Manchild in the Promised Land

Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown (1965). Fierce, unsparing language and plenty of street jive power this autobiographical novel recounting Brown’s early life as a drug dealer, hustler, and thief amid the numbers runners, prostitutes, cops, and hardworking parents of Harlem in the 1940s and 1950s. His portrait of inner-city blight rises to high tragedy as Brown paints it against the hopes of Southern blacks who came north for the promise of a better life.

Total Points: 6 (AMH 6)