Friday, April 13, 2012

Quotes for Friday from Bessie Head's Maru

The rains were so late that year. But throughout that hot, dry summer those black storm clouds clung in thick folds of brooding darkness along the low horizon. There seemed to be a secret in their activity, because each evening they broke the long, sullen silence of the day, and sent soft rumbles of thunder and flickering slicks of lightning across the empty sky. [1]

And if the white man thought that Asians were a low, filthy nation, Asians could still smile with relief - at least, they were not Africans. And if the white man thought Africans were a low, filthy nation, Africans in Southern Africa could still smile - at least, they were not Bushmen. [6]

It is preferable to change the world on the basis of love of mankind. But if that quality be too rare, then common sense seems the next best thing. [7]

Those who spat at what they thought was inferior were the 'low filthy people' of the earth, because decent people cannot behave that way. [12]

Something they liked as Africans to pretend themselves incapable of was being exposed as oppressive and prejudiced. They always knew it was there but no oppressor believes in his oppression. He always says he treats his slaves nicely. [37]

Prejudice is like the old skin of a snake. It has to be removed bit by bit. [40]

He knew from his own knowledge of himself that true purpose and direction are creative. [45]
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8 comments:

  1. That first quote is so atmospheric and evocative, and I loved it. It's almost like you can feel the clouds rumbling overhead. Great quotes today, Nana.

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  2. This book is rumbling in the stacks of possibilities for Kinna's challenge this year, so I especially enjoyed reading the quotes you've chosen. So many of them are striking; I think I would have noted many of the same ones myself!

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    1. Perhaps it will benefit from Kinna's challenge. Can't wait to read your review.

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  3. I agree with Zibilee, the first quote was so picturesque. But it's the second one that got me. It's one of the themes of my upcoming book; one African feeling whiter than another, it's just ridiculous!

    And if the white man thought that Asians were a low, filthy nation, Asians could still smile with relief - at least, they were not Africans. And if the white man thought Africans were a low, filthy nation, Africans in Southern Africa could still smile - at least, they were not Bushmen. [6]

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    1. That's the problem with most of us Africans. We vehemently speak against racism but fully embrace tribalism. Yet racism and tribalism are both forms of discrimination and they've haunted us for several years. Look at what happened in Rwanda between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Look at the North-South divide in Nigeria, albeit along religious lines. In Ghana, there are such subtle discrimination that sometimes flare up.

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  4. 'Prejudice is like the old skin....'thus some pretty beautiful lines.

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