But though we were born in violence, we did not die there. That such a seemingly hateful word should return as a marker of nationhood and community confounds our very notions of power. “Nigger” is different because it is attached to one of the most vibrant cultures in the Western world. And yet the culture is inextricably linked to the violence that birthed us. “Nigger” is the border, the signpost that reminds us that the old crimes don’t disappear. It tells white people that, for all their guns and all their gold, there will always be places they can never go.
I would say that my mother is the single biggest role model in my life, but that term doesn’t seem to encompass enough when I use it about her. She was the love of my life.
[O]ne of my dearest friends, a Negro writer now living in Spain, circled around me and I around him for months before we spoke. One Negro meeting another at an all-white cocktail party… cannot but wonder how the other got there. The question is: Is he for real? or is he kissing ass?… Negroes know about each other what can here be called family secrets, and this means that one Negro, if he wishes, can “knock” the other’s “hustle”—can give his game away… Therefore, one “exceptional” Negro watches another “exceptional” Negro in order to find out if he knows how vastly successful and bitterly funny the hoax has been. Alliances, in the great cocktail party of the white man’s world, are formed, almost purely, on this basis, for if both of you can laugh, you have a lot to laugh about. On the other hand, if only one of you can laugh, one of you, inevitably, is laughing at the other.
People love GTA because it’s a game that theoretically lets you do anything. But when it comes to human connection, the game’s strict. You can’t sleep with another player, or kiss them, or cook something for them. There are the people you murder and the people you choose not to.
they appreciated the help of women less than the help of men–it turned out that people felt entitled to female help.
Ostmark and tattletale gray. Creese, cranch, and cramoisie. Probang and prolan. Octandrious. Complement-fixation test. What do these words have in common? They have recently been removed from dictionaries.
cheat meaning “to be sexually unfaithful to (one’s spouse)” doesn’t get its earliest citation until 1934—around the time it also starts to appear in popular song lyrics—as seen in John O’Hara’s Appointment in Samarra (“A woman married a louse that beat her and cheated on her”).