Sometimes, though, Pappy grew impatient waiting for the love
of learning to take root in me. I dont understand, hed say in moments
of frustration, how you can keep walking past all these
books and never stop to pick up a single one of them. My people
told me not to readdont you know what I would have done to
have all this? Dont you ever get curious, son? These were simple,
honest questions that sometimes he put to me with a shake of
the head and wry smile. Sometimes, though, he didnt smile at all.
In these latter moments, the look on his face was nothing like
anger and something like paina sort of deep, serious pain I have
only seen replicated in pictures of black faces of a certain age and
demographic. It was a pain that I knew I couldnt have caused but
somehow must have mistakenly activated. I would stand there
looking at him, frozen, like a deer suspended in halogen beams,
and stammer some weak response.
That particular afternoon after my visit to the barbershop,
Pappy let drop the subject of my rectangular head of hair and
handed me my work for the day. There was no long talk and no
sadness in his face that afternoon. Memory exercises and then
vocabulary, both synonyms and antonyms, he said. Write them all
out on flashcards and then come see me.
OK, Babe, I said, and went to my room carrying a pale green
tachistoscope, a stack of SAT and GRE word lists, and a thick
Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary, glad to have dodged a confrontation. After a morning spent at the barbershop, submerged in Black Entertainment Television, speaking and thinking in my florid second tongueEbonicsit was time now to return to the
staid and familiar language of my father.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...