Black History Month Throwback Movie: “The Spook Who Sat By The Door”

The Spook Who Sat by the Door is both a novel by Sam Greenlee, first published in 1969 (in the UK by Allison & Busby), and a 1973 film of the same name. An explosive, award-winning novel in the black literary tradition, The Spook Who Sat by the Door is both a satire of the civil rights struggle in the United States of the late 1960’s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue of black militancy.

Dan Freeman, the titular protagonist, is enlisted in the Central Intelligence Agency’s elitist espionage program as its token black. Upon mastering agency tactics, however, he drops out to train young Chicago blacks as “Freedom Fighters.”

As a story of one man’s reaction to ruling-class hypocrisy, the book is autobiographical and personal. As a tale of a man’s reaction to oppression, it is universal. The novel and the film also dramatize the CIA’s history of giving training to persons and/or groups who later utilize their specialized intelligence training against the agency.

This one happens to be one of my favorites – check it out below: