South School, 1962: The last segregated school in New York. Their teacher moonlights on "Lawrence Welk," the lady principal wears boxing gloves, and the student body is all-Negro . . . except for first grader Josh Friedman. He's white, but he's working on it.
The acclaimed author of TELL THE TRUTH UNTIL THEY BLEED and TALES OF TIMES SQUARE returns with a one-of-a-kind autobiographical novel – «a memoir you can't accuse of lies.» Center stage in the unflinching and frequently hilarious funhouse tour of Friedman's Long Island boyhood is a rogues' gallery that includes Bobo, precocious third-grade dropout and boy prince of the ghetto; his bumbling (and alarmingly potent) ne'er-do-well Uncle Limpy; Mumsy, the smelliest shoeshine boy in Penn Station; Mrs. O'Leary, the menacing Irish nanny; her son, Drake, an etiquette-obsessed, switchblade-totin' clammer overwhelmed by the tides of racial progress; and the impoverished Wilshires, the bone-white, nigger-hatin'-est crackers in town.
At once heartbreaking and hysterically funny, BLACK CRACKER delivers a fearless account of adventures in the now-forgotten poor Black shantytowns of Long Island, exploring the singular ugliness of racism, the intrigue of janitorial whodunits, the tragic limits of friendship, and the inexplicable seductive powers of croco-print footwear.