John Shaft

Created by Ernest Tidyman (1928-84) Who is the man Who would risk his neck for his brother man? SHAFT! Who's the cat who won't cop out When there's danger all about? SHAFT! He's a complicated man And no one understands him like his woman JOHN SHAFT You say this cat Shaft is a mean mother- … Continue reading John Shaft

Aaron Gunner

Created by Gar Anthony Haywood Back in the late eighties, AARON GUNNER was my go-to black private eye. Hell, he was pretty much the only black private eye. His 1988 debut, Fear of the Dark (a double-barreled title if there ever was one), was some kind of classic; a finger-pointing, heart-felt blast across the bows … Continue reading Aaron Gunner

Coffin Ed Johnson & Grave Digger Jones

Created by Chester Himes (1908-84) "We just get pissed-off with all the red tape...We just want to get down to the nitty-gritty." - Grave Digger in Blind Man With a Pistol "I don't want no niggers on this lot." -- Jack Warner's alleged outburst, before firing Himes One of the true masters of the genre, … Continue reading Coffin Ed Johnson & Grave Digger Jones

Toussaint Moore

Created by Ed Lacy Pseudonym of Leonard S. Zinberg (1911-1968) "If he had a cellophane head I couldn't have seen his little bird brain working any cleaner." Generally considered the first truly credible Black eye, TOUSSAINT MARCUS MOORE (now there's a name with more than a few Black nationalist overtones) made his debut in the … Continue reading Toussaint Moore

Cass Raines

Created by Tracy Clark CASSANDRA "CASS" RAINES was proud of being a Black woman on the Chicago police force, but she quit the department after taking a bullet, courtesy of a less-than-competent fellow officer. Now she runs a one-woman private investigation agency on the South Side, where she was born and raised, struggling to keep herself above … Continue reading Cass Raines