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Contributor: Anonymous

?Genet had been right at least about one thing. 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 odours. 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. Whites on the other hand, always knew that no serious penalty threatened them if they misunderstood Blacks. Whites were safely isolated from our concerns. When they chose, they could lift the racial curtain that separated us. They could indulge in sexual escapades, increase our families with mulattoe bastards, make fortunes out of our music and eunuchs out of our men, then in seconds they could step away, and return unscarred to their pristine security. The cliche of whites being ignorant of Blacks was not only true, but understandable. Oh, but we knew them with the intimacy of the surgeon?s scalpel.?

The heart of a woman
by Maya Angelou
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