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Diddley Squatt: Riveting story traces bullied Black boy’s exhilarating journey

The urban novella is the latest of seven books self-published by Compton, CA-bred author Duane Lance Filer

Compton Herald | Diddley Squat

Meet Diddley Squatt, an inquisitive Black child who defies bullying to embrace his greatest dreams

CARSON – Have you heard the phrase, “You don’t know Diddley Squatt?” Most people have heard this phrase. Well, “The Legend of Diddley Squatt – A Novella from a Brother Fella,” answers that question!

This book proves that regardless of your birth condition (poor, color of skin, strange name) through perseverance and love from others, one can learn to succeed.

Compton Herald | Duane Filer

Duane Filer, author of “The Legend of Diddley Squatt – A Novella from a Brother Fella.” Photo source: Duane Filer

Diddley Squatt, a Black child, was born in Rundown City, Miss., in a rundown year, to a fly-through-town father DeAngelo, and a rundown mother, Jackie. Given up on and left to be raised by his popular grandma, affectionately known as Momma Squatt (once married to Doodley) the owner of the Copp-A-Squatt Inn, the best-known hotel/brothel “this side of Mississippi.”

Diddley is bullied as a youngster because of his obviously weird name and home life circumstances. Young Diddley couldn’t care less; he develops a thick skin as he is raised by his grandmother and the ladies of the Copp-A-Squatt, along with the goo-gaggle of johns, including famous musicians, military soldiers on leave, politicians, and others who visit the hotel/brothel. It is through the nurturing lessons and mentoring of the various and strong women at the Copp-A-Squatt, that leads Diddley through his early life.

The Copp-A-Squatt is the only hot spot in Rundown City, its parlor hosting the best-known jazz and blues musicians of the day. The place is jumping on every Saturday night! Although the male johns and musicians may mentor him and guide him through his growing musical talent on the guitar and harmonica, it is the ladies of the Copp-A-Squatt who always answer his questions at the end of the day.

Witness some of the amazing adventures that help shape his life; how he learns of the mystical powers he’s blessed with by way of a magical harmonica gifted to him; how he can make himself small and fly on the back of his ladybug friend LadyM; how animals trust him enough to talk to him, especially his best friend and “kindred soul” Sly, a flying squirrel; and how his famous blues musician friend, Robert Johnson, takes him to the Crossroads one scary dark night and he meets up and defies evil (aka the Devil) with goodness.

Read on as Diddley grows into a handsome young man and catches many a young girl’s eyes. After high school graduation, it is time for Diddley to spread his wings and explore life outside of Rundown City. He makes the tearful move and takes the Back-Up Rundown City train to the big city – and of course, he has his best friend Sly the squirrel, in his guitar pouch, to help guide him!

At just 141 pages, The Legend of Diddley Squatt is a quick and easy read and could easily be just the first book of many detailing the colorful escapades of Diddley Squatt.

Please experience Diddley. You won’t be disappointed! The book can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers for just $13.99.

About the Author

Duane Lance Filer grew up in Compton, Calif. His mom Blondell and dad Maxcy were involved in the west coast civil rights movement during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Duane started writing in high school, through college, and even during his working years. Now, 65, retired after 34 years of work (29 years with the State of California), Duane is pursuing his passion for the written word at full speed. To date, he has self-published seven books. You can find all of his books, crazy paintings and rantings at his website.

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