Song of Solomon
How we cite our quotes:
That his intentions were honorable and that he himself was certainly worthy of the doctor’s consideration as a gentleman friend for Miss Foster since, at twenty-five, he was already a colored man of property. (1.1.23)
Dr. Foster’s renown in the black community isolates both him and his daughter from the community itself. The fact that he becomes the first black doctor in the city is a huge point of pride and celebration for the community, but Dr. Foster is not interested in maintaining a connection to this community. As such, Dr. Foster and Ruth Foster become a kind of malnourished, isolated aristocracy, completely disconnected from the world of Not Doctor Street. It is interesting, then, that Macon Dead, a man who began his life on Lincoln’s Heaven in a world so very different from Not Doctor Street, wants to join this afflicted aristocracy. It is also interesting that the novel never lets us see how Macon Dead is able to amass his wealth by the age of 25. In any case, "success" (as defined by the materialistic white society that dominates) seems to entail isolation for a black person in America at this time.
"Who’s going to live in them? There’s no colored people who can afford to have two houses," Lena said. (1.2.33)
Here again we see how racism systematically affects American society, such that poverty runs rampant among the black community.
But they put the picture of the man who won second prize in. He won a war bond. He was white. (1.2.46)
Sears is a name we still recognize today. Because of the color of her skin, Reba is denied the celebration honestly earned by being the 500,000th person to walk through the Sears doors. Here we see how racism can result in the bending of rules, how there is no such thing as fair or just.