Louisiana Black

Samuel Barclay Charters, Author Marion Boyars Publishers $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7145-2855-7
When Frank Lewis, a black, middle-aged office worker in New Jersey, comes across an old picture of a lynching in a black history book, he is appalled, never having given much thought to his people's past. His shock multiplies ten-fold when he learns that the lynched man was his father. Reeling from this discovery, Lewis goes down to his family's former hometown in Louisiana with a vaguely articulated plan for exacting revenge from one of the members of the lynch mob. The novel's premise is a good one, an elegant way to encapsulate some of the problems of race in America, but Charters never communicates any real passion or anger, and toward the end the narrative drive eases down to a slow Southern amble. Without the requisite tension, the characters tend to become more symbolic than real. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
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