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Written by Timothy Sexton
The main protagonist of the novel is a middle-aged, black private detective on a somewhat mystical quest to locate a secret sacred text that reinterprets the entirety of Western civilization through the perspective of the black experience. In addition to working as a detective, PaPa LaBas also practices voodoo and although doubling his age at the end of the novel, he still retains the appearance of a 50-year-old.
Hinckle Von Vampton
The novel’s antagonist is an indeterminate age, but certainly the fact that he was actually a member of the Knights Templar is indicative of just long he has been around. He is also on a quest to locate the sacred text, but for a completely different reason than PaPa. Hinckle’s objective is destruction for reasons tracing back to his role as the librarian of the Templars charged with protecting the text.
The traitorous editor of a magazine devoted to the Black Muslim cause who takes it upon himself to destroy the text for what seem to be very good reasons: the religion contained within imposes the same kind of authoritarian order as its Judaic and Christian counterparts which overwhelmed it in history. He is ultimately, however, deemed a traitor to the black movement.
The name says it all: Biff is not just white, but an assassin. His cover story is that he curates the Center of Art Detention, but in fact he is the killer for hire in the employ of the Wallflower Order. The Wallflower Order is the muscle of the secret society trying to keep the sacred text from becoming public knowledge.
One-time member of the Mumbo Jumbo Kathedral working in concert with PaPa LaBas, Berbelang becomes the leader of a terrorist organization called the Mu’tafikah. This group steals from the Center of Art Detention museums with the purpose of returning them to the representatives of their rightful owners.
Hubert "Safecracker" Gould
White undercover agent who is in the service of Von Vampton in a most peculiar manner. He adopts the cultural abomination of the blackface to become the new Negro android.
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