The Water Dancer

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

4.07 - ratings 83,797

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her — but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.So begins an unexpected j Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When...

Book details

September 24th 2019 by One World
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Quotes From "The Water Dancer"

"The masters could not bring water to boil, harness to horse or strap their own drawers without us. We were better than them. We had to be. Sloth was literal death for us, while for them it was the whole ambition of their lives."
"All of these fanatics were white. They took slavery as a personal insult or affront, a stain upon their name. They had seen women carried off to fancy, or watched as a father was stripped and beaten in front of his child, or seen whole families pinned like hogs into rail-cars, steam-boats, and jails. Slavery humiliated them, because it offended a basic sense of goodness that they believed themselves to possess. And when their cousins perpetrated the base practice, it served to remind them how easily they might do the same. They scorned their barbaric brethren, but they were brethren all the same. So their opposition was a kind of vanity, a hatred of slavery that far outranked any love of the slave."
"Slavery is everyday longing, is being born into a world of forbidden victuals and tantalizing untouchables—the land around you, the clothes you hem, the biscuits you bake. You bury the longing, because you know where it must lead."
"It’s a cruel thing to do to children, to raise them as though they are siblings, and then set them against each other so that one shall be queen and the other shall be a footstool."
"But we must tell our stories, and not be ensnared by them."
"It's like summer wear the world out, and by October everyone is just ready for a nap"
"Time would come when gold would outweigh blood. But this was still Virginia of old, where a dubious God held that those who would offer a man for sale were somehow more honorable than those who effected that sale."
"The tree of our family was parted - branches here, roots there - parted for their lumber."

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