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, Edna Miller, has died (231). He is sent to Detroit to do a profile on Barry Seaman and attends Seaman’s sermon (243, 246). He is sent to Santa Teresa in Mexico to cover the fight between Count Pickett and Merolino Fernandez (262). Once in Mexico he joins a caravan of Mexican reporters to Merolino Fernandez’s ranch outside of Santa Teresa (275). Goes out to a bar with Chucho Flores where he meets Charly Cruz and Rosa Mendez (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 Fernandez 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”) Fernandez

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

Omar Abdul

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

Chucho Flores

A reporter covering the Fernandez/Pickett fight. He and Fate go to a bar after the press event at the Fernandez event and meet Charly Cruz and Rosa Mendez (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 Mendez

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).


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).

Victor Garcia

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


Merolino Fernandez’s manager (275).

Angel Martinez Mesa

Mexican reporter covering the Fernandez/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).


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 Fernandez/Pickett fight. Explains that he knew Jimmy Lowell.

Fictional Character References

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

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).
Voltaire (1694-1778) – French enlightenment writer and philosopher.


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


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”.


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

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