Different Kinds

My daddy wanted me to be a farmer; feel the smoothness of

My daddy wanted me to be a farmer; feel the smoothness of Alabama clay and become one of the first blacks in my town to own land. But, I was worried about my history being caked with that southern clay, and I subscribed to a different kind of teaching and learning in my bones and in my spirit.

I’m pretty horrible at relationships and haven’t been in

I’m pretty horrible at relationships and haven’t been in many long-term ones. Leaving and moving on – returning to a familiar sense of self-reliance and autonomy – is what I know; that feeling is as comfortable and comforting as it might be for a different kind of person to stay.

I tell my students, it’s not difficult to identify with

I tell my students, it’s not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What’s more difficult is to identify with someone you don’t see, who’s very far away, who’s a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders.

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