Quotes from Kiese Laymon, “How to: Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance”

“How free can you be if you really accept that white folks are the traffic cops of your life?”

While prejudice still exists in America this quote can also be used in a different context. The ‘traffic cops’ of anyone’s life can be fear, money, or negative life situations. These can work to stop us from becoming who we want to be if we choose to consider them boundaries.

“We know that whatever is encouraging them to kill themselves slowly by knowingly mangling the body and spirit of this shivering black girl, is probably the most powerful thing in our lives.”

This quote illustrates how one has a choice to use their free will for positivity or negativity.

“Lots of times, we’ve taken turns killing ourselves slowly, before trying to bring each other back to life.”

“I receive a sweet letter in the mail with the burnt up ashes of my essays. The letter says that if I don’t stop writing and give myself “over to right,” my life would end up like the ashes of my writing.”

“I remember the wobbly way my Grandma twitches her eyes at my Uncle Jimmy and I imagine being at the end of that twitch for the rest of my life.”

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