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Daria Sukharchuk
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piqer: Daria Sukharchuk
Saturday, 02 December 2017

Maya Angelou Talks About African-American Con Men In The 1950s South

This is an animation of Maya Angelou's childhood memory – a story she heard from her stepfather's friends, professional con men. Those black men, who had no opportunity to have proper careers, had to resolve to shady schemes to support themselves. The story itself is almost comically absurd and includes a whole bunch of stereotypes: a greedy white Southerner "who knows 'em n*s", a supposedly naive Native American (another con artist), an entrepreneurial Yankee from New York (con man too), and, of course, the two Black men who invented the whole scheme.

It is stories like this one that show the true cost of segregation: not only does it rob clever people from opportunities; just as it makes it acceptable for the dominant majority to oppress the segregated minority, it makes it acceptable for the minority to fool the majority. It stops people from seeing each other as fully human. 

Maya Angelou Talks About African-American Con Men In The 1950s South
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