Theo began by introducing his wife rex ella a mabry

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Unformatted text preview: t in the country, and there was an awful rumor over in Lowtown that he did not go to church. She had never been anxious to meet him. They had attended a funeral together years earlier, but had not met. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, I introduced them, and when Claude put her name with her face he said, "The Ruffin family. All them doctors." "PhD's," Miss Callie said, correcting him. Claude was loud and gruff and charged for his food and did not go to church, so Miss Callie immediately disliked him. He took the hint, didn't really care, and went off to yell at someone in the back. A waitress brought us iced tea and corn bread, and Miss Callie didn't like either. The tea was weak and almost sugarless, according to her, and the corn bread lacked enough salt and was served at room temperature, an unforgivable offense. "It's a restaurant, Miss Callie," I said in a low voice. "Would you relax?" "I'm trying." "No you're not. How can we enjoy a meal if you're frowning at everything?" "That's a pretty bow tie." "Thank you." My upgraded wardrobe had pleased no one more than Miss Callie. Negroes liked to dress up and were very fashion conscious, she explained to me. She still referred to herself as a Negro. In the wake of the civil rights movement and the complicated issues it had spun, it was difficult to know exactly what to call blacks. The older, more dignified ones like Miss Callie preferred to be called "Negroes." A notch below them on the social ladder were "coloreds." Though I had never heard Miss Callie use the word, it was not uncommon for upper blacks to refer to the lowest of their kind as "niggers." I could not begin to understand the labels and classes, so I adhered strictly to the safety of "blacks." Those on my side of the tracks had an entire dictionary to describe blacks, little of which was endearing. At that moment,...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.

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