The Fire This Time - Part 2, “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning” Summary & Analysis

Jesmyn Ward
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Summary

One of Claudia Rankine’s friends told her that as soon as she gave birth to her son, she thought she needed to get him out of the country. They laughed together about this. The dark humor underscored the vulnerability and fear that was heaped on top of all the normal fears of parenthood. Another friend said, “The condition of black life is one of mourning,” in response to Rankine’s question of what it is like to have a black son. The woman’s mourning was because she knew at any moment, her son could be killed. This knowledge and the accompanying feeling of helplessness causes a “daily strain” (146).

On September 15, 1963, four black girls were killed when someone bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church. This was the year Rankine was born. Fifty-two years later...

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This section contains 1,932 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fire This Time Study Guide
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