Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction

Synopsis

This first sociohistorical study of the evolution of black detectives and other African American characters in crime and detective fiction identifies stereotypical images of blacks and probes the implied values and collective fantasies found in this genre. Bailey argues that a "mythology of race" consisting of themes of sex and savagery exists in the U.S. and is perpetuated in popular culture. Additionally, fourteen crime and detective fiction writers present their views on creating black characters and a directory includes a sampling of cases featuring black characters, a list of black detectives, relevant works of fiction, film, television, and more.

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