Cuando una mujer encuentra un libro (XIII) Maya

"Once he heard how Mr. Coley Washington had a girl from Lewisville staying in his house. I didn't think it was so bad, but Bailey explained that Mr. Washington was probably "doing it" to her. He said that although "it" was bad just about everybody in the world did it to somebody, but no one else was supposed to know that."

"Whatever was given by Black people to other Blacks was most probably needed as desperately by the donor as by the receiver. A fact which made the giving or receiving a rich exchange."

"I couldn't decide on any move, so I recited a few Bible verses, and went home."

"[...] more correctly, she spoke each word with such clarity that I was certain a foreigner who didn't understand english could have understood her. [...] words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning. "

"[...] She said, always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and even more educated and even more intelligent than college professors."

"It was the best of times and the worst of times...
Her voice slid in and curved down through and over the words. She was nearly singing. I wanted to look at the pages. Where they the same that I had read? Or where there notes, music, lined on the pages, as in an hymn book? Her sounds began cascading gently. I knew from listening to a thousand preachers that she was nearing the end of her reading, and I hadn't really heard, heard to understand, a single word."

"I decided I wouldn't pee on her if her heart was on fire."

"I liked her for being able to fall in the sky and admit it"

"The allegiances I owed at this time in my life would have made very strange bedfellows: Momma with her solemn determination, Mrs. Flowers and her books, Bailey with his love, my mother and her gaiety, Miss Kirwin and her information, my evening classes of drama and dance."

"The miserable little encounter had nothing to do with me, the me of me, any more than it had to do with that silly clerk. The incident was a recurring dream, concocted years before by stupid whites and it eternally came back to hunt us all. The secretary and I were like Hamlet and Laertes in the final scene, where, because of harm done by one ancestor to another, we were bound to duel to the death. Also because the play must end somewhere. I went further than forgiving the clerk, I accepted her as a fellow victim of the same puppeteer."

"The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power."

"Had I been older I might have thought that I was moved by both an esthetic sense of beauty and the pure emotion of envy. But those possibilities did not occur to me when I needed them. All I knew was that I had been moved by looking at a woman's breasts. So all the calm and casual words of Mother's explanation a few weeks earlier and the clinical terms of Noah webster did not alter the fact that in a fundamental way there was something queer about me."