The Ways of White Folks: Stories (Vintage Classics)
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In these acrid and poignant stories, Hughes depicted black people colliding--sometimes humorously, more often tragically--with whites in the 1920s and '30s.
“Good evening, Miss Reese,” and was glad to see her. Forgetting he wasn’t in Europe, he took off his hat and his gloves, and held out his hand to this lady who understood music. They smiled at each other, the sick young colored man and the aging music teacher in the light of the main street. Then she asked him if he was still working on the Sarasate. “Yes,” Roy said. “It’s lovely.” “And have you heard that marvellous Heifetz record of it?” Miss Reese inquired. Roy opened his mouth to reply
All the attendants were French—maids, butlers, and pages. Lesche’s two assistants were a healthy and hard young woman, to whom he had once been married, a Hollywood Swede with Jean Harlow hair; and a young Yale man who hadn’t graduated, but who read Ronald Firbank seriously, adored Louis Armstrong, worshipped Dwight Fisk, and had written Lesche’s five hundred personal letters in a seven-lively-arts Gilbert Seldes style. Sol, of course, handled the money, with a staff of secretaries, bookkeepers,
London,” said Claudina, noting his New England accent and confusing it with Mayfair. “But your face says Alabama.” “Oh, I’m colored all right,” said Arnie, happy to be recognized by one of his own. “And I’m glad to know you.” “Having a good time?” asked Claudina, as the elevator came. “No,” Arnie said, suddenly truthful. “I don’t know anybody.” “Jesus!” said Claudina, sincerely. “That’s a shame. A lot of boys and girls are always gathering in my place. Knock on the door some time. I can’t see
this here place,” Milberry said to himself. “Funny how the food ain’t nearly so good ’cept when some ma or pa or some chile is visitin’ here—then when they gone, it drops right back down again. This here hang-out is jest Doc Renfield’s own private gyp game. Po’ little children.” The Negro was right. The Summer Home was run for profits from the care of permanently deformed children of middle class parents who couldn’t afford to pay too much, but who still paid well—too well for what their
Cora for their son. The gun had been put away. At least Cora did not see it. “I want to talk to that boy,” the Colonel said. “Fetch him here.” Damned young fool … bastard … of a nigger.… “What’s he gonna do to my boy?” Cora thought. “Son, be careful,” as she went across the yard and down toward Willie’s cabin to find Bert. “Son, you be careful. I didn’t bear you for no white man to kill. Son, you be careful. You ain’t white, don’t you know that? You be careful. O, Lord God Jesus in heaven! Son,