I recently wrote a brief review of Eddie Allen's Low Road: The Life and Legacy of Donald Goines. The book is a solid biography of the man seen by many to be the father of African American pulp fiction, the cheap, mass-market paperbacks whose hard-boiled stories of the street and life in the ghetto were penned by former hustlers, pimps, and "users" themselves. The history of the rise of black pulp fiction in the 1960s and '70s is the subject of my Ph.D. dissertation at Duke University.
National Public Radio host Tony Cox interviewed Allen about his book and Goines's life (and tragic death by shooting) back in 2004. Follow this link to access that interview and to get a taste of the kind of writing Goines spawned in his brief but shockingly productive literary career (16 novels in five years).