Individual Author Record
Name: Bayo OjikutuPen Name: None Genre: Fiction Audience: Adult; Adult; Young Adult; Born: 1971 in Chicago, Illinois
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Illinois ConnectionThe author was born and raised in Chicago.
Biographical and Professional InformationOjikutu graduated the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s of Arts inPolitical Science. He has taught creative writing at the University of Chicago, the GrahamSchool of Continuing Studies and DePaul University.
- 47th Street Black, Three Rivers Press, 2003
- Free Burning, Three Rivers Press, 2006
Titles At Your Library
47th Street Black: A Novel
ISBN: 0609808478 Broadway Books. 2003 The prize-winning debut of an incendiary new voice in contemporary American fiction, 47th Street Black is the story of JC and Mookie, whose rise in the gangster-driven ghettos of Chicago is as swift as it is brutal.
In the early sixties, 47th street is the heart of black Chicago, where recent migrants from the South come to move up in the world. JC and Mookie are high school dropouts, playing stickball in the street when they stumble upon the dead body of the area's black liaison to the mafia. Where others would run, Mookie sees opportunity, and in no time he and JC are working for Salvie, the local boss. Within a year, they are the most infamous figures on 47th Street, best friends and partners with flashy cars, clothes, and women.
As they alternate telling their stories, the balance of power shifts: smooth, charismatic Mookie becomes the de facto leader and small, violent JC the enforcer—roles that send JC to jail for a murder they commit together. In the 15 years he's away, JC gains an education and a resentment he can't control, while Mookie gains power over the entire South Side. By the time JC is paroled, both the neighborhood and the two men's lives are on an inexorable path to an explosive confrontation with simmering injustice.