Study Guide

Autobiography of My Dead Brother Chapter 2

By Walter Dean Myers

Chapter 2

  • Okay, turns out the Counts are a social club for young black men. It's not a gang—just a group of guys that hang out together—and it's been around for forty years or so.
  • The current iteration of the Counts formed so the tradition could live on. The only problem is they don't really know what they're supposed to be doing, so they just sort of meet up every month and hang out.
  • Lately, the meetings have been in a room at the armory. It's sort of like a clubhouse, and the guys are into it—they have a TV and everything.
  • Everything was all good until Mason came along. Mason is seventeen, which is Rise's age, and he's a total jerk who no one likes.
  • Recently, Mason was arrested for robbing a bodega. Even though it was news to the Counts that he was involved in crime, they also weren't really surprised.
  • Calvin calls the meeting to order. On today's agenda? Club dues, Mason's arrest, and finding a new member.
  • Calvin says they should pay a dollar per week in dues, and his motion passes unanimously.
  • Next up is the new member, who walks in and is introduced to the group. It's Mr. Montgomery, a.k.a. Little Man, and he's an actual child, around middle school aged. The Counts laugh him out of the room. Little Man is ticked.
  • Rise suggests holding a dance to raise extra funds, which everyone thinks is a great idea.
  • Gun thinks they should also have a ballgame—dude is really into basketball.
  • C.J. and Gun joke around about a basketball challenge. It's all in good fun.
  • Mason is the final bit of business the group needs to tend to: He's in jail and his trial is coming up soon.
  • Mason wants the Counts to go beat up the owner of the bodega he robbed—correction, make that the bodega he didn't rob. Or so Mason says, anyway…
  • The idea is that once the Counts rough up this owner, he won't testify against Mason.
  • Benny's not into this idea at all. He doesn't want to go to jail.
  • Rise hasn't decided if he's going to help yet, though, and he wonders if the Counts should even stay together if they're not going to back each other up.
  • Rise wonders why no one believes that Mason is innocent; as far as everyone else is concerned, he's obviously guilty.
  • Rise leaves in a bit of a huff, and everyone looks to Jesse to see what's going on. Jesse doesn't know, though.
  • Now Jesse's back at home, chilling. Rise calls and asks him to come over.
  • Jesse takes his time walking over to Rise's even though it's close. He knows they need to have a serious talk—this whole Mason situation is not cool at all.
  • Rise's grandpa answers the door. He lets Jesse in and then Jesse and Rise head up to Rise's room.
  • Rise is listening to John Coltrane. Jesse didn't know he listens to Coltrane.
  • Rise's grandpa knocks on the door. Rise has a visitor: Sidney Rock, a cop who's cool with all the kids in the neighborhood.
  • Sidney just wants to talk, so the three guys go to Rise's room, where Sidney tells them he knows that Mason's put out a hit on the bodega owner.
  • Rise questions what this has to do with them, and Sidney says he hopes nothing.
  • Sidney's trying to keep things cool, but Rise is not having it, and after Sidney leaves, Rise makes fun of him.
  • Jesse says Sidney's cool, but Rise says cops are never cool. No matter, though; he's not planning on helping out Mason.
  • Rise thinks that Mason was just a petty criminal—he wants to be something bigger than that someday.
  • Rise says maybe Jesse could write his biography. Rise is maybe a tiny bit self-involved.

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