Thursday, March 4, 2021

the last book I ever read A Rage in Harlem: A Harlem Detectives Novel by Chester Himes, excerpt four)

from A Rage in Harlem (Harlem Detectives Series Book 1) by Chester Himes:

The blankets had sailed over the kerosene stove and were beginning to sizzle with the smell of burning wool and cotton.

The brothers threshed about the floor, grunting like two hungry cannibals fighting over the missing ribs. Finally Goldy got his foot in Jackson’s belly and gave a shove, separating them.



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

the last book I ever read A Rage in Harlem: A Harlem Detectives Novel by Chester Himes, excerpt three)

from A Rage in Harlem (Harlem Detectives Series Book 1) by Chester Himes:

Goldy lived with two other men on the Golden Ridge of Convent Avenue, north of City College and 140th Street. They had the ground floor of a brownstone private house that had been cut up into apartments.

All three impersonated females and lived by their wits. All were fat and black, which made it easy.



Tuesday, March 2, 2021

the last book I ever read A Rage in Harlem: A Harlem Detectives Novel by Chester Himes, excerpt two)

from A Rage in Harlem (Harlem Detectives Series Book 1) by Chester Himes:

Seventh Avenue and 125th Street is the center of Harlem, the crossroads of Black America. On one corner was the largest hotel. Diagonally across from it was a big credit jewelry store with its windows filled with diamonds and watches selling for so much down and so much weekly. Next door was a book store with a big red-and-yellow sign reading: Books of 6,000,000 Colored People. On the other corner was a mission church.

The people of Harlem take their religion seriously. If Goldy had taken off in a flaming chariot and galloped straight to heaven, they would have believed it – the godly and the sinners alike.



Monday, March 1, 2021

the last book I ever read A Rage in Harlem: A Harlem Detectives Novel by Chester Himes, excerpt one)

from A Rage in Harlem (Harlem Detectives Series Book 1) by Chester Himes:

“Now I make you a rich man, Jackson.”

“Thank the Lord. Amen,” Jackson said, crossing himself.

He wasn’t a Catholic. He was a Baptist, a member of the First Baptist Church of Harlem. But he was a very religious young man. Whenever he was troubled he crossed himself just to be on the safe side.



Sunday, February 28, 2021

the last book I ever read (Native Son by Richard Wright, excerpt fourteen)

from Native Son by Richard Wright:

“I’m glad I got to know you before I go!” he said with almost a shout; then was silent, for that was not what he had wanted to say.



Saturday, February 27, 2021

the last book I ever read (Native Son by Richard Wright, excerpt thirteen)

from Native Son by Richard Wright:

“Look, Your Honor. Even in this court room, even here today, Negro and white are separated. See those Negroes sitting together, behind that railing? No one told them to sit there. They sat there because they knew that we did not want them on the same bench with us.

“Multiply Bigger Thomas twelve million times, allowing for environmental and temperamental variations, and for those Negroes who are completely under the influence of the church, and you have the psychology of the Negro people. But once you see them as a whole, once your eyes leave the individual and encompass the mass, a new quality comes into the picture. Taken collectively, they are not simply twelve million people; in reality they constitute a separate nation, stunted, stripped, and held captive within this nation, devoid of political, social, economic, and property rights.



Friday, February 26, 2021

the last book I ever read (Native Son by Richard Wright, excerpt twelve)

from Native Son by Richard Wright:

Never again did he want to feel anything like hope. That was what was wrong; he had let that preacher talk to him until somewhere in him he had begun to feel that maybe something could happen. Well, something had happened: the cross the preacher had hung round his throat had been burned in front of his eyes.

When his hysteria had passed, he got up from the floor. Through blurred eyes he saw men peering at him from the bars of other cells. He heard a low murmur of voices and in the same instant his consciousness recorded without bitterness—like a man stepping out of his house to go to work and noticing that the sun is shining—the fact that even here in the Cook County Jail Negro and white segregated into different cell-blocks. He lay on the cot with closed eyes and the darkness soothed him some. Occasionally his muscles twitched from the hard storm of passion that had swept him. A small hard core in him resolved never again to trust anybody or anything. Not even Jan. Or Max. They were all right, maybe; but whatever he thought or did from now on would have to come from him and him alone, or not at all. He wanted no more crosses that might turn to fire while still on his chest.