We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.



So who is the man who would risk his neck for his brother man? Shaft! John P. Shaft, that is. The Chicago detective served as a model for Ernest Tidyman’s 1970 novel. But when Tidyman turned his former neighbor—middle-aged, balding, deeply religious, and hobbled by Korean War shrapnel—into the New York heartthrob immortalized by Richard Roundtree, their friendship ended. When Shaft filled theaters, Shaft himself retired and became a deacon. Now, with Samuel L. Jackson set to star in this summer’s Shaft Returns, the former P.I. is finally embracing the fame he once shunned. In Shut Your Mouth!: The Real Story of the Black Private Dick Whose Heart Belongs to Christ, the 71-year-old launches a broadside against the sleazy Hollywood view of urban America that Shaft exemplifies. “A trip to heaven—that’s the real Big Score,” he concludes. Learn about the true path from the true Shaft at 7 p.m. at Good News Books, 428 Chesterfield Road NE. Free. For reservations, call (202) 332-2100 x331. (Salvador M. Bird)