50 pages 1 hour read

Colson Whitehead

Harlem Shuffle

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Part 2, Chapters 5-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Dorvay | 1961”

Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary

Duke’s mistress is a sex worker named Laura. She lives and works in a third-floor apartment rented by her pimp, Cheap Brucie. Ray aims to recruit Laura in his plan to get revenge against Duke.

Part 2, Chapter 6 Summary

Ray’s Aunt Millie asks him to visit her on the date of his mother’s birthday. Millie helped raise Ray in the two years after his mother’s death; his father was too unreliable and frequently disappeared. Ray slept in a bunk bed in Freddie’s room and they lived “like brothers” (157). Ray and Millie eat birthday cake and chat about his family and his store. The meeting is a tradition, taking place every year since the death of Ray’s mother in 1942. Freddie used to attend, but Millie complains that she has not seen or talked to her son in a long time. That night, Millie calls Ray to tell him that Freddie has been arrested. He talked back to a police officer while Biz Dixon was being arrested.

Ray recruits Pepper to help him get revenge against Wilfred Duke. His plan is to obtain scandalous materials that will ruin Duke’s public persona; Ray wants to “burn [Duke’s] house down” (161).

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