Max Brooks Q&A: See how 'The Harlem Hellfighters' earned their name

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You addressed prejudice in a smaller way in Shadow Walk, and in the Hellfighter‘s Author’s Note, you wrote you unofficially had a major in race relations while studying in the Virgin Islands. What did you mean by that?
For me, studying in the Virgin Islands was — I mean, it wasn’t an eye-opener, because I always knew there was racism. I got that black people got a raw deal in this country. But I didn’t really understand the day-to-day racism, the constant relentless battering, until I became a minority. And to be prejudged by everybody all the time on the color of my skin, that was shocking. And it wasn’t always negative. Some people liked me just because the color of my skin. Or emanated to talk to me just because of the color of skin. They were curious. But there was that constant prejudgement that was definitely sinking into my bones when I was experiencing that. Let’s not get too high and mighty: I still got to go back to white America, so I was only a tourist in that way. But it certainly was a taste of what black people have to go through every day.

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