Home to Harlem

Front Cover
Harper & Brothers, 1928 - African Americans - 340 pages
 

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 133 - Toussaint, the most unhappy Man of Men ! Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough Within thy hearing, or thy head be now Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den ; — Oh miserable Chieftain! Where and when Wilt thou find patience ? Yet die not ; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow : Though fallen Thyself never to rise again, Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee, air, earth, and skies', There's not a breathing of the common wind That will...
Page 15 - Oh, to be in Harlem again after two years away. The deep-dyed color, the thickness, the closeness of it. The noises of Harlem. The sugared laughter. The honey-talk on its streets. And all night long ragtime "blues" playing somewhere . . . singing somewhere, dancing somewhere! oh, the contagious fever of Harlem. Burning everywhere in dark-eyed Harlem. . . . Burning now in Jake's sweet blood.
Page 134 - The waiter told him that Africa was not jungle as he dreamed of it, nor slavery the peculiar role of black folk. The Jews were the slaves of the Egyptians, the Greeks made slaves of their conquered, the Gauls and Saxons were slaves of the Romans. He told Jake of the old destroyed cultures of West Africa and of their vestiges, of black kings who struggled stoutly for the independence of their kingdoms: Prempreh of Ashanti, Tofa of Dahomey, Gbehanzin of Benin, Cetawayo of Zulu-Land, Menelik of Abyssinia.
Page 337 - Ise you' ma-ma. . . . Haunting rhythm, mingling of na'ive wist- ) fulness and charming gayety, now sheering over into mad riotous joy, now, like a jungle mask, strange, unfamiliar, disturbing, now plunging headlong into the far, dim depths of profundity and rising out as suddenly with a simple, childish grin. And the white visitors laugh. They see the grin only. Here are none of the well-patterned, well-made emotions of the respectable world. A laugh might finish in a sob. A moan end in hilarity....
Page 14 - Come right in." The windows were heavily and carefully shaded. There was beer and wine, and there was plenty of hard liquor. Black and brown men sat at two tables in one room, playing poker. In the other room a phonograph was grinding out a "blues," and some couples were dancing, thick as maggots in a vat of sweet liquor, and as wriggling.
Page 133 - L'Ouverture Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men ! Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough Within thy hearing, or thy head be now Pillowed in some deep dungeons earless den; — O miserable Chieftain ! where and when Wilt thou find patience ? Yet die not; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow: Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee...
Page 196 - The notes were naked acute alert. Like black youth burning naked in the bush. Love in the deep heart of the jungle .... The sharp spring of a leopard from a leafy limb, the snarl of a jackal, green lizards in amorous play, the flight of a plumed bird, and the sudden laughter of mischievous monkeys in their green homes.
Page 135 - Had Jake ever heard of the little republic of Liberia, founded by American Negroes? And Abyssinia, deep-set in the shoulder of Africa, besieged by the hungry wolves of Europe? The only nation that has existed free and independent from the earliest records of history until today! Abyssinia, oldest unconquered nation, ancient-strange as Egypt, persistent as Palestine, legendary as Greece, magical as Persia.
Page 264 - No happy-nigger strut for me" he would mutter when the feeling for Agatha worked like a fever in his flesh. He saw destiny working in her large, dream-sad eyes, filling them with the passive softness of resignation to life, and seeking to encompass and yoke him down as just one of the thousand niggers of Harlem. And he hated Agatha and, for escape, wrapped himself darkly in self-love
Page 196 - The notes were naked, acute, alert. Like black youth burning naked in the bush. Love in the deep heart of the jungle. . . . The sharp spring of a leopard from a leafy limb, the snarl of a jackal, green lizards in amorous play, the flight of a plumed...

Bibliographic information