My ball of twine got bigger and bigger till there was a small light, far off in the distance. We all jumped up and ran across the street to the train depot. There was a flash of copper as the golden eagle on the top of the huge locomotive flew out of the night sky. The whistle howled, white steam poured out of the engine and the train came to a slow stop in front of the station.
A few local men who worked in Tuscaloosa got off first. Next, a couple of townspeople who had been visiting relatives climbed down the steps. Finally, a thin girl nobody knew appeared in the doorway of the train.
The girl looked about my age and wore a fancy navy dress. Her hair was carefully combed and pulled back into a neat braid, tied with a red ribbon. She clutched a small suitcase of smooth leather. She was also colored.
Excerpted from The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine. Copyright © 2009 by Kristin Levine. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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