Wednesday, August 26, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Street by Ann Petry, excerpt ten)

from The Street by Ann Petry:

“You know a good-looking girl like you shouldn’t have to worry about money,” he said softly. She didn’t say anything and he continued, “In fact, if you and me can get together a couple nights a week in Harlem, those lessons won’t cost you a cent. No sir, not a cent.”

Yes, she thought, if you were born black and not too ugly, this is what you get, this is what you find. It was a pity he hadn’t lived back in the days of slavery, so he could have raided the slave quarters for a likely wench any hour of the day or night. This is the superior race, she said to herself, take a good long look at him: black, oily hair; slack, gross body; grease spots on his vest; wrinkled shirt collar; cigar ashes on his suit; small pig eyes engulfed in the fat of his face.

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