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[From the Archive]

Black Lives Televised


can remember as a child sitting upstairs in my bedroom and hearing my mother shout at the top of her voice that someone “colored . . . colored!” was on the screen and we’d all best come down right away. And we would. As we ran down the stairs, Momma shot to the front porch to let all the neighbors know, while Daddy let the folks downtown know by way of the telephone. “Colored, colored, on channel five!” he’d shout to be heard over the commercial, while Momma’s echo sounded from the street: “Colored, colored.” We were so starved for images of ourselves that we’d all sit in that living room, nervous, expectant, praying that our homeboy would not let the race down.

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