“New Orleans, you should know, was a city tailored to my taste for the excessive, exotic fringes of life, a world port of such extravagance in 1829 when I arrived from southern Illinois — a newly freed bondman, my papers in an old portmanteau, a gift from my master in Makanda — that I dropped my bags and a shock of recognition shot up my spine to my throat, rolling off my tongue in a whispered, “Here, Rutherford is home.” So it seemed those first few months to the country boy with cotton in his hair, a great whore of a city in her glory, a kind of glandular Golden Age.
She was if not a town devoted to an almost religious pursuit of Sin, then at least to a steamy sexuality. To the newcomer she was an assault of smells: molasses commingled with mangoes in the sensually damp air, the stench of slop in a muddy street, and, from the labyrinthine warehouses on the docks, the odor of Brazilian coffee and Mexican oils. And also this: the most exquisitely beautiful women in the world, thoroughbreds of pleasure created two centuries before by the French for their enjoyment. Mulattos colored like magnolia petals, quadroons with breasts big as melons — women who smelled like roses all year round. Home? Brother, for a randy Illinois boy of two and twenty accustomed to cornfields, cow plops, and handjobs in his master’s hayloft, New Orleans wasn’t home. It was Heaven.
But even paradise must have its back side too, and it is here (alas) that the newcomer comes to rest. Upstream there were waterfront saloons and dives, a black underworld of thieves, gamblers, and ne’er-do-wells who, unlike the Creoles downstream (they sniffed down their long, Continental noses at poor, purebred Negroes like myself), didn’t give a tinker’s damn about my family tree and welcomed me as the world downstream would not.”
— From MIDDLE PASSAGE by Charles Johnson
Middle Passage PB
Well hope everyone is having a great weekend. On the docket today, I’m going to make time to finally post the WHISPERER IN DARKNESS dvd review. That should be up around 5pm so come back for that.
We also have a wacky news segment that takes a look at entertainment on the horizon.
And finally we’ll be doing our Comic and Book Bonanza, and all of it kicks off at 5pm today, so come-on back now! Y’all here? 🙂