Bearing aversion & dubiety for society, Mike Mose braved the culture of
Detroit, Michigan in the 1990s. Even though the city became ravaged with poverty
& violence, the calamity taking place within his home created his ultimate austerity.
With a womanizing father who was imprisoned due to illicit business dealings, his
mother was forced to raise f ive boys alone. She overcame extreme f inancial hardships
& was able to move her family to the suburbs of Southfield, Michigan. The move
guaranteed her children an opportunity to attain the spectrum of grandeur that she
desired for them.
In Mike Mose’s new environment, he was introduced to a class of African
Americans he’d never encountered before. While in the suburbs, he realized that he
didn’t quite agree with the belief systems that the kids there had developed about
race & lower class blacks. Thus, he became entangled in an identity crisis; one where
he struggled with his city roots and his new middle class beginning.
Mike’s closest friends in Detroit were involved in underworld criminal activity,
running with gangs such as CS8 & the Motown Legends. However, he strived to fit
in with a new crew in Southfield called PBC. PBC was a selective group of young
black men in the area, who wanted Mike to forget about his friends in Detroit.
As a young, light skinned African-American man, Mike was a constant victim
of intra-racism, victimized by dark skinned blacks. He also witnessed dark skinned
blacks fall victim to intra-racism as well. The intra-racism that he encountered was
compelling, and brings to light this ugly secret that has been hidden in the African-
Throughout the book, Mike Mose remains stuck in the middle of two worlds,
representing the unique position that many African-Americans, who move to the
suburbs from inner cities, are placed in.