Griffin felt that by blacking up he had "tampered with the mystery of existence", which sounded profound when I read it at 16, but now seems typical of Griffin's rather portentous prose, which occasionally makes one doubt the credibility of what he is describing.
The experience was revealing.
Hatred could not penetrate his hermitage, but diabetes and heart trouble could. I felt strangely sad to leave the world of the Negro after having shared it so long — almost as though I were fleeing my share of his pain and heartache.
The victims of the thousands of lynchings over a period of years were almost always identified as lustful black men. After recovering from malaria, he was walking in his yard one afternoon when he saw a swirling redness. Within months, for reasons that were never explained, his sight was fully restored.
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