"And that bombed house was a wonderful place for us kids. Of course, under penalty of death, we were not to play there."
"A wonderful place?" I said, dumbly, leaning forward to study her face. Surely, she was kidding.
"Oh, it was Heaven!" she said, dreamily. "We found the whitest chalk there. And books that had refused to burn. And cut crystals from the chandeliers that had crashed . . ."
I must have looked utterly dumbfounded, because she laughed.
"And sometimes even canned food. I thought it was all perfectly normal. Until your dad came along. And what he brought, shook me to the bone."
Copyright Ursula Mandel 2001. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint this excerpt please contact http://www.ursulamandel.com
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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