One day his mother showed him a letter from his brother, “Lover,” who had been mistreated by a white officer. Jimmy responded with a letter. He reminded his brother that racism is based on fear, that when the white racist confronts the black man, what he sees is not the individual man but a “nightmare” of his own creation. Above all, he said, “you must take care not to step inside” his nightmare, his guilt, and his fear, his hatred. To step into the nightmare is to justify it and to relinquish the soul’s freedom and the control over one’s life. To enter the nightmare is to become a “nigger.
"Do anything you want.
Just don't bring home the next president of the United States."
Artist’s note: If my father were alive today, and I was 13 years old, would he say this to me?
*In the permanent collection, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum,
Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ