February 14, 2008
FREEDOM FIGHTER OR PREDATOR
In the 1970s, Blacks expressed their anger and frustration in blaxploitation movies. The plots involved drugs, prostitution, and other criminal activities. The hero, if their was one, fought against the White establishment or against some Blacks in his own group. Black freedom was the theme of most of these movies.
Nazel’s BLACK GESTAPO is an adaption of the blaxploitation movie “Ghetto Warriors,” and he does not deviate very much from the movie’s story line. General Ahmed is the Black leader of “The People’s Army,” an organization that is trying to help the people in the community using grants from the government. He runs a detoxification unit for drug addicts. Colonel Kojah is his second in command.
The two men differ on how to fight the White syndicate that is preying on the residents, collecting money from the numbers, prostitution, and other illegal activities. Ahmed wants to use the system to fight the White man and avoid violence.
Kojah advocates attacking violence with violence. He forms his own army and calls it “The People’s Army.” After killing the White gangsters who collect money for the syndicate, he and his army become the predators preying on their own people. Kojah’s excuse for turning thug is he needs money to finance his army’s activities.
Once Kojah eliminates the White gangsters, Ahmed confronts him because of his extortion of the residents.
The novel is as bad as the movie was. The implausibility of the plot and the unbelievable unreality of the characters work against suspension of disbelieve. Emory Holmes II, a writer who admired Nazel, must have had BLACK GESTAPO in mind when he labeled some of Nazel’s writings as “god-awful” in his appreciation of Nazel in 2006 (www.cnpa.com/Bulletin/090506/). Adapting a bad movie to a novel doesn’t make it better.