, betrayal, and redemption; of fame bought and paid for by any means necessary. It is the story of one man's desire and an entire race's demands, and the incredible moment when the two came together as one. This is the story of Jackie Mann.

About John Ridley

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John Ridley began his career as a stand-up comedian in New York before becoming a writer for television, including such hits as Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and for film, working with directors Francis Ford Coppola and Oliver Stone. Ridley's directorial debut, Cold Around the Heart, won a Best Director award at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. His previous novel, Love Is a Racket, was named one of the Ten Best Books of 1998 by the Los Angeles Times. He lives on the West Coast somewhere.From the Hardcover edition.
Published August 1, 2009 by Grand Central Publishing. 448 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Conversation with the Mann


The son of a saintly mother who died young and a monstrous father who abused drugs and his only son, Mann will do anything to become the Man, even if it means toadying up to powerful whites and ignoring the civil rights movement that is about to turn him into an anachronism.

Jun 10 2002 | Read Full Review of A Conversation with the Mann:...

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