Africa Speaks by Mark Goldblatt

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Synopsis

"A salaam aleichem, in the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate, the one true God. Yo, yo, yo, I'd like to send a shout out to my people, to my kings and queens. You know what I'm saying? My kings and queens. Yo, and a special shout out to my soldiers, my niggas in arms, the One-Forty-Ninth Street Crew--vagina findas, no doubt. Crazy mad dawgs! I got nothing but love for you. . . ."

So begins the confession of Africa Ali, a twenty-three year old black man who is determined to "get the truth out" through a series of weekly interviews with an anonymous white sociologist. His tape-recorded monologues recount the adventures of the 149th Street Crew, a group of friends clinging to the vestiges of their youthful alliances and confronting the awful uncertainties of their futures. In the course of his reminiscences and philosophical musings, Africa introduces us to other members of the Crew: his best friend Hercules, his former lover Keisha, the student radical Jerome and the determined realist Eddy. When, on occasion, Africa cannot make the interviews himself, he dispatches one of his friends in his place; their differing perspectives on events Africa has previously narrated create a kind of Rashoman effect, revealing simmering grudges and petty jealousies among Crew members. As the story unfolds, terrible secrets emerge from Africa's past.

By turns shockingly funny and appallingly sad, Africa Speaks is a portrait of young people on the cusp of both self-realization and self-ruin.

 

About Mark Goldblatt

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Mark Goldblatt is a columnist, political commentator, novelist and book reviewer as well as a professor at Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of New York. He is the author of the novels Africa Speaks and Sloth. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Post, USA Today, the Daily News, Newsday, Commentary, Reason.com, National Review Online, and the American Spectator Online, and in other mainstream and academic outlets. He has appeared on the Catherine Crier Show on Court TV, on NPR and the BBC, and on dozens of local stations nationwide. He lives in New York City.
 
Published March 19, 2010 by Permanent Pr Pub Co. 176 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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He’s got no fear about being interviewed by some whitey who wants to “keep it real,” so into the tape recorder Africa talks, nonstop, about his main man Herc, who keeps his attitude alive and enhances his police record, about his dad, whom he doesn’t talk to anymore, about Tanya, the mother of hi...

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