a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation
"I've been working downtown," I said, feeling a surge of
move ahead; travel onward in time or space
Somewhat to my surprise there were a good number of members in the hall when I awoke, and having no directives from the committee on how to
proceed I organized them into teams to search for Brother Clifton.
speak out against
I had blown up and acted personally instead of
denouncing the significance of the dolls, him, the obscene idea, and seizing the opportunity to educate the crowd.
a desire to have something that is possessed by another
And several yards behind, marching beside the young men floating the coffin upward, I looked into the face of the old man who had aroused the song and felt a twinge of
exceeding or surpassing usual limits
It was not the words, for they were all the same old slave-borne words; it was as though he'd changed the emotion beneath the words while yet the old longing, resigned,
transcendent emotion still sounded above, now deepened by that something for which the theory of Brotherhood had given me no name.
lacking zest or vivacity
I felt confused and
listless moving through the crowds that seemed to boil along in a kind of mist, as though the thin humid clouds had thickened and settled directly above our heads.
Under your leadership, a traitorous merchant of
vile instruments of anti-Negro, anti-minority racist bigotry has received the funeral of a hero.
the goal intended to be attained
I was ordered to carry through an
objective and I carried it through.
marked by deliberate deceptiveness
What are you doing about our black youth shot down beca'se of your
My eyes adjusted quickly; the world took on a dark-green intensity, the lights of cars glowed like stars, faces were a mysterious blur; the
garish signs of movie houses muted down to a soft sinister glowing.
break into parts or components or lose cohesion or unity
He blew a smoke ring, the blue-gray circle rising up boiling within its own jetting form, hovering for an instant then
disintegrating into a weaving strand.
the position of greatest importance or advancement
"At any rate, through our very position in the
vanguard we must do and say the things necessary to get the greatest number of the people to move toward what is for their own good."
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
tolerate Rinehart, then they will forget it and even with them you are invisible.
having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance
I had switched from the
arrogant absurdity of Norton and Emerson to that of Jack and the Brotherhood, and it all came out the same—except I now recognized my invisibility.
weaken or impair, especially gradually
I'd overcome them with yeses,
undermine them with grins, I'd agree them to death and destruction.
make calm or still
I would hide my anger and
lull them to sleep; assure them that the community was in full agreement with their program.
occurring in spells and often abruptly
Finally I tossed the glasses across the bed and dropped into a
fitful nap during which I relived the events of the last few days; except that instead ot Clifton being lost it was myself, and I awoke stale, sweaty and aware of perfume.
They were vindicated; the program was correct, events were progressing in their
predetermined direction, history was on their side, and Harlem loved them.
showing pensive sadness
I had always pretended not to understand, for not only had my first such experience taught me to avoid such situations, but at the Chthonian she was usually slightly tipsy and
wistful—just the type of misunderstood married woman whom, even if I had been interested, I would have avoided like the plague.
an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group
For all her exposure to
ideology she had no interest in politics and no idea of the schemes that occupied her husband night and day.
your usual mood
And, although I had neither the stature nor the
temperament for either role, I was expected either to sing "Old Man River" and just keep rolling along, or to do fancy tricks with my muscles.
summon with a wave, nod, or some other gesture
Now it was late and as I came into the room with another round of drinks she had let down her hair and was
beckoning to me with a gold hairpin in her teeth, saying, "Come to mamma, beautiful," from where she sat on the bed.
There was a pristine incorruptibility about her face now that upset me all the more, for she was neither kidding nor trying to insult me; and I could not tell if it were horror speaking to me out of innocence, or innocence emerging
unscathed from the obscene scheme of the evening.
detect with the senses
And in the dark windows and on the roofs above I could now
discern the forms of women and children.
marked by extreme calm and composure
And my heart tightened as the first crowd swung
imperturbably back to their looting with derisive cries, like sandpipers swinging around to glean the shore after a furious wave's recession.
a severe interrogation
That is the real soul-sickness, the spear in the side, the drag by the neck through the mob-angry town, the Grand
Inquisition, the embrace of the Maiden, the rip in the belly with the guts spilling out, the trip to the chamber with the deadly gas that ends in the oven so hygienically clean—only it's worse because you continue stupidly to live.
having a difficult and contrary disposition
No indeed, the world is just as concrete,
ornery, vile and sublimely wonderful as before, only now I better understand my relation to it and it to me.
suggest as a logically necessary consequence
Perhaps to lose a sense of where you are
implies the danger of losing a sense of who you are.
inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy
Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my
lethargy, my complacency.
not having a material body
Being invisible and without substance, a
disembodied voice, as it were, what else could I do?