6716 Slices
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3. Taj Malabar Hotel, 2005

Anand Pandian Indiana University Press ePub

Ayya is surrounded by six of his children, most of his daughters-in-law, many of his grandchildren. We’ve come from Madurai, Chennai, Bangalore, Los Angeles, Sunnyvale, Columbus, Vancouver, a family dispersed through the Indo-Anglo-American world, a world brought into being by the colonial powers my grandfather was taught to venerate.

The hotel is opulent, catering to the expectations of overseas Indians. On the table are the remains of a lavish buffet. Ayya’s fingers rest lightly on the edge of a half-eaten plate of yogurt rice. His cheeks are still scarred, darkened, by a recent battle with mouth cancer. He’s learning how to eat once again, now that he can’t wear his dentures at all.

What Ayya says without his teeth is sometimes difficult to understand. But when he does speak, everyone leans in quietly. His words about his struggles seem to give substance and presence to the story of his life. It’s as though we can all see it, Ayya’s story, as though it’s something apart from him, something with a life of its own, lingering in the open space between us, wringing out feelings from each of these faces.

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3. The Struggle for Dignity: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Texas by Cary D. Wintz

Edited by John W. Storey and Mary L. Kelley University of North Texas Press ePub

The Struggle for Dignity

African Americans in Twentieth-Century Texas

Cary D. Wintz

As Texas entered the twenty-first century, the state’s African Americans were, by most measures, more prosperous and secure in their rights than at any time in their history. By no means had prejudice, discrimination, and racial violence disappeared, and African Americans continued to lag behind the white majority in most social and economic measures. Even so, the twentieth century had witnessed a radical change in the role and the status of blacks in the Lone Star State, though falling short perhaps of expectations. African Americans in Texas and across the nation had greeted the arrival of the twentieth century with great hope. There was talk of a “New Negro” for the new century, a concept that Booker T. Washington celebrated in a book by that title and W. E. B. Du Bois made the theme of his classic work, The Souls of Black Folk. Unfortunately, the reality of race relations at the dawn of the century did not justify such hope. Racial violence was on the increase as lynching and race riots became far too common in Texas and other parts of the country. The new century also brought renewed efforts to impose segregation on most aspects of public and private life, while political “reforms” denied blacks any meaningful political power. For African Americans in Texas, the twentieth century would be the era of their struggle for dignity against racism, oppression, and Jim Crow.1

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Author’s Note and Acknowledgments

Edited and Annotated by Charles M. Robinson III University of North Texas Press PDF

Author’s Note and Acknowledgments

Three years have passed since the publication of Volume 4, and no doubt some have wondered whether I had become overwhelmed and given up. The fact is that this has been the most difficult volume so far, for two reasons. First was the Bourke material itself. In large sections, the ink had faded until it was barely legible. In transcribing the pages, I had to read them over and over, usually with a lighted magnifier. This is particularly true of the entire manuscript volume dealing with the Lakota Sun Dance. Also, Bourke’s handwriting, never terribly legible, had become, by this time, cramped and spidery. The manuscripts were transcribed with great difficulty, with work time often cut short by burning eyes and blinding headaches.

The other reason was that the removal of my right lung five years ago left me in a great deal of pain along the line of incision on my back. Although this is now being handled by pain management, sitting for any extended period is very difficult. Even so, the project continued, although at a very slow pace, and this volume is the result.

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Prologue: The Omen

Thomas Goodrich Indiana University Press ePub

THOSE WHO WITNESSED THE PHENOMENON that day would never forget it. The sight was so sudden and unexpected that most could only look to the sky, then to their neighbors, then shake their heads in stony disbelief. Some, those of a religious strain, stared in awe and considered what they were witnessing as nothing short of a heavenly message sent from on high. Others in the throng, those earthbound souls less prone to flights of fancy, nevertheless viewed the event as utterly amazing. Whichever the persuasion, whoever the viewer, no one in the crowd that day would ever forget what they beheld at noon, Saturday, March 4, in the year of their Lord 1865.

The day was all the more remarkable because it had such an evil onset. The sun did not smile down on Washington that morning. At 6 A.M., following a week of nearly uninterrupted gray and gloom, a furious storm burst upon the nation’s capital from the south.1 Although the blast—which uprooted trees and toppled outbuildings—ended in only a matter of minutes, torrential rain soon followed in its wake.2 When the deluge eased around nine that morning, it seemed to many as if the worst had passed. A short time later, though, as thousands of elegantly dressed men and women ventured cautiously up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol, again the rain came.3

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“Texans on the Road: The Folklore of Travel”

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF

TEXANS ON THE ROAD:

THE FOLKLORE OF TRAVEL by Jim Harris

If the interior world of our minds reflects the exterior world in which we live, the American mind must look like a road map. Or better yet, if we could peer into the national mind, it would look like a road. It would be Interstate Highway 95 from Maine to

Florida along the East Coast. Or it would be Highway 101 from

Oregon to California along the West Coast. Or still better, it would be Route 66, the mother of all American roads—in the twentieth century anyway.

In 2001, Route 66 was seventy-five years old, although as everyone knows, the fabled artery has been plowed up, paved over, and renamed in recent decades. That didn’t stop people from remembering Route 66 in 2003, when the Smithsonian National

Museum of American History in Washington D.C. celebrated a transportation exhibit. At that celebration, a concrete portion, saved from a part of the route in Oklahoma, was put on exhibition.

Route 66 is the road John Steinbeck wrote about in the 1930s in The Grapes of Wrath. It is the road jazz singers celebrated in the

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