Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Characters

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Socrates Fortlow

Socrates Fortlow is a 58-year-old African-American man who served 27 years in prison in Indiana for committing a double homicide. Socrates has been free for eight years when the book starts, and moved to the Watts section of Los Angeles right after his release from prison. Socrates lives in a small, two-room apartment and supports himself by collecting cans for the deposit money, but later gets a job bagging and delivering groceries. He has a small circle of friends he is extremely loyal to, and a deep distrust of authority – particularly the police.

Throughout these stories, Socrates is haunted by people and events from his past, and is plagued by guilt, hatred, and anger. He sees himself as a “bad man”, yet his actions tell a different story as he constantly tries to help both the people he knows and his community in general. Though capable of terrible...

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This section contains 912 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Study Guide
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