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Drylongso : Self Portrait of Black America - John Langston Gwaltney


Self Portrait of Black America

Paperback Published: 1st April 1993
ISBN: 9781565840805
Number Of Pages: 320

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This book offers a candid revelation of the ideas, values, and attitudes that inform "drylongso" or ordinary black life in America. In writing this book the author, anthropologist, folklorist and humanist, went in search of "Core Black People" - the ordinary men and women who make up black America and asked them to define their culture. Their responses, recorded in this book are to American oral history what blues and jazz are to American music. This book won the first Association Anthropologists Publication Award.

Industry Reviews

"Powerful, eloquent, and--I hope--disturbing." —Studs Terkel "This book is terrifying and illuminating. Not since the nineteenth-century slave narratives have so many black Americans told such truths to white America." —Maya Angelou "Powerful, eloquent, and I hope disturbing." —Studs Terkel "This book is terrifying and illuminating. Not since the nineteenth-century slave narratives have so many black Americans told such truths to white America." —Maya Angelou"

Introduction: "I think this anthropology is just another way to call me a nigger."
A Nation Within a Nation
"Black men have no country, but they are a country in their hearts."
"We are a nation primarily because we think we are a nation."p. 3
"Sometimes I wonder if there are any other Americans besides us."p. 10
"That man has got his country and we are our country."p. 14
The Legacy of Slavery
"I'm not saying 'Yessir' to no damn cracker."
"When you don't know when you have been spit on, it does not matter too much what else you think you know."p. 27
"In many ways I was more of a slave than most of my black ancestors."p. 39
"Many people say our people are unpredictable."p. 51
"There is nothing on this earth as low and lazy and cowardly as a cracker."p. 59
"I am a hard woman because I have had a hard time out here."p. 64
The Many Shades of Black
"Too many blackfolks are fools about color and hair."
"He looks as white as any white person, but you'd better not tell him that unless you are ready to go to war."p. 73
"One reason the whole thing is so hard to deal with is that nobody really talks about it."p. 76
"It's sex and color that present the most difficulty, right?"p. 83
"I don't trust anybody who would deny their color like that."p. 87
"I think that is rotten of them to lie to a blind man like that!"p. 91
The Mojo and the Sayso
"The business of white men is to rule."
"The white man must pretend to know more than he does, but we must always show less than we know."p. 95
"Whitefolks are how folks and blackfolks are what folks."p. 102
"The biggest difference between us and white people is that we know when we are playing."p. 105
"There are two kinds of whitefolks. A few live like they want to and the rest try to live like their big boss leaders."p. 109
"The power to do one thing is never the power to do all things."p. 114
The Welfare Siege
"You cannot walk the streets without running into something bad."
"We need to get up, not just get over."p. 121
"These whitefolks is evermore giving people things they cannot use or do not want."p. 127
"I thank God that I don't need anything from the white man."p. 130
"You can't just take anything this man hands out, because he has a hundred different kinds of chains."p. 132
"You push enough for the white man and you get a Cadillac out of his small change."p. 134
Sex and Work
"Hard work don't have a thing between its legs."
"When you lose control of your body, you have just about lost all you have in this world!"p. 143
"One thing about Cal'donia, if she don't want you, you are out of luck because that thing between her legs is hers and hers alone."p. 157
"He was a man and I was a woman, so we didn't neither of us have to raise the other."p. 166
"I can handle black men; what I can't handle is this prejudice."p. 170
"I'm twenty-four, but sometimes I feel much older because the things I believe in are the old ways."
"Christ warned us by his life and death, so who am I that I should not warn my daughter by my life?"p. 179
"If you teach your children to be fair and honest only some of the time and only to some people, you are really telling them that the truth is unimportant."p. 183
"I feel like something heavy just rolled off my chest."p. 188
"In high school they told me that it was the wonderful world of work and my father told me, 'Shug, it's a bitch out there.'"p. 190
"A junkie generally has to mess up the people he can - that means his mother or his sisters or his brothers."p. 194
"My daughter listens to me sometimes, but I listened to my mother all the time."p. 200
"Now, how is having a lot of fatherless children for the white man to half support going to help us?"p. 204
"I always wanted my mother to be proud of me, but I never really turned out to be nothin'."p. 206
More Than Mere Survival
"You got to live it the best you know how."
"All these doctors want to do is cut you or starve you."p. 219
"Right now, every day is just something you got to get through."p. 223
"I'm no respecter of churches in the same way that the Lord is no respecter of persons."p. 227
"God is the baddest ass in the firmament!"p. 230
"Some people are the horse shit of the earth."p. 236
"A faithful person means more than anything else in the world!"p. 256
"I have learned to stop feeling sorry for myself, I think."p. 267
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781565840805
ISBN-10: 1565840801
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st April 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.88 x 13.84  x 2.24
Weight (kg): 0.37
Edition Number: 1