I date it—the slow crumbling of my faith, the pulverization of my fortress—from the time, about a year after I had begun to preach, when I began to read again. Photograph by Teju Cole. The test is how long the glances last, whether they become stares, with what intent they occur, whether they contain any degree of hostility or mockery, and to what extent connections, money, or mode of dress shield me in these situations.
Gates said that Mr. To be black is to bear the brunt of selective enforcement of the law, and to inhabit a psychic unsteadiness in which there is no guarantee of personal safety.
The universe, which is not merely the stars and the moon and the planets, flowers, grass, and trees, but other people, has evolved no terms for your existence, has made no room for you, and if love will not swing wide the gates, no other power will or can.
He wrote The Amen Corner, which looked at the phenomenon of storefront Pentecostal religion. When we were told to love everybody, I had thought that that meant every body. When his American publisher refused to release it, fearing that its gay subplots would alienate his core audience, he published it in England instead.
I became more guilty and more frightened, and kept all this bottled up inside me, and naturally, inescapably, one night, when this woman had finished preaching, everything came roaring, screaming, crying out, and I fell to the ground before the altar.
After his day of watching, he spoke in a crowded church, blaming Washington—"the good white people on the hill.
I underwent, during the summer that I became fourteen, a prolonged religious crisis. A high mountain pass called the Gemmi, another twenty-eight hundred feet above the village, connects the canton of Valais with the Bernese Oberland.