“Blacks should be used to play whites. For centuries, we had probed their faces, the angles of their bodies, the sounds of their voices, and even their odors. Often our survival had depended on the accurate reading of a white man’s chuckle, or the disdainful wave of a white woman’s hand.”
The Heart of a Woman, ch. 12 (1981)
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.