“A scar is a sign of strength. . .the sign of a survivor.”
“She cannot chain my soul. Yes, she could hurt me. She'd already done so...I would bleed, or not. Scar, or not. Live, or not. But she could not hurt my soul, not unless I gave it to her.”
“Didn't help to ponder things that were forever gone. It only made a body restless and fill up with bees, all wanting to sting something.”
“I wanted to pull down a book, open it proper, and gobble up page after page”
“Melancholy held me hostage, and the bees built a hive of sadness in my soul.”
“This is not our fight', the old man said. 'British or American, that is not the choice. You must choose your own side, find your road through the valley of darkness that will lead you to the river Jordan. . . Look hard for your river Jordan, my child. You'll find it.”
“Momma said that ghosts couldn't move over water. That's why Africans got trapped in the Americas.. They kept moving us over the water, stealing us away from our ghosts and ancestors, who cried salty rivers into the sand. That's where Momma was now, wailing at the water's edge, while her girls were pulled out of sight under white sails that cracked in the wind.”
“It made me strong.I took a step back, near my whole self in the mirror.I pushed back my shoulders and raised my chin, my back straight as an arrow.”
“Gossip is the foul smell from the Devil's backside.”
“It was like looking at a knot, knowing it was a knot, but not knowing how to untie it. I had no map for this life.”
“The best time to talk to ghosts is just before the sun comes up. That's when they can hear us true.”
“If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?”
“Flames curled out of all the windows next door. The rooftop beyond that was a lake of fire. Every building in sight was burning. The air was filled with crackling and popping sounds, with shrieks and screams coming from the street below.”
“Has she received any letters from Lockton?'
The question hit me like a bucket of cold water. 'You asking me to spy again?'
'Listen,' he started, 'Our freedom-'
I did not let him continue. 'You are blind. They don't want us free. They just want liberty for themselves.”
“The world turns upside down every day.”
“This is not our fight,' the old man said. 'British or American, that is not the choice. You must choose your own side, find your road through the valley of darkness that will lead you to the river Jordan.”
“It would have eased her mind if I thanked her for wanting to buy me away from Madam. I tried to be grateful but could not. A body does not like being bought and sold like a basket of eggs, even if the person who cracks the shells is kind.”
“I thought of all the ancestors waiting at the water's edge for their stolen children to come home. Waiting and waiting and waiting . . .”
“How could men who liked cats be bad?”
“When you own nothing, it's easy to let things go.”
“Truly, I did not intend to harm you, he said. That was never my intention.”
“Time is a river sweeping away all that is born towards the darkest shore.”
“For nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the ind as a steady purpose -- a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”
“Her heart was broken perhaps, but it was a small inexpensive organ of local manufacture. In a wider and grander way she felt things had been simplified.”
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