Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Same Kind of Different as Me

i'm reading same kind of different as me right now. amazing book. just a quick background: it is the narratives of ron hall and denver moore. ron is a guy who grew up in rural texas but wound up becoming a successful art dealer. denver was born in louisiana and grew up in post-reconstruction slavery (sharecropping where you were enslaved to the land you lived on). and it is the unlikely story of how they change each other's lives.

anyway, i've been told i will cry my eyes out and i have already teared up a time or two (when denver got the bike...gah!). but this excerpt was hilarious and i just felt the need to share (at least until i can come up with something of my own accord that is interesting to share). this is about the time denver, at 12 years old, got baptized in the river on the plantation where he picked cotton with his family:

i stood sideways in front of brother brown, and he put his left hand behind my back. i could hear some birds a-peepin and the water sloshin and away off down the river, i seen some white folks on a boat fishin. "li'l buddy," the preacher said, "do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins, was buried and rose again on the third day?"

"yessir, i do," i said and i felt somethin graze my leg. i was hopin it was a catfish. 

"i now baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!" brother brown said, and quick as lightenin like maybe i was gon' change my mind, he pinched my nose shut with his right hand, and slammed me down backward in the water.

problem was brother brown lost his grip and i sunk right down to the bottom. i didn't know i was supposed to come right back up, so i just floated on down the river a ways, blowin bubbles and lookin up through the milky water at the clouds goin by. aunt etha told me later that the congregation panicked and charged into the river. they was still splashin around and callin my name when i popped up downriver like a bobber on a fishin line, a few shades paler and fulla the Holy Ghost!

my auntie was so glad to see me, i got two servins of blackberry cobbler that day.
(also, my review of king leopold's ghost is forthcoming...amazing.)

1 comment:

Greta said...

Unrelated comment...forgive me but I just wanted to say thanks for your comment buuut, I think you're a little crazy. ;)