“Fire and Wanda” coming next week; a unique black middle class tale
What exactly is the African American middle class anyway that some seem to think it can be so easily defined?

I actually began writing this book nearly 20 years ago as a reflection on my black middle class experience, but then put it down and didn’t pick it up again until several years ago when I made the decision to finish various projects I had started (including The Mayonnaise Murders ) before starting anything new.

But unlike Mayonnaise, or my fantasy detective novel for children, Who Stole the Zmulobeast?, this is neither fantasy nor science fiction but a semi-autobiographical story about growing up

black middle class

that has gone through several transformations before I finally decided on how I wanted the story told. I plan on producing some follow-up novellas to go along with Fire and Wanda before the year is out so stay on the lookout for those and I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated.

Meanwhile, check out this phenomenal book cover created for me by my good friend Sydnee Turner of SydGrafix...

A different kind of story about the black middle class







Here’s a taste of a very different sort of black middle class experience …

Chapter 1


What did it feel like, I wonder? And what was she thinking?

God, she was so beautiful. Wanda. Eyes like cat’s eyes; large, dark, and so erotically unsettling. So many times I hear echoes of the way she laughed, the gentle caress embroidered with a touch of the razor and scent of warm blood, her eyes lovingly peeling the skin from my heart. Too often I welcomed the inconvenience of pain simply to feel her heat raging inside me.

“What is it about me?”

“I don’t understand, Alton.”


“And I’m telling you I don’t understand. I told you before I think you’re sweet. You’re fine. What more…”

“I need to know. It’s OK. You can say it! But please, I need to know.”




Like that time we smuggled the cat into her cousin’s swanky lakefront apartment. Her cousin hated cats. I don’t even remember the name of the building, and it doesn’t really matter. What I’ll never forget is watching Wanda convincing this sweet little black and white cat that it was safe to step into this wide open brown suitcase that she had laying across her bed like a huge leather mouth. Just as soon as the cat got comfortable, Wanda snapped the suitcase shut then giggled and clapped her hands like a little kid at a circus. Then she promptly sat down on the edge of the bed, crossed her long skinny legs and lit herself a cigarette to celebrate before we embarked on the next leg of the adventure. Cheap thrills, I guess.

“This is gonna be so damned crazy, and that cat’s gonna kill her when she gets home, but that’s what the bitch gets for makin’ me do this thing,” she said.

“How is it she’s making you do this?” I asked.

Wanda’s eyes sparkled as she whistled a lazy stream of smoke, her full lips a perfectly puckered letter ‘O’. She shrugged her shoulders and laughed some more. Those times when she laughed like that, relaxed and silly, were the times she let me see the girl she had been before life stepped in and stole her away. I like to believe she enjoyed that she could laugh that way with me, but then I like to believe a lot of things when it comes to how it was with me and Wanda.


African American author, Donald Goines was born in Detroit, Michigan on December 15, 1936. He came from a black middle-class background, where his parents ran a laundry business. According to stories told to him by his 



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Writer and musician.

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