Dutch Trilogy Ends Dynasty Begins
PART 1 OF 2
by Kaven L. Brown
One of the most renowned names in street literature that readers have come to know since its resurgence from the Donald Goines era is Kwame Teague aka “Dutch.” Teague is the author of six novels which includes, The Adventures of Ghetto Sam and the Glory of My Demise, Dutch, Dutch II: Angel's Revenge, Dutch III: The Finale, Thug Politics and his latest release Dynasty.
Teague exploded onto the scene in 2001 with not his first novel but his second, Dutch, which became an instant classic. With great anticipation, Dutch II would follow and after what seemed like a dry spell, Dutch III: The Finale was finally released. This last installment of the trilogy received its fair share of criticism, something that was previously foreign to the Dutch tales. Teague explains, “Dutch was a concept in the first two installments, so he was really only a character in Dutch: The Finale. This is why I believe people were a little upset with the Finale because the Dutch they read about in I and II wasn’t the flesh and blood cat in the Finale.”
Readers waited on baited breath for what seemed like an eternity for the conclusion, which resulted in mixed reviews regarding the ending of the trilogy. Overall, Dutch III: The Finale was deemed a good book. It was not what some expected but it has allowed for closure of what happened to Dutch and the other characters.
Teague creates from a prison cell, a place he’s been since 1994. Having served nearly two decades, he has been writing for nearly the same amount of time. Roughly six years into his bid, he would self-publish his first book. “Back in like 2000, I saw an article in Vibe magazine. [Teri Woods had] just put out True to the Game. I had self-published Ghetto Sam through iuniverse.com, then I saw that. So, I had my people contact her and send her my book. She dug it and it started from there.” Shortly thereafter, Dutch and Dutch II would be published and become favorites among readers.
The success of Dutch has not come without a price for Teague while he has been in the penal system. “When they truly understood how successful [Dutch] was, they put me in segregation for 60 days on trumped up charges and shipped me seven hours from my family. They feared the influence I have over other inmates. Those were their exact words. They also banned the book in every North Carolina state prison.” However, prisons placing authors in segregation who write books from behind the wall is nothing new. Bestselling author, Wahida Clark was placed in solitary confinement for 8 months on charges related to conducting business in prison. “In a crazy way, being put away like that made me focus. You got to take the good with the bad,” Clark stated.
Born and raised as a Muslim, Teague has always been socially and politically conscious with a knack for storytelling and a desire to write since he was a youngster. “I started writing when I was like 12 or 13. Matter of fact, I basically wrote ‘New Jack City’ in 1985,” says Teague. “But back then there wasn’t any outlets for writers that I knew of, and I was scared to let cats know that I was writing because I was scared they’d clown me. In the ghetto, at that time, if it wasn’t sports or drugs people didn’t support your dreams because there were few examples around of people that dared to [dream].”
The critically acclaimed Dutch takes place in a fictional city in New Jersey. It’s centered around the gangster-druglord, Bernard James aka “Dutch” and his cohorts: Angel, Craze and One-Eyed Roc who later becomes Rahman. Sales are speculated and rumored to have sold in the six-figure range (which is basically platinum status for a book) and has left readers mesmerized and yearning for more. Many have inquired and hope for a fourth installment. Yet through his erratic journey Teague delivers, Dynasty, his latest novel, which explores fatherhood in the life of a crime family, released in December 2009 published by DC Bookdiva Publications.
Check back soon for the exclusive part two interview with Kwame "Dutch" Teague. We'll tackle critics of street lit, writing, advice, future projects and more.
Kaven Brown is a contributing editor for The Urban Book Source, writer and the producer of the Behind Those Books Documentary.
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