|Book Reveiw 6-23
Sunday, December 9, 2007
By Denise Turney
Snitch Craft is an eye opener for some and confirmation to other readers of what they have known for years. The book focuses on injustices in the justice system, namely how authorities use folks from the neighborhood who have committed crime to set up those gaining power and influence, legally or illegally. It is no secret that government officials used snitches to infiltrate organizations during the Civil Rights Movement, crooked relationships that shot holes in, weakened and destroyed many of these organizations as law officials put more leaders in prison.
Snitch Craft's author, Edrea Davis, has done her homework. Through the language and terms used in the book it is obvious that she has studied the justice system where snitching is concerned. Davis is also familiar with the neighborhoods Snitch Craft takes place in, namely New York City and Los Angeles. I loved hearing about how the two brothers in the story, JC and Paul, got started in the underground business they run in New York City. Paul is the older of the two brothers. He's the more politically and socially focused of the two. He loves books and believes in the power of knowledge. JC is the smooth brother. He's a flirt. Women love him and he takes advantage of that as if he was a child playing with candy. JC seems to never be bothered except when it comes to Candace, the mother of his child and the love of his life.
After JC and Paul move from New York City to Los Angeles, their paths begin to separate. Paul takes money JC and he earned from their days of hustling in New York City and he opens a bookstore. JC takes his money and he opens a nightclub. The brothers support one another in their separate enterprises. They truly are brothers who love one another. A scene that takes place after JC and Paul arrive in Los Angeles sets the stage for the rest of the book. From this one scene I again learned the value of relationships and how important it is not to judge.
Edrea Davis makes every character in her book move this powerful story forward. The dialogue in Snitch Craft is incredibly real. I felt like I was at the club, the family reunions and other locations with the characters listening in on what was happening in their lives. Seldom have I read a book with dialogue this believable and this strong.
It is a slow climb to success for JC's nightclub, but that success comes with a price. A “gentleman's agreement” JC makes with a local gang leader in order to secure peace around his nightclub comes back to haunt JC. At times it is shocking at how widespread the real life events of snitching are. It is shocking that the justice system would pay a person who has a long history of committing crime to witness against, some of the stories completely made up and false, other men who may have gained influence in the community through legal means.
If you want to get a glimpse of what goes on in the American justice system even now Snitch Craft is a good start. At the end of the book Edrea Davis provides steps readers can take to help right injustices in the justice system. She also provides a list of resources readers can refer to in order to add balance to the process, a welcomed end to one of the most honest and entertaining books I have read in a long time.
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