Theme for English B

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  • The instructor said, Go home and write a page tonight. And let that page come out of you--- Then, it will be true. I wonder if it's that simple?
  • I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem. I went to school there, then Durham, then here to this college on the hill above Harlem. I am the only colored student in my class. The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas, Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y, the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator up to my room, sit down, and write this page:
  • It's not easy to know what is true for you or me at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you: hear you, hear me---we two---you, me, talk on this page. (I hear New York too.) Me---who? Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love. I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
  • I like a pipe for a Christmas present, or records---Bessie, bop, or Bach. I guess being colored doesn't make me NOT like the same things other folks like who are other races. So will my page be colored that I write? Being me, it will not be white.
  • But it will be a part of you, instructor. You are white--- yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. That's American. Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me. Nor do I often want to be a part of you. But we are, that's true!
  • As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me--- although you're older---and white--- and somewhat more free. This is my page for English B.
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