I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
How we cite our quotes:
This might be the end of the world. If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help. It would all be true, the accusations that we were lower types of human beings. (19.17)
Talk about blowing things out of proportion. If one black boxer loses one fight, it's the end of the world? Yikes. But that's what it feels like for Maya and her community—that's how desperate things are for black people in the South.
The white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madame Curies and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys (the girls weren't even in on it) would try to be Jesse Owenses and Joe Louises. (23.40)
Mr. Donleavy sees the world in black and white (pun intended). In his mind, black kids are destined for sports stardom. Guess what, Mr. D? Not every tall black kid is going to be the next Michael Jordan. We need more George Washington Carvers and Jean Michel Basquaits (and of course, Maya Angelous) in the world, but these future heroes need help and support to grow, just like Edison and Gauguin did.
It seemed terribly unfair to have a toothache and a headache and have to bear at the same time the heavy burden of Blackness. (24.9)
And you thought going to the dentist was a pain in the tooth on its own? Throw racism into the mix and things get much more complicated. Even something as basic as sufficient medical care is impossible to ensure in the racist South.