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Being Human

Kunta Kinte Baptizes Kizzy
Image by John and Keturah via Flickr

From Alex Haley’s Roots, end of chapter 85:

[Kizzy] lay thinking of how she had never understood why her pappy had always felt so bitter against the world of white people–“toubob” was his word for them. She thought of Bell’s saying to her, “You’s so lucky it scare me, chile, ’cause you don’ really know what bein’ a nigger is, an I hopes to de good Lawd you don’ never have to fin’ out.” Well, she had found out–and there seemed no limit to the anguish whites were capable of wreaking upon black people. But the worst thing they did, Kunta had said, was to keep them ignorant of who they are, to keep them from being fully human. [emph. added]

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