Day 7 - First Steps: Contact
"They ain't gotta be afraid of me."
Peter in "Previous Condition," James Baldwin, 1965
When I opened the door the landlady stood there, red-and-whitefaced and hysterical.
“Who are you? I didn’t rent this room to you.”
My mouth was dry. I started to say something.
“I can’t have no colored people here,” she said.
“All my tenants are compainin’. Women afraid to come home nights.”
“They ain’t gotta be afraid of me,” I said.
I couldn’t get my voice up; it rasped and rattled in my throat; and I began to be angry. ...
“My friend rented this room for me,” I said.
“Well, I’m sorry, he didn’t have no right to do that, I don’t have nothin’ against you, but you gotta get out.”
Peter in "Previous Condition"
James Baldwin, Going to Meet the Man, 1965