Cotton Comes to Harlem

Cotton Comes to Harlem, written by Chester Himes, is a violent tale of two black detectives working to maintain order in a city run by white people in 1965. The detectives, Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed, are somewhat humorous in that they are unprofessional, to say the least. The book is full of violent descriptions of murders and socially unacceptable situations, such as racism and supremacy. Gravedigger and Coffin Ed are being thrust into the middle of a very violent race war between the white supremacists and the black muslims.

Gravedigger and Coffin are two very unprofessional and extremely unconventional police officers. They choke women and do not abide by the typical police protocol. This is why I find them so interesting. The idea of a corrupt cop has a similar affect on the reader to extreme violence. Since policemen are supposed to be loyal to the law, when they are not, it draws a lot of attention and interest. People would much rather hear about the policeman that was bribed by gangsters than the policeman who saved a cat from a tree and walked an old woman across the street. Most people would also rather hear about a violent murder than a friends walk in the park.

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