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Where Were You in '52? ~ "A Negro and an Ofay" by Danny Gardner

The obligatory PSA. This discussion contains explicit racial language and discussions of race that the faint of heart may find disturbing. You are welcome to wait in the lounge. No harm. No foul.

Good books often find you when you need them. Last week I was thinking a lot about my dad on what would have been his 106th birthday. In 1952, the setting of Danny Gardner's A Negro and an Ofay, dad would have been 41. Had his family stayed in the northern Indiana place of his birth, my old man would have likely worked on the lines at one of the steel or auto plants or drove a bulldozer for the post-war construction boom. He also would have been one of the men swinging pool cues in the bowling alley Elliot and Frank pulled Chauncey out of.

My dad was an old school racist. The kind who painfully separated good coloreds (which he pronounced kollards with a sneer he thought was hilarious) from bad niggers and thought he was instructing me in the way of things. When I was about 10, the old ma…

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