The Spook Who Sat By The Door By Sam Greenlee Essay

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The novel “The Spook Who Sat by The Door” written by Sam Greenlee is a satire of civil rights problems in the United States in the late 60s. This book is a direct image of violence, racism and suppression of the African American race in the United States. The novel itself is a revolutionary manual of how to beat the system and maintain the appearance of status quo. It is also a combination of hate, prejudice, passion and humor. These themes are evident in both the novel and in its 1973 film adaptation by Ivan Dixon. However, the novel conveys a deeper conviction for these themes than does the film. The film is persistent with the novel’s overall themes of group empowerment for change and respect of the black community, but the film’s absence of some scenes and abridgement of other scenes effects the depth to which the audience understands these themes.
“The Spook Who Sat by the Door” is among the many literary and artistic works that became popular as part of the Blaxploitation era. During this era, authors and artists intentionally used stereotypical images of race in their works. In spite of the Blaxploitation era’s use of racial stereotypes, it was able to draw African American communities together to respond to the suppressive situations they faced. This ability is evident in the novel “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” In this novel one man, Dan Freeman, creates an underground society that brings young African American gangs together in efforts to take down…

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