sealPurdue News

January 30, 2002

Black Cultural Center sponsors discussion of spy novel

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A discussion of Sam Greenlee's spy novel, "The Spook Who Sat by the Door," will take place Thursday and Friday (2/6-7) at Purdue University's Black Cultural Center.

Sponsored by the BCC library, the discussion will be led by art and design major Brandon Carter. The event is free and open to the public.

In its sixth printing, "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" (1969) still captivates readers' imaginations. Written during the height of the Black Power Movement, the novel is set in Chicago. It serves as a social critique of a system that produces "the haves and have-nots" and previews the possible violence that could result.

The novel's protagonist, Freeman, is a former CIA agent who takes an "in-your-face" approach as a social worker dealing with gang members on Chicago's South Side. He befriends the gang and teaches them the techniques and strategies he learned while working as a CIA "spook" on the East Coast.

A former foreign service officer for the United States Information Service, Greenlee's other works include "Blues for an African Princess" (1969) and "Ammunition!: Poetry and Other Raps" (1975).

Copies of the "Spook Who Sat by the Door" are available for checkout in the BCC library. For more information, contact Dorothy Washington, BCC librarian, at (765) 494-3093.

CONTACT: Washington, (765) 494-3093,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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