Omari Jackson the red-dreaded, freckle-faced Bi-Racial kid who feels that his life is crumbling apart. His parents passed away when he was three; his Grandmother passed away when he was five, and now his adoptive family is coming apart. Omari’s adoptive father taught him that a man always stood by his family, and yet, he abandoned his own family without a word. To top it off, his adoptive mother is having an affair with a police officer, of all people. His only source of security is his sister Jamilah, and she has started dating his best friend. Hurt and confused by these events, Omari finds himself longing for the parents whose faces he can’t even remember.

Jamilah Jackson Once the skinny, long-limbed fodder for cruel preadolescent humor that developed into an African-American swan of manipulative beauty. The same boys that once teased her would now go to any extreme for her attention. Jamilah is aware of this and uses her newfound powers for her own amusement, even using them on her brother’s best friends. But the one male whose attentions she desires the most is her fathers who walked out on his family, leaving Jamilah to wonder what did she do wrong?

Jennifer Twan the fleet-footed Vietnamese girl whom Jamilah refers to as her sister. Jennifer drops out of school to assist her severely depressed mother and her six-year-old sister. When her mother’s abusive, drug-addicted boyfriend moves in and contributes to the deterioration of her home and life, Jennifer contemplates the offers from the dark side. She asks herself if it could possibly be any worse.

Joseph Babay Jr. (Dragonbrush) The longhaired Filipino Tagger, who is thrown out of his home after his father is forced to pay an enormous restitution for all the graffiti Dragonbrush wrecked on the city. He moves in with his tagging buddy Omari and his family. Dragonbrush finds that he is drawn to Omari’s sister Jamilah, and wonders if his attraction to her is because she is “so hot” or because she reminds him so much of his late sister.

Tioni Anderson the daughter of a prominent Oakland minister. Tioni resents the expectations that she is more spiritual and better behaved than those around her. Tioni rebels to distance herself from her family’s beliefs. She becomes involved with questionable individuals and gets caught up in their activities.

Yes, Unlike Omari’s other friends, the appealing but secretive Puerto Rican tagger clearly has an agenda. He appears and disappears without much of an explanation and won’t answer a straight question about what he’s doing. The biggest mystery is the skateboard he gave Omari. There is more to it than meet the eye.

Makemba Mikael


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