New Novel Sheds Light on SNITCH Culture
Author aims to pave the way for urban fiction that keeps it real, but keeps it righteous
In the name of the “War on Drugs,” and most recently the “War on Terror,” government agencies frequently employ the assistance of crafty informants to catch the bad guy. Many of the snitches are facing prison time themselves. Debut author, Edrea Davis, fuses hip-hop with civil rights to offer a glimpse into the corrupt environment created by the use of informants in “SnitchCraft,” a fictional saga that juxtaposes the themes of family, spirituality, and social justice, against the backdrop of a popular Southern California nightclub battling escalating gang violence.
“SnitchCraft is a captivating street-life saga that brings the history of the game, as well as the questions of morals and values, to the surface,” says LaToya Foster, a popular radio and TV talk show host in Washington, DC.
The drama revolves around flamboyant nightclub owner, John “JC” Powell. JC is making more money than he can count, providing for his entire family, and on the verge of winning back the love of his life, Candace Banks. When he is arrested, convicted, and imprisoned based on the testimony of someone he trusted, JC struggles to clear his name and get back over two million dollars in assets seized by the government. As the pieces of the puzzle come together in a surprising courtroom drama, JC realizes that he is caught up in a ruthless game, playing against a criminal justice system set up to win by any means necessary.
Although the issue tackled in “SnitchCraft” is potential corruption in the criminal justice system, Davis hopes this novel paves the way for a constructive direction in urban literature.
“The criminal justice system is just one of the many issues the African American community needs to pay close attention to,” says Davis, a communications consultant in Atlanta, Georgia. “Beyond the issue, I hope to join a few writers who have demonstrated that the flourishing ‘urban lit’ scene can be used to deliver positive messages to inspire young people,” she adds.
SnitchCraft includes a unique “After the Book” section with a reader’s guide of discussion questions, suggestions on how to become active in your community, and an index of leading organizations focused on criminal justice and other issues impacting the Black community.
“I expect the appendix to meet with a little resistance. But, it is important for people to recognize that even though SnitchCraft is fiction, law abiding citizens are subjected to abuses in the criminal justice system daily,” says Davis, an Englewood, New Jersey native that has traveled internationally to cover media for events related to human rights issues. “Also, words are powerful. If the explosion in urban literature is close to the magnitude of hip-hop music and film, urban writers are positioned to frame the world’s perception of Black people. A thumbs up for this book will show that we keep it real, but keep it righteous,” she adds.
In over two decades of creating compelling messages, Edrea Davis has coordinated publicity for a host of celebrities and dignitaries, had articles published in newspapers across the country, and produced numerous radio and television commercials. SnitchCraft (Dogon Village Books, ISBN 978697405) can be purchased from www.snitchcraft.com and most online book retailers now, and will be available in bookstores through Ingram Book Group November 7.
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