Tim's Reviews > Bad Boy Brawly Brown

Bad Boy Brawly Brown by Walter Mosley
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's review
Jan 27, 09

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

OK, initial disclaimer; I'm a 63 year old White dude. Several years ago I saw the movie, "Devil in a Blue Dress," with Denzel Washington, a sort of mystery with a background of race relations and the Black experience during the late 40's I believe, with the character of Easy Rawlins introduced. GREAT, I heartily recommend it! Plan to read the book too. Since then I have read alother of Mr. Mosley's, "The Man in My Basement," a weird, more contemporary look at white guilt, but I digress. "Bad Boy Brawley Brown" is another Easy Rawlins mystery, this time set in 1964 L.A., again with the Black experience around the time of the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. Walter Mosley weaves a fun, easy-to-read yarn involving the son of a friend, a spinoff of the Black Panthers and people who aren't really who they say they are. I

n the midst of all that are descriptions and hints of what it was like to be Black in 1964, sort of summed up in this passage regarding another friend who owns a restaurant: "In his restaurant he was the king. But on the street he was just another guy, a frightened black man in a world where being black put you below the lowest rung of white society. There were no black men in tuxedos playing the violin at the symphony or elected to the Seate or at the heads of corporations. There were no black men on the board of directors re representing our interests in Africa, and very few cruising up and down Central Avenue in police cars. Black men, as a rule, were not scientists or doctors or professors in college. There was not even one black plilosopher in all the history of the world, as reported by our universities, libraries or newspapers."

In light of the recent presidential election, I think young people of all races but especially Black and White, should read this book, lest we forget. And hey, Mr. Mosley has also written Science Fiction (I'm a big fan), so they are gonna be on my list sometime in the offing.
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message 1: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire S Wow, I will have to read this! It is such an amazing time - I'm reading Obama's 'Dreams from my Father', and in that he shares his process regarding race growing up. Realizing the various race-based realities as he encountered them. And now.. he's changed them all! There's something very spiral-graph like about it all that's breathtaking and very wonderful - it's great to be alive during this period, isn't it?!?!!

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