Someoccurrences which stop us dead as though by some

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some…occurrences which stop us dead as though by some impalpable intervention, like a sheet of glass through which we watch all subsequent events transpire as though in a soundless vacuum ” (122). “And your grandfather did not know either just which of them it was who told him that he was, must be, a negro, who could neither have heard yet nor recognised the term ‘nigger,’ who even had no word for it in the tongue he knew who had been born and grown up in a padded silken vacuum cell where pigmentation had no more moral value than the silk walls ” (161)
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“At this time, while our country is struggling to rise from beneath the iron heel of a tyrant oppressor, when the very future of the South as a place bearable for our women and children to live in depends on the labor of our own hands, when the tools which we have to use, to depend on, are the pride and integrity and forbearance of black men and the pride and integrity and forbearance of white; that you, I say, a white man, a white—’…he looking at the prisoner now but saying ‘white’ again even while his voice died away as if the order to stop the voice had been shocked into short circuit, and every face in the room turned toward the prisoner as Hamblett cried, What are you? Who and where did you come from? ” (165).
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He could even seem to see them: the torch-disturbed darkness among trees, the fierce hysterical faces of the white men , the balloon face of the nigger. Maybe the nigger’s hands would be tied or held but that would be all right because they were not the hands with which the balloon face would struggle and writhe for freedom, not the balloon face : it was just posed among them, levitative and slick with paper-thin distension. Then someone would strike the balloon one single desperate and despairing blow and then he would seem to see them fleeing, running, with all about them, overtaking them and passing and going on and then returning to overwhelm them again, the roaring waves of mellow laughter meaningless and terrifying and loud. And now he stood there before that white door with the monkey nigger barring it and looking down at him…who had never thought about his own hair or clothes or anybody else’s hair or clothes until he saw that monkey nigger…even before he had had time to say what he came for, [the slave told him] never to come to that front door again but to go around to the back” (187-188)
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BLACKFACE MINSTRELSY
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He could even seem to see them: the torch-disturbed darkness among trees, the fierce hysterical faces of the white men, the balloon face of the nigger. Maybe the nigger’s hands would be tied or held but that would be all right because they were not the hands with which the balloon face would struggle and
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  • Spring '14
  • BHAUMIK,SM
  • Negro, Africanize America

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