Uncle Q is Dray’s biological uncle, but Kasim explains that he’s also a paternal figure to many kids in the neighborhood. Uncle Q was there for these children and teens when no one else was, and he made a point to help out struggling single mothers (like Kasim’s mother and Matant Jo) when they found themselves raising children alone. But Uncle Q isn’t just a benevolent father figure—he’s also a high-powered drug dealer, in addition to being involved in a number of other ventures, such as Matant Jo’s loan sharking. He runs his operation out of the Q club and has little sympathy for his various dealers when things go south. For instance, when Chantal, Pri, and Donna aren’t able to make their payment to Uncle Q on time, Fabiola notices her cousins acting very afraid to go out, as though they expect to run into Uncle Q or one of his cronies and suffer retribution of some sort. Though Uncle Q only appears in person once in the novel, he looms large as a villain in Fabiola’s mind once she figures out who he is.
Uncle Q Quotes in American Street
The American Street quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle Q or refer to Uncle Q. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Balzer + Bray edition of American Street published in 2017.).
Drayton’s Story Quotes
It’s war out here, son. If my pops and his pops before him been fighting all their lives to just fucking breathe, then what’s there for a little nigga to contemplate when somebody puts a gun in his hands?
Uncle Q Character Timeline in American Street
The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Q appears in American Street. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...Detective Stevens. In a rush, Fabiola says that her uncle Phillip “went down” for Dray’s Uncle Q , and that there are bad things happening in the club. Detective Stevens is concerned... (full context)
...her cousins’ drugs. At the restaurant, Chantal looks around nervously—Fabiola realizes that she’s afraid of Uncle Q . In the restaurant, Fabiola tries to focus on her waffles and ignore all the... (full context)
...listen. The cousins decide to steal Matant Jo’s pills and sell them, just to show Uncle Q they’re trying—but Chantal mentions that that they’ve made $20,000 in a night before. Fabiola can’t... (full context)