56 pages 1 hour read

Claude Brown

Manchild in the Promised Land

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1965

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapters 11-14Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary

Claude learns that Pimp is becoming increasingly rebellious, and in an attempt to exert a positive influence, lets Pimp spend time at his Greenwich Village apartment. However, Pimp starts visiting him too often and wants to become part of Claude’s hip jazz circle, which Claude knows his brother is not ready for. At one point, he tricks Pimp into going home by pretending he only has one blanket on a very cold night.

Claude visits his mother to talk about Pimp and emphasizes to her that Pimp is struggling with city problems, which she does not understand because she is from the country. He notices that the lining on the windows needs to be replaced and helps his mother, who is afraid of causing a problem with the landlord or with any white people, fill out a complaint form at the housing commission office. 

Claude realizes that Pimp’s problems are rooted in their parents’ traditional Southern culture, particularly their mother’s belief in curses. Moreover, their grandfather is now living with their parents and, telling them stories about his terrible experiences as a Black man in the Deep South. Claude is increasingly disgusted with his parents’ old-fashioned approach to skin color—what he calls being “color struck” (264)—and their obsession with playing the numbers.