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111

Black Fire

American intellectuals and the black radical tradition

(missing author)

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by Jesse McCarthy

? (2018). Black Fire. The Point, 16, pp. 111-120

119

Our tradition impels us and gives us confidence quite simply because our souls look back in wonder; because we are endowed at birth with that special vertigo inherited from our foremothers and fathers; how they got over; how they came through “the blood-stained gate”; how they made a way out of no way; what it cost to be alive; to be unbroken in spirit; to know the value of freedom; to know one another’s beauty in a world ceaselessly mocking and denigrating its dignity; and yes, to laugh like Zora and sharpen our oyster knives: the price of the ticket paid.

A little over a century ago, W. E. B. Du Bois prodded white America: “Your country? How came it yours?” He continued: “Around us the history of the land has centred for thrice a hundred years; out of the nation’s heart we have called all that was best to throttle and subdue all that was worst.” That “we” is a proud black people whose labor and indomitable determination made the very notion of American greatness possible.

pretty

—p.119 missing author 2 years, 3 months ago

Our tradition impels us and gives us confidence quite simply because our souls look back in wonder; because we are endowed at birth with that special vertigo inherited from our foremothers and fathers; how they got over; how they came through “the blood-stained gate”; how they made a way out of no way; what it cost to be alive; to be unbroken in spirit; to know the value of freedom; to know one another’s beauty in a world ceaselessly mocking and denigrating its dignity; and yes, to laugh like Zora and sharpen our oyster knives: the price of the ticket paid.

A little over a century ago, W. E. B. Du Bois prodded white America: “Your country? How came it yours?” He continued: “Around us the history of the land has centred for thrice a hundred years; out of the nation’s heart we have called all that was best to throttle and subdue all that was worst.” That “we” is a proud black people whose labor and indomitable determination made the very notion of American greatness possible.

pretty

—p.119 missing author 2 years, 3 months ago