Resurrection in the Southside [sayings]

posted by Robert Bland (Intern, The Liberator Magazine)

“I had bought a map, and I followed Martin Luther King Drive from its northernmost to its southernmost point, then went back up Cottage Grove, down byways and alleys, past the apartment buildings and vacant lots, convenience stores and bungalow homes. And as I drove, I remembered. I remembered the whistle of the Illinois Central bearing the weight of the thousands who had come up from the South so many years before; the black men and women and children, dirty from the soot of the railcars, clutching their makeshift luggage, all making their way to Canaan Land. I imagined Frank in a baggy suit and wide lapels, standing in front of the old Regal Theatre, waiting to see Duke or Ella emerge from a gig. The mailman I saw was Richard Wright, delivering mail before his first book sold; the little girl with the glasses and pigtails was Regina, skipping rope. I made a chain between my life and the faces I saw, borrowing other people’s memories. In this way I tried to take possession of the city, make it my own. Yet another sort of magic.”
-Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)