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Marshall Frady, "Discovering One Another in a Georgia Town"
Life, February 12, 1971

Probably the deepest misgiving haunting blacks now is that integration has stolen from black identity. But a black matron in Americus
[, Georgia,]—Mrs. Thelma Barnum, wife of a prosperous funeral home director and a seasoned redoubtable partisan of the old civil rights battles in town—recently pronounced to a living room of concerned black girls, "No, no, I don't think we'll be losing our identity." She shook her full sizzling fume of hair, her eyes glittering like bright agate. "We gonna give the whites a little soul. We gonna give 'em some tone."

Copyright © 1971, 1980 by Marshall Frady.  Selected from the Library of America anthology.  See  Reporting  Civil  Rights:  American Journalism 1963-1973.