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[1 of 5] If Beale Street Could Talk - Part One - James Baldwin (1974)

Author: James Baldwin

“Part 1 of 5.” If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin, 1974.

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for YORAN

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Mary, Mary,
What you going to name
That pretty little baby?

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Nov 24
OCEAN D (Nov 24 2020 7:58PM) : I think the story is going to be about someone's life in Beale street [Edited]
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Dec 11
ALEXANDER C (Dec 11 2020 3:35PM) : yea I agree with you because of the point of view which is first person
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Dec 20
shaliyah f (Dec 20 2020 7:41PM) : i agree more

i agree

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Jan 20
JAYDEN T (Jan 20 2021 1:42PM) : I agree
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Jan 25
Kiran C (Jan 25 2021 11:06AM) : What words in the text make you think so?
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Dec 26
Kenneth P (Dec 26 2020 6:56PM) : i agree [Edited]
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Jan 22
Genesis G (Jan 22 2021 12:50PM) : I agree because it say like if beale street could talk so I'm guessing that its gonna be people talking about living there.
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Jan 25
JAIDEN N (Jan 25 2021 10:35AM) : i agree
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Dec 8
ALEJANDRO R (Dec 08 2020 1:43PM) : what is she going to name the baby?
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Dec 9
VICTORIA T (Dec 09 2020 2:09PM) : Maybe Jesus, who knowsss😭😂
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:07PM) : feel like there showing how that person feels or like there lifestyle
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Dec 20
shaliyah f (Dec 20 2020 7:42PM) : yeah me too
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 10:34AM) : i agree more

i agree because as i read the book they are writing it based on someone point of view

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Jan 26
Lena F (Jan 26 2021 6:08PM) : I think Tish is questioning herself and she is thinking about the age old question of "does everything happen for a reason?"
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Jan 26
Lena F (Jan 26 2021 6:10PM) : Why is he in jail? Is he actually guilty or was he wrongfully convicted?
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ONE: Troubled About My Soul

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I look at myself in the mirror. I know that I was christened Clementine, and so it would make sense if people called me Clem, or even, come to think of it, Clementine, since that’s my name: but they don’t. People call me Tish. I guess that makes sense, too. I’m tired, and I’m beginning to think that maybe everything that happens makes sense. Like, if it didn’t make sense, how could it happen? But that’s really a terrible thought. It can only come out of trouble – trouble that doesn’t make sense.

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Jan 20
shaliyah f (Jan 20 2021 2:43PM) : i wonder whats the real meaning behind the name Tish. Why did her family started calling her that instead of her birth name? Hopefully the reason they call her that is positive.
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 10:38AM) : i agree more

i agree because back then there was a lot of races people and people use to bully people and call them names

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Jan 29
Alexander w (Jan 29 2021 9:45AM) : Idk why they called her tish but i feel like it has a bigger meaning behind it
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Jan 22
Dehao L (Jan 22 2021 1:39PM) : The Main point of this Paragraph is some sort of self questioning, This person continues to tell themselves that everything that happens to them is reasonable since if it didn't why would it happen in the first place.
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Jan 3
Isabell Z (Jan 03 2021 1:42AM) : I find this actually quite funny how her name is Clementine but don't call her anywhere near related to the name, she goes by Tish.
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Nov 25
ROJO V (Nov 25 2020 10:18AM) : Nickname?
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Nov 25
Kaimea Z (Nov 25 2020 1:21PM) : why do people call her Tish? and how did she get that nickname? it sounds nothing like clementine.
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Dec 1
SANIYA L (Dec 01 2020 8:45PM) : Thats something im curious about too,Trish doesnt sound like clementine at all.
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:09PM) : They believe that everything seems to happen for a reason
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 10:40AM) : i agree more

i agree because a lot of things do happen for a reason

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Dec 13
SARA P (Dec 13 2020 11:39PM) : how did the nickname "tish" come from clementine? Hoe did she get that nickname and why?
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Dec 26
Kenneth P (Dec 26 2020 6:39PM) : the nickname more

it makes sense to call her Clem instead of Tish. Tish is nowhere close to the name Clementine.

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Dec 1
SANIYA L (Dec 01 2020 8:43PM) : I feel like the story is going to be about how clementine "finds herself"
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:11PM) : I agree
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Jan 22
Genesis G (Jan 22 2021 12:51PM) : i agree because the beginning part says my troubled soul so I agree
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 10:42AM) : i agree more

i agree because she gets married early in life and a lot of things is happening to her

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Dec 2
AMRA B (Dec 02 2020 2:31PM) : Summary more

I think this means the Author is trying to make sense of something that happen to her.

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Dec 6
Luisa P (Dec 06 2020 9:57PM) : Question [Edited] more

It seems like she kinda given up on something?

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Jan 26
Oliver B (Jan 26 2021 10:27AM) : I agree, It sounds like she's giving up.
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Dec 12
EMMANUEL R (Dec 12 2020 11:06PM) : Humbleness more

based on this sentences I can see that they are a humble person.

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Jan 20
Dante T (Jan 20 2021 2:37PM) : I feel like Clementine is over rationalizing here. more

Usually nicknames are based off of someone’s full name, while “Tish” isn’t anything close to “Clementine”. I wonder if she’s saying that it makes sense, just for the sake of not having to think about it.

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Jan 20
shaliyah f (Jan 20 2021 3:44PM) : yea that is kinda weird. I think theres a meaning behind it tho
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Jan 26
Emily J (Jan 26 2021 1:45PM) : I agree more

I agree because its what everyone says to each others to justify that nothing we could have done would have changed it because it was destined to happen

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Dec 4
Mbathio M (Dec 04 2020 1:20PM) : Opinion [Edited] more

It seems like she is conflicted on if this is really what was meant to be

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Dec 4
benny v (Dec 04 2020 1:40PM) : . more

what was meant to be though?

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Dec 6
Luisa P (Dec 06 2020 9:59PM) : Maybe it about her and Fonny relationship and what Fonny going through
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Dec 8
ALEJANDRO R (Dec 08 2020 1:45PM) : what trouble are they talking about?

Today, I went to see Fonny. That’s not his name, either, he was christened Alonzo: and it might make sense if people called him Lonnie. But, no, we’ve always called him. Fonny. Alonzo Hunt, that’s his name. I’ve known him all my life, and I hope I’ll always know him. But I only call him Alonzo when I have to break down some real heavy shit to him.

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Dec 4
Jaylene G (Dec 04 2020 4:40PM) : Important person in her life.
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Dec 4
Kiran C (Dec 04 2020 4:48PM) : What in the text makes you say this? more

What WORDS in that paragraph signal how important Fonny is to her? I see the word “him” repeated 6 times — that repetition emphasizes for me, at least, that Fonny’s important to her.

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Dec 4
STEVEN G (Dec 04 2020 7:25PM) : I agree with you on how fonny cares for alonzo more

fonny cares for alonzo

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Dec 4
Kiran C (Dec 04 2020 7:30PM) : But wait. Alonzo IS Fonny. "Fonny" is Alonzo's nickname. more

You mean Tish, probably.

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Dec 4
benny v (Dec 04 2020 7:33PM) : lool more

their the same person

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Jan 20
shaliyah f (Jan 20 2021 8:49PM) : i see that Tish and Fonny have something in common. They both dont go by their birth names, i wonder why does he goes by Fonny instead of Christened Alonzo
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 4:46PM) : i think they have nicknames because they maybe didn't like there real name
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Dec 8
ALEJANDRO R (Dec 08 2020 7:47PM) : what is fonny to them as a person?
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Dec 11
ALEXANDER C (Dec 11 2020 9:38PM) : i'm guessing a friend because of what is said in the paragraph that doesn't imply that they are in a relationship.
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:17AM) : She went to go see one of her friends she’s known her whole life
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Nov 25
ROJO V (Nov 25 2020 4:19PM) : Loves him as a friend or Lover?
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Dec 2
AMRA B (Dec 02 2020 8:43PM) : My Opinion more

I think they are more then Friends.

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Dec 9
VICTORIA T (Dec 09 2020 8:10PM) : Yeaa, they are probably lovers
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Dec 2
SANIYA L (Dec 02 2020 2:51AM) : is this clementines bestfriend?
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Dec 4
Mbathio M (Dec 04 2020 7:21PM) : Opinion [Edited] more

I think it’s clear she dosent want to lose him because they have a close relationship

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Dec 9
VICTORIA T (Dec 09 2020 8:10PM) : I agree with you 100%
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Dec 4
STEVEN G (Dec 04 2020 7:29PM) : fonny cares for him more

she loves him and describes him in a way that shows love

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Dec 21
shaliyah f (Dec 21 2020 1:49AM) : i agree
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Dec 8
ALEJANDRO R (Dec 08 2020 7:46PM) : who is fonny to them?
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Today, I said, “-Alonzo-?”

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Dec 11
ALEXANDER C (Dec 11 2020 9:40PM) : they are going to say something big because of what is is said in the paragraph before "but I only call him Alonzo when I have to break down some real heavy shit to him"
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And he looked at me, that quickening look he has when I call him by his name.

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Jan 20
JAYDEN T (Jan 20 2021 7:44PM) : He shouldnt be in jail
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 4:50PM) : i agree because he sounds like he wouldn't do anything harmful
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He’s in jail. So where we were, I was sitting on a bench in front of a board, and he was sitting on a bench in front of a board. And we were facing each other through a wall of glass between us. You can’t hear anything through this glass, and so you both have a little telephone. You have to talk through that. I don’t know why people always look down when they talk through a telephone, but they always do. You have to remember to look up at the person you’re talking to.

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Dec 2
AMRA B (Dec 02 2020 2:32PM) : Questions more

Why is he in Jail?

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Jan 22
Genesis G (Jan 22 2021 1:04PM) : agreed
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Dec 6
Nico V (Dec 06 2020 11:23PM) : I wonder why hes in jail [Edited]
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 10:51AM) : they maybe mistaken him for someone else and locked him up for that
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Dec 7
MARIO N (Dec 07 2020 10:37AM) : Opinion more

He should not be in jail

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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 10:52AM) : i agree because they didn't explain what he did
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Dec 8
MATTHEW W (Dec 08 2020 9:15AM) : why is he in jail and for how long
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Dec 8
ALEJANDRO R (Dec 08 2020 1:48PM) : why is he in jail?
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Dec 10
Drew H (Dec 10 2020 5:41PM) : What had Fonny/Alozo done to land himself in jail? Was it serious? Or a situation he had no control over?
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:18PM) : His nick name is fonny and she only calls him his real name when it’s something serious
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:19PM) : Why is he in jail
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Dec 17
Isabelle L (Dec 17 2020 5:04AM) : Why is he in jail? What did he do to be put in there?
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Jan 22
Genesis G (Jan 22 2021 12:54PM) : i wonder why he was in jail.?
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Jan 29
Alexander w (Jan 29 2021 9:52AM) : I feel like they have a really good relation ship if tish is going to see him when he is in jail
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Dec 4
DOUGLAS M (Dec 04 2020 1:21PM) : question more

what would he ever do to be in jail we know that he isnt a bad person at all

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Dec 4
JUAN V (Dec 04 2020 10:22AM) : . more

they do that because they might feel guilty to even look at that person.

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Dec 4
Mbathio M (Dec 04 2020 1:24PM) : Yes and I think the guilt consumes them to the point where they don’t feel like they can look at the person they may have disappointed
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Dec 12
EMMANUEL R (Dec 12 2020 11:10PM) : Prison more

By facing their heads down it is almost a way of ignoring the truth that one of them is in prison. By doing that it shows their emotions towards that fact.

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Jan 20
Dante T (Jan 20 2021 2:41PM) : I think this is a normal thing to do when talking through a telephone. more

When you talk to someone who’s right in front of you, you look at them out of respect and because you’re able to put a face to the voice. When talking through a phone there’s usually no face for the voice, leading you to look at different things.

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Jan 26
Oliver B (Jan 26 2021 10:32AM) : No one wants to see someone they care about in that predicament.
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Jan 26
Emily J (Jan 26 2021 1:51PM) : I think this is interesting and makes me wonder [Edited] more

At first I thought it was interesting that Trish says that everyone always looks down when they use the phone because that different than what happens now.

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Dec 4
MATTHEW W (Dec 04 2020 10:28AM) : the person has manners
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Dec 4
STEVEN G (Dec 04 2020 1:32PM) : i agree with your statement more

he acts civilized and respectful

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Dec 9
VICTORIA T (Dec 09 2020 2:11PM) : Agreed
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:20PM) : They have manners
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Dec 11
ALEXANDER C (Dec 11 2020 3:42PM) : I agree

I always remember now, because he’s in jail and I love his eyes and every time I see him I’m afraid I’ll never see him again. So I pick up the phone as soon as I get there and I just hold it and I keep looking up at him.

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Dec 4
benny v (Dec 04 2020 7:35PM) : jail more

how-come this person is thinking about it more and is remembering it since he is away? is this a coincidence?

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Jan 30
Delilah M (Jan 30 2021 12:32AM) : ''I love his eyes and every time I see him I’m afraid I’ll never see him again.'' more

Tish struggles to connect with Fonny “through glass” but nevertheless manages to focus on his eyes.

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Nov 25
ROJO V (Nov 25 2020 4:20PM) : protesting civil rights?
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Dec 18
MATTHEW W (Dec 18 2020 4:13PM) : this is real love because i seen people leave their relationship due to their lover going to jail
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 4:53PM) : i agree
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Dec 8
ALEJANDRO R (Dec 08 2020 7:49PM) : were they expecting this phone call?
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Dec 11
ALEXANDER C (Dec 11 2020 9:45PM) : there is a phone in the jail because you cant hear through the glass on the other side.
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:24AM) : She was afraid she’d never see him again so she made sure she look at him

So, when I said, “-Alonzo-?” he looked down and then he looked up and he smiled and he held the phone and he waited.

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Dec 8
ALEJANDRO R (Dec 08 2020 7:50PM) : why did he smile?
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:24AM) : I wonder why he smiled
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Dec 11
ALEXANDER C (Dec 11 2020 9:46PM) : im guessing that he's glad that they're there.
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Dec 14
SARA P (Dec 14 2020 5:40AM) : I wonder why he smiled.
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Jan 25
JAIDEN N (Jan 25 2021 4:37PM) : i wonder why he smiled
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Jan 25
Kiran C (Jan 25 2021 5:09PM) : What's your guess?
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I hope that nobody has ever had to look at anybody they love through glass.

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Dec 1
EMMANUEL R (Dec 01 2020 5:02PM) : must of been hard for alonzo, he really can't be with his love ones because of being locked up
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Dec 2
Tasneem O (Dec 02 2020 8:06PM) : I wonder if his loved ones are as concerned as he is
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Dec 2
AMRA B (Dec 02 2020 8:44PM) : I agree this must be difficult.
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Jan 28
jayden p (Jan 28 2021 4:56PM) : i agree and he maybe having a hard time in jail because jail doesn't look like a place nobody would want to be in
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Dec 2
SANIYA L (Dec 02 2020 2:53AM) : I feel like the relationship she has with him is more than a friend now, before I thought it was just best friends, but I feel like she might think of him as more than that.
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Dec 4
Ian D (Dec 04 2020 4:38PM) : I think that they love each other
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Dec 4
STEVEN G (Dec 04 2020 7:35PM) : i agree because her and her friend have a connection
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Dec 21
shaliyah f (Dec 21 2020 1:49AM) : yeah
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Dec 9
VICTORIA T (Dec 09 2020 8:12PM) : I agree, because they could be in love secretly
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:25AM) : I think they may be more then just friends
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Dec 13
EMMANUEL R (Dec 13 2020 5:12AM) : love more

by facing that reality of alonzo being in prison make them strong but it shows how heart breaking it is to fave the truth that their loved one is being a glass.

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Jan 27
Lena F (Jan 27 2021 12:12AM) : It's very poetic. I also think that could translate to everything that's going on with the Covid crisis.
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And I didn’t say it the way I meant to say it. I meant to say it in a very offhand way, so he wouldn’t be too upset, so he’d understand that I was saying it without any kind of accusation in my heart.

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Dec 10
Drew H (Dec 10 2020 11:46PM) : Her having to paraphrase the way she's saying his real name, doesn't sit right with me. She shouldn't have to feel that way over a NAME.

You see: I know him. He’s very proud, and he worries a lot, and, when I think about it, I know – he doesn’t – that that’s the biggest reason he’s in jail. He worries too much already, I don’t want him to worry about me.In fact, I didn’t want to say what I had to say. But I know I had to say it. He had to know.

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Dec 1
Leo P (Dec 01 2020 5:02PM) : Why is he so worried and how did that cause him to go to jail.
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Dec 2
AMRA B (Dec 02 2020 8:44PM) : I'm wondering about this to
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Dec 4
Ian D (Dec 04 2020 4:40PM) : I want to know the reason that he went to jail
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:26AM) : She wanted to make sure he didn’t get to upset
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Dec 4
ROJO V (Dec 04 2020 4:19PM) : Why is he in jail?
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Jan 26
Oliver B (Jan 26 2021 4:43PM) : Someone so empathetic who worries doesn't seem like the the type of person to commit the crime he was accused of.
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Jan 26
Oliver B (Jan 26 2021 4:52PM) : Some key examples (When a guy attacks Tish in the store he goes to defend her which is why Tish says that Fonny worries a lot) and (So, when I said, “-Alonzo-?” he looked down and then he looked up and he smiled and he held the phone and he waited) [Edited] more

and later in the book when Fonny alerts the guard when Tish is having contractions.

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Jan 26
Kiran C (Jan 26 2021 5:05PM) : Wait. I don't get it. Why does Tish say that Fonny's worrying is what got him in jail in the first place? The only reason he's in jail is that Officer Bell framed him. more

OHH. Wait. I remember. Officer Bell had it out for Fonny after Officer Bell was prevented from arresting Fonny at the Italian lady’s grocery store. That white guy had begun to assault Tish IN THE GROCERY store (who does that?) when Fonny saw, and lunged at the man. He threw him out the door, and that’s when Officer Bell came and tried to arrest Fonny. Fonny had been trying to protect Tish. So, it kind of makes sense that Tish would say he’s in jail because he worries too much. Oliver — Is there something I’m missing here?

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Dec 3
SANIYA L (Dec 03 2020 2:42AM) : I think something bad happened to clementine and she doesnt want to tell Alonzo so she doesnt worry him but she knows she has to.
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:27AM) : He worry’s a lot and that’s what got him in jail
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:27AM) : I feel like there is something bad she’s about to tell him
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Jan 27
Lena F (Jan 27 2021 12:23AM) : I think it is foreshadowing the reason he's in jail, and it's going to be revealed later.
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And I thought, too, that when he got over being worried, when he was lying by himself at night, when he was all by himself, in the very deepest part of himself, maybe, when he thought about it, he’d be glad. And that might help him.

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Jan 22
Dehao L (Jan 22 2021 7:47PM) : I think this means that they thought that being alone was something that made him feel better which is something many people have so I don't believe it would be their fault if they interpret it wrong
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Jan 25
Laila K (Jan 25 2021 7:53PM) : I wonder if she had any doubts about how he would take the news
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I said, “Alonzo, were going to have a baby.”

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Dec 1
AMRA B (Dec 01 2020 5:04PM) : I feel shocked.
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Dec 9
VICTORIA T (Dec 09 2020 8:13PM) : I feel the same way, because at first I was wait what then I was like Damnn, that rlly happened
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Dec 3
SANIYA L (Dec 03 2020 2:44AM) : Um how old is she? and my guess of them being lovers was correct.
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Dec 4
MATTHEW W (Dec 04 2020 4:30PM) : im guessing these two are lovers
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Dec 7
Nico V (Dec 07 2020 5:25AM) : wow this is a big point of the book
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:29AM) : So I’m guessing there more then friends
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Dec 17
Isabelle L (Dec 17 2020 11:06AM) : Alonzo and this girl are having a baby while Alonzo is in jail.
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Jan 27
Lena F (Jan 27 2021 12:24AM) : I wonder how this will affect their relationship.
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Jan 29
Alexander w (Jan 29 2021 3:56PM) : It's really hard to have a baby with your lover while your in jail it shows that fonny and tish are really in love
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I looked at him. I know I smiled. His face looked as though it were plunging into water. I couldn’t touch him. I wanted so to touch him. I smiled again and my hands got wet on the phone and then for a moment I couldn’t see him at all and I shook my head and my face was wet and I said, “I’m glad. I’m glad. Don’t you worry. I’m glad.”

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Jan 29
Alexander w (Jan 29 2021 3:59PM) : The way this paragraph was orchestrated i feel like baldwin is showing the connection between tish and fonny
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Jan 20
JAYDEN T (Jan 20 2021 7:47PM) : Im guessing this means he looks rough or beat up. [Edited]
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Jan 22
Genesis G (Jan 22 2021 7:04PM) : agreed
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Jan 25
Laila K (Jan 25 2021 7:47PM) : She probably couldn't see him because her eyes were full of tears, and her face was wet too.
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Jan 25
Kiran C (Jan 25 2021 7:57PM) : Yes. I agree. The way Baldwin describes his characters' physicality puts us so close to them that we're practically inside them. He is a master of interiority. [Edited] more

When he writes, “His face looked as though it were plunging into water,” he causes us to have the sensation of looking out through tears of our own.

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Jan 27
Laila K (Jan 27 2021 7:26PM) : Yeah i like when authors write like that it makes reading more interesting
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Dec 4
Mbathio M (Dec 04 2020 7:32PM) : Connection more

She probably thought that he thought that this baby was a mistake and that Tish didn’t want it so she said that to reassure him

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Dec 7
Luisa P (Dec 07 2020 4:03AM) : I agree maybe since he in jail and she says that he worries about things he just trying to make sure.
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Dec 8
MATTHEW W (Dec 08 2020 3:16PM) : i agree
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Jan 20
JAYDEN T (Jan 20 2021 7:56PM) : i agree
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Jan 27
Laila K (Jan 27 2021 7:34PM) : I disagree more

I Think she was more worried about Fonny thinking she wouldnt want to keep it

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But he was far away from me now, all by himself. I waited for him to come back. I could see it flash across his face: my baby? I knew that he would think that. I don’t mean that he doubted me: but a man thinks that.And for those few seconds while he was out there by himself, away from me, the baby was the only real thing in the world, more real than the person, more real than me.

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Dec 4
Jaylene G (Dec 04 2020 4:44PM) : Not Alonzo’s baby, he probably knows but still wants to support her.
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Jan 29
Alexander w (Jan 29 2021 4:02PM) : At least he still wants to support and be with her because when some people come out of jail they only worry about themselves not there significant other or a baby
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Dec 1
AMRA B (Dec 01 2020 5:02PM) : I notice that Tish baby means the world to her.
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Dec 1
Kiran C (Dec 01 2020 5:17PM) : I see it differently. more

Isn’t Tish saying the baby means the world TO FONNY? — that the baby seems more real to him than she does? What makes me think this is Tish’s words at the end, where she says, “more real than me.”

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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:31AM) : She wishes he was with her and not alone
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Jan 3
Isabell Z (Jan 03 2021 7:18AM) : She wants to have the baby of theirs. Even though she is 19 she truly wants it.
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Jan 30
Delilah M (Jan 30 2021 12:36AM) : Because Fonny is in jail and Tish is so young, it’s unsurprising that he immediately begins to worry about her pregnancy.

I should have said already: we’re not married. That means more to him than it does to me, but I understand how he feels. We were going to get married, but then he went to jail.

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Dec 17
Isabelle L (Dec 17 2020 11:09AM) : They were going to get married before Fonny went to jail.

Fonny is twenty-two. I am nineteen.

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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:32AM) : They are not married they was going to get married but he went to jail
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Dec 3
SANIYA L (Dec 03 2020 2:45AM) : so hes 3 years older then her

He asked the ridiculous question: “Are you sure?”

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Jan 20
Dante T (Jan 20 2021 8:54PM) : I wouldn't say that this is a "Ridiculous question". more

I feel like this is a very natural question to ask. In this context, this question doesn’t seem like the type that derived from doubt, more from the need of reassurance. News like this is very shocking, especially if it isn’t planned (which it didn’t seem like it was) so I can see why he’d ask the “ridiculous question”, “are you sure?”

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“No. I ain’t sure. I’m just trying to mess with your mind.”

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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:33AM) : He is 3 years older then her
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Dec 4
JUAN V (Dec 04 2020 4:28PM) : . more

either I think that Tish is saying that because they both did “something” in between the days of Fonny’s freedom & imprisonment, yet they weren’t married.

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Dec 4
Mbathio M (Dec 04 2020 7:38PM) : I think that she was being sarcastic when saying that because what Fonny implied by asking “are you sure?” is that she wasn’t certain if she was pregnant
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:34AM) : She made a joke out of it
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Jan 27
Kiran C (Jan 27 2021 3:57PM) : Yeah. Tish got jokes. more

She has a sense of humor. Maybe she’s trying to get Fonny to laugh, and respond positively to her news?

Then he grinned. He grinned because, then, he knew.

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‘What we going to do?” he asked me – just like a little boy.

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“Well, we ain’t going to drown it. So, I guess we’ll have to raise it”

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Dec 17
Isabelle L (Dec 17 2020 11:09AM) : They like to joke around a lot together and be sarcastic. They're very close even though he is in jail.
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Fonny threw back his head, and laughed, he laughed till tears come down his face. So, then, I felt that the first part, that I’d been so frightened of, would be all right.

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Jan 30
Delilah M (Jan 30 2021 12:38AM) : the sense of urgency surrounding Tish’s pregnancy and Fonny’s freedom is overwhelming, idea of having a child also gives hope
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“Did you tell Frank?” he asked me.

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Frank is his father.

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Dec 9
OCEAN D (Dec 09 2020 3:40PM) : I think Tish is telling us that Frank is fonny's father no the baby's
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I said, “Not yet.”

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Nov 24
AMRA B (Nov 24 2020 9:24PM) : I didn't expect this coming.
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Dec 1
Kiran C (Dec 01 2020 5:30PM) : Baldwin's hooked our attention for good, now. more

All of a sudden Baldwin stops using long, descriptive sentences and starts laying down short, clipped sentences, rat-a-tat-tat. His writing emphasizes the drama.

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Nov 25
OCEAN D (Nov 25 2020 2:00AM) : I wasn't expecting that! [Edited] more
I wonder how Alonzo feels. How is he supposed to take care of the kid if he’s in jail?
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Dec 2
AMRA B (Dec 02 2020 8:46PM) : if he is in jail that puts all of the responsibility on Tish
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:36AM) : He asked if she told his or her parents but she haven’t yet
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“You tell your folks?”

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“Not yet. But don’t worry about them. I just wanted to tell you first.”

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‘Well,” he said, “I guess that makes sense. A baby.”

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He looked at me, then he looked down. “What you going to do, for real?”

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Dec 7
Luisa P (Dec 07 2020 4:06AM) : It looks like Fonny is starting to worry and question how they will raise their baby.
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Jan 30
Delilah M (Jan 30 2021 12:42AM) : Tish’s pregnancy makes Fonny more aware of his prison stay, she's lending Fonny a sense of hope.

“I’m going to do just like I been doing. I’ll work up to just about the last month. And then, Mama and Sis will take care for me, you ain’t got to worry. And anyway we have you out of here before then.”

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Dec 17
Isabelle L (Dec 17 2020 11:07AM) : Her mom and sister can help out with the baby while she works because Fonny is in jail.
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Dec 4
Luisa P (Dec 04 2020 7:36PM) : What did he do to be in jail?

“You sure about that?” With his litte smile.

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“Of course I’m sure about that. I’m always sure about that.”

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Nov 25
Kaimea Z (Nov 25 2020 7:29PM) : how can she be sure about that? what can she do to guarantee Fonny's getting out of prison? [Edited]
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Dec 7
Luisa P (Dec 07 2020 4:08AM) : I agree I think she just loves him a lot that why she says that.
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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:37AM) : Her sister and mom will take care of her while he’s in jail
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I knew what he was thinking, but I can’t let myself think about it – not now, watching him. I must be sure. The man came up behind Fonny, and it was time to go. Fonny smiled and raised his fist, like always, and I raised mine and he stood up. I’m always kind of surprised when I see him in here, at how tall he is. Of course, he’s lost weight and that may make him seem taller.

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Dec 4
JUAN V (Dec 04 2020 4:31PM) : . more

raising your fist is the meaning of having hope & power.

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Jan 27
Laila K (Jan 27 2021 7:43PM) : This probably means he's not being fed or taken care of well in the prison, which unfortunately, isn't surprising. Knowing this and seeing him like that must make Tish upset.

He turned around and went through the door and the door closed behind him.

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I felt dizzy. I hadn’t eaten much all day, and now it was getting late.

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I walked out, to cross these big, wide corridors I’ve come to hate, corridors wider than all the Sa­hara desert. The Sahara is never empty; these corridors are never empty. If you cross the Sahara, and you fall, by and by vultures circle around you, smelling, sensing, your death. They circle low­er and lower: they wait. They know. They know exactly when the flesh is ready, when the spirit cannot fight back. The poor are always crossing the Sahara. And the lawyers and bondsmen and all that crowd circle around the poor, exactly like vultures. Of course, they’re not any richer than the poor, really, that’s why they’ve turned into vultures, scavengers, indecent garbage men, and I’m talking about the black cats, too, who, in so many ways, are worse. I think that, personally, I would be ashamed. But I’ve had to think about it and now I think that maybe not. I don’t know what I wouldn’t do to get Fonny out of jail. I’ve never come across any shame down here, except shame like mine, except the shame of the hardworking black ladies, who call me Daughter, and the shame of proud Puerto Ricans, who don’t understand what’s happened – no one who speaks to them speaks Spanish, for example – and who are ashamed that they have loved ones in jail. But they are wrong to be ashamed. The people responsible for these jails should be ashamed.

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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:38AM) : She always gets surprised with his height
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Jan 22
Dehao L (Jan 22 2021 7:54PM) : I like this comparison , it really shows the knowledge he has for both of these places and comparing them gives you a better image of the place.
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Nov 30
ANGELINA T (Nov 30 2020 8:21PM) : I think Tish is trying to talk about more

how lawyers and bondsmen were so desperate to make a quick buck that they look for any opportunity to do so. “They’re not any richer than the poor, really, that’s why they’ve turned into vultures, scavengers, indecent garbage men,”

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Jan 19
ANDERSON M (Jan 19 2021 6:13PM) : i agree
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Jan 22
Dehao L (Jan 22 2021 7:56PM) : I agree and i'll add on with that animals lie vultures seems to like to taunt on their victims/prey , so possibly implying that some would make the money just to brag to the people who couldn't make as much as them.
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Jan 30
Delilah M (Jan 30 2021 12:44AM) : She talks about how the legal system is inherently exploitative since rich white lawyers and bondsmen profit off of the misfortune of young black men
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Dec 13
EMMANUEL R (Dec 13 2020 5:21AM) : prison more

Its good to see that she does feel shame but understand that she andnother are strong. Having loved ones in prison sis not there fault or anyones fault. Its the fault of the prison system and just jails in general.

And I’m not ashamed of Fonny. If anything, I’m proud. He’s a man. You can tell by the way he’s taken all this shit that he’s a man. Sometimes, I admit, I’m scared – because nobody can take the shit they throw on us forever. But, then, you just have to somehow fix your mind to get from one day to the next. If you think too far ahead, if you even try to think too far ahead, you’ll never make it.

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Jan 20
shaliyah f (Jan 20 2021 2:53PM) : Tish talks about how proud she is of fonny, im glad that hes handling being in jail. [Edited]
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Jan 25
JAIDEN N (Jan 25 2021 10:42AM) : i think she loves him
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May 5
jayden p (May 05 2021 1:18PM) : i agree more

i agree because she really showing like she likes him. also she shows him alot of attention

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Jan 29
Delilah M (Jan 29 2021 6:48PM) : She also talks about how a prisoner’s loved ones should be “ashamed” of them. more

Tish shows legal system is very manipulative and prejudiced

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Dec 2
SANIYA L (Dec 02 2020 8:49PM) : she really loves him
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Dec 4
JUAN V (Dec 04 2020 10:34AM) : . more

agreed

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Dec 1
Kaimea Z (Dec 01 2020 12:17PM) : why is Tish proud of Fonny? [Edited] more

What did Fonny go through that made Tish proud of him? what things did Fonny endure that made her proud? Why is Fonny even in jail in the first place?

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Dec 11
ALEXANDER C (Dec 11 2020 3:52PM) : I think Tish is just loves him thats why he doesnt see Fonny in a bad way.
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Dec 2
hai cheng l (Dec 02 2020 11:08AM) : Tish believes in Fonny
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Dec 2
AMRA B (Dec 02 2020 2:47PM) : I agree because she really cares about him.
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Dec 4
DOUGLAS M (Dec 04 2020 1:23PM) : I think that tish just really loves and supports Fonny
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:40PM) : She is not ashamed of him even if he’s in jail
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Dec 10
kailyn m (Dec 10 2020 10:41PM) : She’s proud of him for being able to handle all of the things he’s going through but she’s also scared
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Jan 29
Delilah M (Jan 29 2021 6:50PM) : Despite the fact that she’s proud of Fonny, she worries if the pressure of Fonny’s imprisonment might someday become too much to bear. “Nobody can take the shit they throw on us forever,”
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Dec 3
SANIYA L (Dec 03 2020 8:33PM) : I wonder what her and Fonny go through
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Dec 4
Luisa P (Dec 04 2020 1:39PM) : This makes me think that something big happened and that why he's In jail and maybe that why she proud of him?
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Dec 4
Mbathio M (Dec 04 2020 1:40PM) : Thought more

Maybe she thinks that Fonny might give up because of everything he’s going through

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Dec 7
Alexis K (Dec 07 2020 10:49AM) : opinion more

i think this means to not think to much about the next day and focus on today.

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Dec 10
Drew H (Dec 10 2020 5:52PM) : (replying) I agree with you Alexis, it's almost as if it gives me inspiration. A want to keep my mind clear and not get to ahead of myself.
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Jan 22
Genesis G (Jan 22 2021 1:06PM) : i agree
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Jan 20
JAYDEN T (Jan 20 2021 1:52PM) : i agree
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Jan 29
jayden p (Jan 29 2021 10:23AM) : i agree because people worry to much
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Jan 20
JAYDEN T (Jan 20 2021 1:52PM) : This is a deep quote and its lowkey really true.
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Jan 22
Genesis G (Jan 22 2021 1:06PM) : i agree
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Jan 27
Oliver B (Jan 27 2021 9:20AM) : I also agree!

Sometimes I take the subway home, sometimes I take the bus. Today, I took the bus because it takes a little longer and I had a lot on my mind.

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Dec 11
Kiran C (Dec 11 2020 6:20PM) : The subway station she probably got out at was 135th Street, in Harlem. (Same as Baldwin himself). Here's a picture: more
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Being in trouble can have a funny effect on the mind. I don’t know if I can explain this. You go through some days and you seem to be hearing people and you seem to be talking to them and you seem to be doing your work, or, at least, your work gets done; but you haven’t seen or heard a soul and if someone asked you what you have done that day you’d have to think awhile before you could answer. But, at the same time, and even on the self-same day – and this is what is hard to explain – you see people like you never saw them before. They shine as bright as a razor. Maybe it’s because you see people differently than you saw them before your trouble started. Maybe you wonder about them more, but in a different way, and this makes them very strange to you. Maybe you get stared and numb, because you don’t know if you can depend on people for anything, an­ymore.

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Jan 22
Dehao L (Jan 22 2021 8:01PM) : This reminds of me of me and many other people ive known. Being in trouble is something that not just effects people negatively but can lead to even worse decisions made by that. Being in Trouble puts people in a panicing mind set. more

Which not only blocks their way of thinking correctly but also can make then make even worse decisions.

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And, even if they wanted to do something, what could they do? I can’t say to anybody in this bus, Look, Fonny is in trouble, he’s in jail – can you imagine what anybody on this bus would say to me if they knew, from my mouth, that I love somebody in jail? – and I know he’s never commit­ted any crime and he’s a beautiful person, please help me get him out. Can you imagine what any­body on this bus would say? What wouldyou say? I can’t say, I’m going to have this baby and I’m scared, too, and I don’t want anything to happen to my baby’s father, don’t let him die in prison, please, oh, please! You can’t say that. That means you can’t really say anything. Trouble means you’re alone. You sit down, and you look out the window and you wonder if you’re going to spend the rest of your life going back and forth on this bus. And if you do, what’s going to happen to your baby? What’s going to happen to Fonny?

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Dec 11
kailyn m (Dec 11 2020 4:42AM) : She has a lot on her mind so she took a bus
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Dec 12
kailyn m (Dec 12 2020 10:11PM) : She doesn’t knownif she can depend on anyone
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Jan 30
Delilah M (Jan 30 2021 12:57AM) : This moment has to do with the fact that she and Fonny are at a disadvantage in American society. “I can’t say to anybody in this bus, Look, Fonny is in trouble, he’s in jail,” more
honestly, it wouldn’t matter if a stranger wanted to help her in the first place since nobody could truly do something to improve her and Fonny’s situation.
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Dec 4
ROJO V (Dec 04 2020 4:23PM) : What did he do to go to jail
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Dec 7
Luisa P (Dec 07 2020 4:14AM) : I think she knows that she can't help Fonny but she loves him so much that she willing to be by his side when he's in jail.
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Jan 27
Oliver B (Jan 27 2021 3:18PM) : Even though Tish puts on this front like she has everything handled, It still goes to show that she's quite young and feels alone, it seems that Fonny was someone she really depended on.
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