Blog Post 9.5: Passages for Friday’s Class

Hi everyone,

Here’s a thread for material for tomorrow’s class:

By class time Friday, you should post in this thread a passage (roughly 2-4 sentences) from the reading for Friday that you find particularly interesting, surprising, inspiring, problematic, or otherwise significant. Remember to cite the page number for your passage.

16 thoughts on “Blog Post 9.5: Passages for Friday’s Class”

  1. “They were accusing us of trespassing upon our own property. We didn’t care actually. We had invented our own texts and slang which are subject to the ridicule of their scholars who nevertheless always seem to want to hang out around us and come to our meetings and poke into our ceremonies. The Charter of the Daughters of the Eastern Star as you know is written in our mystery language which they call slang or dialect” (194).

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  2. “Yes, I want to learn more, pop. I’m thinking about going to New Orleans and Haiti, Brazil and all over the South studying our ancient cultures, our HooDoo cultures.” (206)

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  3. “(If anyone thinks this is ‘mystifying the past’ kindly check out your local bird book and you will find the sacred Ibis’ Ornithological name to be Threskiornis aethiopicus)” page 188

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  4. “People in the 60s said they couldn’t follow him. (In Santa Cruz the students walked out.) What’s your point? They asked in Seattle whose central point, the Space Needle, is invisible from time to time. What are you driving at? They would say in Detroit in the 1950’s. In the 40’s he haunted the stacks of a ghost library. In the 30’s he sought to recover his losses like everybody else. In the 20’s they knew. And the 20’s were back again” (218).

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  5. “Black Herman and LaBas leave with their captives but just before exiting the ‘Queen of Ubangi’s home’ LaBas turns and gazes once again at this gathering which illuminated the florescence of the 20s like sapphire does, a stone sometimes confused with lapis lazuli, turquoise, ad hyacinth but good as protection against spirits which would do us harm;the stone that steadies our nerves and wards off the Evil Eye” (197).

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  6. “I said the words that night when we turned the Plantation Club upside down. I said the words that night when she vanished into thin air hehehehheheheheheheheheheeh. Into thin air, do you hear? She just flew away. Flew away like a delicate, beautiful white bird. A WHITE BIRD, DO YOU HEAR?” (199).

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  7. “He took it upon himself to decide what writing should be viewed by Black people, the people he claimed he loved. I can’t understand. Apparently after Abdul burned the Book, Jes Grew sensed the ashes of its writings, its litany and just withered up and died. Better luck next time” (203).

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  8. “Aha! exclaims the Guianese art critic. That proves that your premise is not based upon sound empirical fact, he says, arching even the British accent. In times of trouble men like you always abandon reason and fall back on Mumbo Jumbo. For this Jes Grew delusion of yours was seeking its Work as you so crudely put it, and you were in possession of The Work then why has it fallen flat on its face? answer that one!” (Reed 195).

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  9. “You see, life will never end; there is really no end to life, if anything goes it will be death. Jes Grew is life. They comfortably share a single horse like 2 knights. They will try to depress Jes Grew but it will only spring back and prosper. We will make our own future text. A future generation of young artists will accomplish this” (204).

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  10. “They will try to depress Jes Grew but it will only spring back and prosper. We will make our own text. A future generation of young artists will accomplish this” (Reed 204).

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  11. “You should have explained to me what that particular rite was all about pop, maybe I would have respected it. How are young people to know these things unless you older 1st tell us what you’ve been through? Sometimes I think we are ashamed of our experience no matter how loudly we proclaim it’s beauty. Each generation are condemned to repeating the errors made by the former.” (Reed, 206)

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  12. “Jes Grew has no end and no beginning. It even precedes that little ball that exploded 1000000000s of years ago and led to what we are now. Jes Grew may even have caused the ball to explode. We will miss it for a while but it will come back, and when it returns we will see that it never left. You see, life will never end; there is really no end to life, if anything goes it will be death. Jes Grew is life.”

    Reed, Ishmael. Mumbo Jumbo: A Novel (p. 204)

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  13. “They comfortably share a single horse like 2 knights. They will try to depress Jes Grew but it will only spring back and prosper. We will make our own text. A future generation of young artists will accomplish this” (Reed 204).

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  14. “O Harlem, great Negro sea of unrest
    Allow me to dip my feet into thy Black
    Waters where chippies swim like sad-Eyed fish
    Engulf me, Harlem. Submerge me in thy watery
    Caberet until one hand surfaces only
    Yass! Yass!

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