“Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.” Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. “You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?”
All my life I’d been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine’s thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Howell Raines’s Pulitzer Prize–winning article, “Grady’s Gift”: There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation. For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism.