Richard Abraham Spade
Created by B. B. Johnson
Here is another fellow who is not technically a private eye, but this cat could give John Shaft a run for his money. Can you dig it?
RICHARD ABRAHAM SPADE was a strapping 240-pound fellow who went from the ghetto to UCLA, where he made All American as an offensive tackle, acquiring the interesting nickname of "Superspade" in the process. He was headed for a pro-football fame, but was sidetracked for two years in Vietnam. Returning stateside, forty-three pounds lighter, a lieutenant with a Silver Star and a Purple Heart; he wasted no time in turning his attention back to pro-ball, only to have his career cut short by a serious injury.
At the start of his first case, he is 33 years old and has been working at Greene College in Santa Barbara for three years, as the black studies lecturer and part-time football coach, while pursuing his masters in political science. But this is just the calm before the storm. When his buddy is killed for political reasons, Spade finds himself "in the middle of a deadly blitz of bullets, broads and burning revolution..."
Each of these six men's adventures paperback originals are billed as "a tough novel by B. B. Johnson," which we're told is "a pseudonym for one of Hollywood's most talented and creative black personalities." Resonant with black power relevance, and full of typical "out there" plots for the time, such as Mother of the Year, which features Spade protecting a black beauty queen marked for death by a group of militant black feminists.
Respectfully submitted by David Nobriga. Cover illustration from "Mother of the Year" by Mitchell Hooks.
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