Thursday, February 16, 2012

To be Young, Gifted, and Black by Lorraine Hanserry

"For some time now- I think since I was a child- I have been possessed of the desire to put down the stuff of my life." -Hansberry

Wandered through the Inle Lake market... which occurs every 5th day in the little village.
"I shall set down in these pages what shall seem to me to be the truth of my life and essences... which are to be found, first of all, on the Southside of Chicago, where I was born..." -Hansberry

I had been thinking about Lorraine Hansberry, I know...why you ask?  Because she died so young and she knew the value of people watching.
"All travelers to my city should ride the elevated trains that race along the back ways of Chicago. The lives you can look into!" -Hansberry

Hansberry is the author of A Raisin in the Sun.
"My people are poor. And they are tired. And they are determined to live." -Hansberry

A Southside of Chicago poet, she was taken early from cancer.
"Life was not a struggle- it was something that one did." -Hansberry

I lost someone recently to cancer, someone I hadn't talked to in years and only reconnected recently with.
"One drew in all one's breath and tightened one's fist and pulled hte small body against the heavens, stretching, straining all the muscles in the legs to make- one giant step." -Hansberry

In the end, that's what we all want, more time... to do the little things, like people watch.
"Evenings were spent mainly on the back porches where screen doors slammed in the darkness..." -Hansberry

Today walking around the Inle Lake Market, I wonder what my friend would have noticed.
"Daddy would like on his back, as fathers must, and explain about how men thought the stars above us came to be and how far away they were." -Hansberry

Would they have seen the same things I saw, felt, tasted, touched.
"The man that I remember was an educated soul, though I think now, looking back..." -Hansberry

Or would it all have been a blur with the excitement of a second chance?
"I know nothing of the 'assurance of kings' and will not use that metaphor on account of it." -Hansberry

I like second chances...sure, who doesn't?
"And he carried his head in such a way that I was quite certain that there was nothing he was afraid of." -Hansberry

Thinking about my friends today, long ago we knew one another... where have you all gone?
"My father, like all men, must have known fear." -Hansberry

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