an outside thing


Dig, Digby, dig.

Digby stomps on his shadow in the schoolyard. He tries to blot it out because it won’t stop following him. Digby believes the shadow rains down the indignities he suffers, although he doesn’t put it that way. He tells Funti that the shadow makes his father beat him, and his mother smoke too much.

“My shadow is a ruin I don’t want to visit, Funti. My shadow causes my father to think bad thoughts, and then to act on them. It’s the reason he beats me and my mother, although mother sometimes starts it when she drinks the whiskey after she finishes the wine.”

Digby has his shadow pinned by the ball of his foot. He applies so much pressure to pin his shadow his calf quivers and he balls up his fists.

“But Digby, your shadow has nothing to do in that. Do you see your shadow lurking at home when these things happen?” Funti says. “Your shadow stays out in the sun. It’s an outside thing.”

“Outside, inside, no matter. I know it’s at fault for our troubles. It lives in the walls, in the rug, in the ceiling. It moves about, Funti,” Digby says. “Just because I don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not causing all my troubles.”

What I’m Reading, or: What I Just Finished Reading (a continuing series)

Black History for Beginners / Denise Dennis (1984)

Packed with excellent historical factoids that tell an important story.

But the art work seems slapdash and the text is riddled with mispellings and odd typos. It may be because I was reading an ebook version of the 1984 edition — the book has been revised twice since then and hopefully those quality issues addressed. The narrative history begins to substantively peter out during the late 1960’s—and seriously, only two sentences about Malcolm X?!

This is a good primer though. Even though I haven’t seen it, try to find the 2007 edition which hopefully addresses the aforementioned issues. Very good at pointing you in a number of interesting directions for your own research and further reading.

Ebook, 02/26/21.


Freedom Is a Constant Struggle / Angela Y. Davis (2016)

Transcripts of various speeches Angela Y Davis presented from 2012-2015; and transcripts from a series of interviews conducted by Frank Barat.

Still righteous, and correct, after all these years. But it becomes a bit repetitive as Davis repeats many of the same lines throughout the half-dozen or so speeches, which Barat asked about in the opening interviews. Solid read.

“… those who assume that because slavery was legally abolished in the nineteenth century, it was thereby relegated to the dustbin of history, fail to recognize the extent to which cultural and structural elements of slavery are still with us.”

Ebook, 02/27/21.


“I contend it is not the writing that makes writers miserable. It is the emphasis on publication.”

— Jane Yolen / Take Joy: A Book for Writers

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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