Week 5: Characters

by Brooks Williams

Quincy Williams (“Oscar Fate”)

Reporter for Black Dawn magazine in New York (242).  He has some kind of stomach trouble (243).  At work he receives a call that his mother, discount Edna Miller, health has died (231).  He is sent to Detroit to do a profile on Barry Seaman and attends Seaman’s sermon (243, help 246).  He is sent to Santa Teresa in Mexico to cover the fight between Count Pickett and Merolino Fernández (262).  Once in Mexico he joins a caravan of Mexican reporters to Merolino Fernández’s ranch outside of Santa Teresa (275).  Goes out to a bar with Chucho Flores where he meets Charly Cruz and Rosa Méndez (278-279).

Barry Seaman

A founder of the Black Panthers with Marius Newell.  Did time in prison.  Author of Eating Ribs with Barry Seaman (244).  Gives a sermon on Danger, Money, Food, Stars and Usefulness (246-256).

Antonio Ulises Jones

The last Communist in Brooklyn.  He is called Scottsboro Boy by the local kids (259).  Fate interviews him for his first piece for Black Dawn magazine.  Gives Fate a copy of The Slave Trade (260).

Count Pickett

A Harlem light heavyweight boxer (262).  He is fighting Merolino Fernández in Santa Teresa (272).

Albert Kessler

An old, white-haired man at the diner outside of Tuscon.  Kessler is talking to a young man named Edward about the murders in Santa Teresa (267). Kessler has caught someone named Jurevich in association with the murders (265).  Kessler is returning to Santa Teresa after a few years absence.

Lino (“El Merolino”) Fernández

Mexican boxer who will be fighting Count Pickett in Santa Teresa (272).

Omar Abdul

Another of Merolino Fernández’s sparring partners.  Black American from California (275).  Twenty-two years old (276).

Chucho Flores

A reporter covering the Fernández/Pickett fight.  He and Fate go to a bar after the press event at the Fernández event and meet Charly Cruz and Rosa Méndez (278-279).

Charly Cruz

Friend of Chucho Flores. Owns three video stores (279).  Tells Fate the story of Robert Rodrigez’s first film (280-281).

Rosa Méndez

She has dated both Charly Cruz and Chucho Flores.


Minor Characters

Edna Miller

Oscar Fate’s mother.  Her death opens The Part About Fate (231).

Mr. Tremayne

Works for the funeral home where Edna Miller’s funeral is held (233).

Mr. Lawrence

Works for the funeral home where Edna Miller’s funeral is held.  Mr. Lawrence coordinates the funeral with Fate (233).

Miss Holly

Edna Miller’s neighbor.  Has a heart attack while calling Fate to inform him that his mother is dead (231).

Jimmy Lowell

Formerly covered boxing for Black Dawn.  Is killed outside of Chicago (235).

Rosalind

Miss Holly’s daughter.  Fate meets her when he visits Miss Holly’s body (238).

Marius Newell

A co-founder of the Black Panthers with Barry Seaman (245).  Probably based on Huey Newton. He’s dead (247).

Anne Jordan Newell

Marius Newell’s mother.

Ronald K. Foster

Reverend at the church were Barry Seaman gives his speech (246).

Dick Medina

Chicano television reporter that Fate sees on TV while in Detroit.  Medina is reporting on the murders in Santa Teresa (258).

Jeff Roberts

Sports Editor at Black Dawn.  Sends Fate to Mexico to cover Count Pickett (262).

Víctor García

One of Merolino Fernández’s sparring partner.  He has an unsettling tattoo on his back (274).

López

Merolino Fernández’s manager (275).

Angel Martínez Mesa

Mexican reporter covering the Fernández/Pickett fight.  An older man who appears to be Chucho Flores’s mentor.  Fate has dinner with him and Flores (278).

Mr. Sol

Pickett’s manager.  Takes questions at Pickett’s press event (285).

Ralph

Report at Pickett’s press event.  Asks if Pickett has brought any women with him to Santa Teresa (285).

Chuck Campbell

Report for Sports Magazine.  Speaks to Fate in a bar before the Fernández/Pickett fight.  Explains that he knew Jimmy Lowell.

Fictional Character References

Sebastian D’Onofrio (246)
Jesse Brentwood (284)
Hércules Carreño (287)
Arthur Ashley (“The Sadist”) (287)

p251
Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976) – Chinese Communist leader and the first Chairman of the Communist Part of China.
Lin Piao (1907 – 1971) – Chinese Communist military leader and member of the PLO.  Helped put Mao Zedong in power but later attempted to overthrow Mao.
Henry Kissinger (1923 – ) – German-born American political scientist and diplomat.  Served under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.  Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.
Richard Nixon (1913 – 1994) – American President  (1953-1961).
p256
Voltaire (1694-1778) – French enlightenment writer and philosopher.

p260

Hugh Thomas (1931 – ) – British Historian.  The author of The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870

p263

John Newton (1725 – 1807) –  English clergyman in the Anglican church.  Former slave-trader, later became an abolitionist with the publication of the pamphlet “Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade”.  Wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace”.

p280

Spike Lee (1957 – ) – African-American filmmaker.
Woody Allen (1935 – ) – American filmmaker.
Robert Rodriguez (1968 – ) – American filmmaker.

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3 Responses to “Week 5: Characters”


  • Comment from Brooks

    My comment here isn’t as much about the characters themselves, but the act of searching out some of these people.
    For example, take Arthur Ashley (“The Sadist”). I first opened up Wikipedia and searched for Arthur Ashley – nothing. Okay, let’s try Google – nothing. Another quick check on this boxing site I found – nothing. So my conclusion? The dude does not exist!
    How strange is it that if Brooks can’t find you on the intertubes then you’re not a real person and you get the Fictional Character label. Could Arthur Ashley have been a real person? Or maybe just loosely based on someone? Or maybe he is a truly fictional dude.
    But I keep coming back to this weird concept that if you can’t be found on the internet the you don’t exist!

  • Comment from Trent Crable

    Just a friendly correction: Rosa/Rosita Mendez is not Rosa Amalfitano. They are two different people.


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