Saturday, July 16, 2016

the last book I ever read (Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney, excerpt eight)

from Black Deutschland: A Novel by Darryl Pinckney:

We heard her cry out. She bumped into Dad as he ran down to her. They panted back up together and turned on the television. Reporters stood in the rain in front of Northwestern Memorial. The tears were already coming down for Chicago’s first black mayor. A press spokesman was saying that Harold Washington had been pronounced dead. He’d had a heart attack at his desk that morning. The phone rang again. Dad pressed Mom into a chair and went to answer.

I’d grown up seeing Mom wipe her face in front of the television, or while she was on the phone, or over a tissue-thin newspaper or a blue letter that folded back up to be its own envelope. In my memory, my dad is in the kitchen, pouring her a glass of water, trying to think of something else to do for her, brought low by news of another assassination, in Jackson, in Birmingham, in Dallas, in New York City, in Memphis, in Orangeburg, in Los Angeles, in Kent, in Munich, in Beirut, in Port Elizabeth, or blocks away, over on troubled Madison Street.

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