1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 153-155: The Conclusion Of The Kenyatta Series: Three Novels By Donald Goines

Death List: Picking up where Crime Partners left off, Goines tells the narrative of a man named Kenyatta, whose aim is to take racist cops off the street, while cleaning the street of the death dealing drug pushers of Detroit.  He pays a large sum for the names of the men involved at the top of the drug trade, and has the men killed.  But the police are finally catching up with Kenyatta and the conclusion of the book has police bearing down on the farm where his small army is located.



Kenyatta’s Escape: Kenyatta leaves his small army of men behind at the farm and takes his very best along with him to highjack a plane only to be forced to crash land the plane in the desert where a commune of bikers happens upon what is left of the plane.  Kenyatta and his men appropriate the bikes and head back to the ranch where several others are waiting.  Soon Kenyatta and what is left of his troupe are racing down a desert highway head to LA, where they touch based with the survivors of the standoff that happened at the farm, and learns that only a handful of people have survived.  As a gas station burns in flames as the result of a run in with the police, Kenyatta heads to LA to regroup.



Kenyatta’s Last Hit:  A year has come and gone since Kenyatta’s escape and a new militia is formed to the clean the streets of LA, and a new hit list is put together.  Ryan and Benson, two Detroit detectives who have followed the carnage which Kenyatta has left in his wake, are called out to identify the body of Kenyatta, his final hit having failed and leaving him dead and dumped in the desert outside of Los Vegas.




Four books in total were dedicated to Kenyatta’s attempts to clean up the streets, and it was clearly a narrative that Goines was passionate about.  Goines himself was killed after Kenyatta’s Last Hit was completed, his body found slumped over a typewriter where Goines had been putting the finishing touches on the Kenyatta series.  The narrative is fast paced but still very much a tragedy as all his works were, and though more fantastical and unrealistic than some of his darker work, its fits well in the ghetto library that Goines authored.  In these books at least there is a hero who seeks to break the cycle of death that defines the streets of the ghetto, even if that hero ultimately fails.

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Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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