BLACK PLAYERS: The Secret World of Black Pimps by Christina & Richard Milner

BLACK PLAYERS: The Secret World of Black Pimps

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Milners, swinging young anthropologists (this is Christina's doctoral dissertation, conceived when she was working as a ""semi-hustling"" barmaid in a San Francisco topless bar helping to pay their way through Berkeley), take the reader into the genital world of the black pimp or ""player,"" a milieu known as ""The Sportin' Life"" or ""The Night Life"" or abbreviated to ""The Life"" -- there's a new language to be learned down these subcultural streets, from ""boojie,"" ""bottom woman,"" ""come-freak,"" ""cop some z's,"" and ""git-down time"" to ""Mack man,"" ""poop-butt,"" and ""slip-slapping"" although the glossary (appended) also includes the more familiar ""tricks"" or ""Johns"" and ""fast track."" Using standard participant-observer methodology (i.e., ""we were pimping off the pimps"") they hang around ""The Player's Inn"" (a composite of various Frisco bars -- she dances, he drinks), rap in depth with about 60 players with names like Iceberg Slim and Soulful Spider (148 hours of tapes altogether), and visit many of them at home to feel ""the rhythm of their daily life."" For all its esoteric qualities, the pimp's life is fairly well ordered, his main task being to prepare his stable of ""ladies"" (""hos"") for the nightly adventures; he lives by ""The Book,"" an unwritten code (""The Life"" is very oral) predicated on ""controlling"" his women (sexually, economically, socially); he relaxes at players' bars where he can engage in ""pimp talk,"" ""jam"" (snort cocaine), and dispose of stolen goods without fear of the police. The Milners occasionally refer to other social scientists (Goffman, Liebow) to enlarge a point, but the main object is to report the funky scene as they found it -- well-organized, male chauvinist, stratified, and -- like their study -- profitable.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1972
Publisher: Little, Brown