Soul City is a fictional novel by Touré that was published in the year 2004. It is a fun, exciting, and captivating story about a utopian black paradise of a city called Soul City. Soul City is a sensational city like no other, to which magazine journalist Cadillac Johnson is sent on a mission to cover its mayoral elections for a period of three days.
The praises of Soul City, however, that are well known to the young journalist cum aspiring author are reason enough for him to stay on longer just to get to know the city much more intimately.
Touré gives a vivid and hyperbolical description of Soul City throughout the book such as when he says ” There was an easy vibe to the place, as if everything in the world were possible and there was all the time in the world to do it, for Soul City, minutes were ninety seconds long,” to describe how special this city was, adding to the fact that it was situated far away from the rest of America.
In this novel, Touré unreservedly unleashes his imagination in creating a city right out of a black fairytale. He creates Soul City into the ultimate paradise that any human community would relish living in, not to mention one that the black community has since time immemorial aspired to create if only the greater society would let them prosper.
In Soul City there is very little crime, in fact, there is only one known criminal who commits a crime outside of the city and this crimeless situation is largely attributed to a gifted mind-reader who knows everyone’s secrets. It is a city in which brotherhood and good neighborliness are the order of the day, whereby the soulful look out for their neighbors regardless of whether they know them or not.
Soul City is a city of Black Excellence and tradesmanship sporting all kinds of booming black businesses like Groovy Lou’s Loco Motives which offers very special one of a kind deals for music systems, sumptuous treats with special benefits from the Gravy Shop and Boozoo Barbeque Brown, not to forget Dapper Dan’s legendary tailoring and high fashion which can create any designer clothing and Bring the Noise Movie theater where yelling at the screen is encouraged.
Soul City is a city of freedom and a paradise where hospitals do not exist because the House of Big Mamas is filled with women experienced in every medical contingency to cater to the ailing.
The story follows Cadillac Johnson as he carries out his dual-motivated mission of covering the mayoral election and studying the alluring Soul City and it finds him falling in love with the Biscuit shop DJ, Mahogany Sunflower who enriches his stay in Soul City in many ways, crucial among these being in challenging him to critique the African- American identity he has held on to growing up in The City versus what he observes to be the meaning of being black as displayed in Soul City.
Soul City proves to be such a wonderfully complex city that Cadillac fails to find words to describe and indeed he never does for many years until one day and then many excruciating years later, he finally completes SOUL CITY. With brilliant characters and an exciting plot twist, Touré creates a highly entertaining story in Soul City in short, progressive, and logically sequenced chapters.
The author of this story utilizes a satirical approach in his writing to debunk racial stereotypes about the black community and about black people that so often threaten the essence of black identity and perception by people of other races.
Through hyperbole, he paints a picture of the kind of people black folk really are, highlighting that they are kind, skilled, gifted, fun-loving, caring, and in pursuit of only happiness and prosperous life for all. This book serves to show that in the right conditions, the black folk desire to bloom, to live, and to love just like every other human community in the world. This is a perfect getaway read, funny, light-hearted, humorous, and imaginative. However surreal it comes across, it’s an indicator of the deepest aspirations of the black folk living in America.
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