"But I can’t milk a cow, ma’am," I said.
"Where are you from?" she asked incredulously.
"Here in Jackson," I said.
"You mean to stand there, nigger, and tell me that you live in Jackson and don’t know how to milk a cow?" she demanded in surprise. (1.6.45)
"Why don’t you laugh and talk like the other niggers?" he asked.
"Well, sir, there’s nothing much to say or smile about," I said, smiling.
His face was hard, baffled; I knew that I had not convinced him. He whirled from me and went to the front of the store; he came back a moment later, his face red. He tossed a few green bills at me.
"I don’t like your looks, nigger. Now, get!" he snapped. (1.9.51)
Had a black boy announced that he aspired to be a writer, he would have been unhesitatingly called crazy by his pals. Or had a black boy spoken of yearning to get a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, his friends--in the boy’s own interest--would have reported his odd ambition to the white boss. (1.10.23)