IF HE HOLLERS LET HIM GO by Chester Himes

Bob is out here just trying to live his life, but everything seems to be standing in his way. He’s doing alright for himself living in Cali and loving his girlfriend and working a decent job. Still, racism looms over him constantly. Some of the white people he works with use the n word, people don’t want to serve him at restaurants, the cops mess with him, etc. He just wants to be a human being walking down the street, but America simply will not let him forget that he’s black.

Unlike, say, Bigger from Native Son, Bob doesn’t commit any real crimes and he doesn’t try to skate by, acting like he doesn’t notice how people talk about him or to him. He’s a witty guy who calls people out and expresses himself. Still, he tries to be cool even tho on the inside he’s boiling mad about his place in the world. Bob’s feelings about that run deep. Often he wishes he could stop thinking, stop being, stop everything, but life keeps rolling forward with or without him.

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