“It was the close call historically awaiting all black males in American society, putting Willie on notice of his fragility and isolation, and driving him much closer to despair than his game, euphuistic prose ever revealed. There were many times when he soared above Great Barrington in order to keep “them” from deflating his spirits, pitying his “pale companions” and telling himself that he “felt not so much disowned and rejected as rather drawn up into higher spaces and made part of a mightier mission.”

W. E. B. Du Bois, 1868-1919: Biography of a Race (Owl Books) by Lewis, David Levering