Candace Allen has spent her whole life cheering on fellow African-Americans who have battled their way to the top. Yet the extraordinary career of Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, fills her only with revulsion and anger. Here she explains why:
Wednesday December 5, 2007
I am African-American. We are a sentimental people in the main and we tend to track our own. We are aware of others of colour who cross our spaces. We look around asking: “How did she/he come to be here/there? Is his/her story extraordinary, coincidental or totally banal?”
At 80 years old, my dentist father has been a desegregator all of his adult life, both professionally and domestically. Although raised in Richmond, Virginia, he chose to rear his family up north, first in Boston, then in a Connecticut suburb of New York. When I call him to ask how things are going during the first week of the US Open, he tells me that the Williams sisters are doing fine, as is James Blake, and there are a young boy and girl playing in their first Open who won’t get too far this time but are looking mighty good. Unsaid, I know the nature of the report he’s going to give; unsaid, he knows what I want to hear: stories about black people coming on to traditional white fields of play and not just holding their own but kicking ass and taking names. Smiles, pride, a fist in the air.
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BWIE’s NOTE: Regardless of my politics, nothing gives me more pleasure than to walk in a US Embassy in a foreign country and see Condoleeza Rice’s photo hanging near the entrance. I was happy to see Colin Powell’s hung prominently as well during his tenrue.