By Shelton Johnson
The trajectory of Elijah’s military profession parallels the nation’s imperial adventures within the past due 19th century: subduing local americans within the West and quelling uprising within the Philippines. Haunted by means of the terrors persisted through black american citizens and via his half in persecuting people of colour, Elijah is continued in simple terms by means of visions, stories, prayers, and his questing spirit—which eventually reveals a house whilst his troop is published to protect the newly created Yosemite nationwide Park in 1903. the following, dwelling with little past mountain mild, chilly rivers, campfires, and stars, he turns into a guy who owns himself thoroughly, whereas realizing he’s left items of himself scattered alongside his life’s direction like pebbles on a creekbed.
Elijah's narrative voice—poetic, rhythmically cadenced, ranging freely via time—makes this novel a literary meditation on discovering a self and a non secular domestic, whereas unveiling a little-known bankruptcy of America’s past.
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I appreciate that, Sheriff,” said Daddy. “I know you want to do what’s right, and I appreciate your hospitality, invitin me to stay with you and all, but I slept plenty last night. ” And right then Daddy jumped down from the wagon, landing not two feet from the sheriff. Sheriff Reynolds jumped back a little and gripped his stick harder and put his left hand on his pistol, but he didn’t seem scared. If anything he seemed anxious for something to start. “Daniel,” said the sheriff, louder now so the people around could hear, “it would be a pity to leave this fine boy of yours without a father, or such a good-lookin woman here without a husband.
Someone takes a whip to you, you can explain why you’re raw and bleeding, but what if they beat you up on the inside? Who’s gonna know that you’re hurting? How do you dress a wound you can’t see? Born the day freedom came. Grandchild of some people who wouldn’t let freedom be taken away. No wonder I got attitude. I got so much I could sell most of it off and no one would notice. You need attitude if you’re colored in Spartanburg. You need it to get up in the morning, just to open your eyes, but too much attitude in the South will put you down by nightfall.
When the deacon gave his sermon, he seemed to be telling us he could feel what we’d been feeling the week before, but all that pain and struggle was gone now and the struggle and pain ahead hadn’t got here yet, cause this was the Lord’s day and a time to rejoice. I don’t really remember anything in particular that was said in church, but I can’t forget how I felt listening to what was said, and watching people I only ever saw on Sunday. The girls always acted like they was all grown up, wearing dresses like their mamas but smaller, and they sat just as straight, behaving respectfully like they should, but the boys were usually squirming on those hard oak benches, struggling for freedom under ironed white collars and shirts buttoned to breathless.
Gloryland by Shelton Johnson