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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Living Under Segregation

From The Souls Of Black Folk By W.E.B. Du Bois

Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt, and lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows. (p.38)

Within the Veil was he born, said I; and there within shall he live,-a Negro and a Negro's son. Holding in that little head-ah, bitterly!-the unbowed pride of a hunted race, clinging with that tiny dimpled hand-ah, wearily!-to a hope not hopeless but unhopeful, and seeing with those bright wondering eyes that peer into my soul a land whose freedom is to us a mockery and whose liberty a lie. I saw the shadow of the Veil as it passed over my baby, I saw the cold city towering above the blood-red land. I held my face beside his little cheek, showed him the star-children and the twinkling lights as they began to flash, and stilled with an even-song the unvoiced terror of my life. (p. 160)

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