Foreignness and the 'Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"A few weeks ago, Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote to Reverend Allen asking for help."
"Reverend Allen from the Free African Society?"
"The same. The doctors thought us Africans couldn't get yellow fever. Rev. Allen said this was a chance for black people to show we are every bit as good and important and useful as white people. The Society organized folks to visit the sick, to care for them and bury them if they died." (22.53-22.55)
Dr. Rush thinks black people cannot be stricken with yellow fever. What role did the Free African Society play in the care of fever victims?
"After a few weeks of nursing the sick and burying the dead, our own people started to sicken. Black people can get sick with yellow fever just like white people or Indians. I do know some who have never been sick, but there are white people who can say the same thing." (22.62)
Eliza talks about the experience of learning that blacks can fall ill just like others can. How do you think this made her feel?
The sailors babbled in their own languages, afraid to die on the wrong side of the ocean in a world far away from people who knew their names. The vinegar-soaked cloth tied around my nose could not shield me from the stench of the dying men who baked in the old house. (24.5)
Again we – and Matilda – see that though people are of different cultures, death strikes them all.