Sleepy Willie is an outgrowth of Langston Hughes’ character Jesse B. Simple and William (Sleepy Willie) Walker a real-life person the author grew around in the Amsterdam Projects in New York City. The author married Simples downhome folksiness to Sleepy Willie’s urban sagaciousness and came forth with a character who affords him the space for wide ranging quality satire.
This book is the first of the Sleepy Willie trilogy. The essays in this book are reprinted from the author’s syndicated newspaper column Sleepy Willie (1980 – ’86).