Friday, November 07, 2008

Book review: Incognegro by Mat Johnson



A graphic novel about a light-skinned African-American in the 1930's who reports on Klan and other racist activity in the south by "passing" as a white man and then publishing his reports in the Harlem paper.

Ready to quit, he's coerced into going south one more time because his twin brother - who has much darker skin - has been accused of murdering a white woman in a small Mississippi town. The plot has some interesting twists, and focuses a sharp light on race and gender bias, especially in the south. I'm no expert, but I think the picture it paints of the north is a bit glossier than the reality. Maybe I'm wrong.

Either way, the story is based on an actual person and is a quick and interesting read.

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