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Finding a Way HomeA Critical Assessment of Walter Mosley's Fiction$
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Owen E. Brady and Derek C. Maus

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604730883

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604730883.001.0001

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American Negroes Revisited

American Negroes Revisited

The Intellectual and The Badman in Walter Mosley’s Fearless Jones Novels

Chapter:
(p.97) American Negroes Revisited
Source:
Finding a Way Home
Author(s):

Terrence Tucker

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604730883.003.0008

This chapter examines tropes of masculinity found in the first two novels of the Fearless Jones series: Fearless Jones (2001) and Fear Itself (2003). It focuses on two particular African American archetypes, the “intellectual” and the “badman,” as embodied in the series by Paris Minton and Tristan “Fearless” Jones, respectively. The chapter argues that Walter Mosley’s interrogation of the intellectual and the badman recovers a time and culture, the American Negro of the 1950s, so that he can redefine heroism and highlight the efforts of African Americans in overcoming racist oppression. Instead of dramatizing the national activism of the 1960s, Mosley’s novels move beyond the hard-boiled detective and black protest fiction to examine the creation of home by African Americans during the Second Great Migration and demonstrate their survival as an act of heroism.

Keywords:   Walter Mosley, African American literature, masculinity, American Negro, heroism, racism, home

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