Sunday, May 12, 2024

the last book I ever read (A Hall of Mirrors by Robert Stone, excerpt seven)

from A Hall of Mirrors by Robert Stone:

In Shreveport, the local newspaper announced its sponsorship of a quick-draw contest with cap pistols as a feature of the annual rodeo; the contest open to all white adults.

There followed a digest of the week’s segregation protests including a number of militant statements by Negro leaders that was marked for attention by Southern subscribers. People were being locked up in McComb and Jackson; there was a march in Birmingham, a boycott in Montgomery, a little street rough stuff in Memphis and New Bern, North Carolina. In Mobile, a Baptist minister pointed out that it was legally impossible for a colored man to get his feet wet in the Gulf of Mexico for some six hundred miles, unless he contrived to fall off a shrimp boat. A Negro citizen of Biloxi then horrified weekend bathers by darting past desperate policemen and immersing himself to the neck – the beach was closed. The subsequent evening by the moonlight was punctuated with exchanges of small arms fire on the edge of the Negro district.

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