Folks says if you was to walk across that bridge today, you could still hear that drowned young man cryin out from the water. There was lots of Emmett Tills, only most of em didn't make the news. Folks says the bayou in Red River Parish is full to its pea-green brim with the splintery bones of colored folks that white men done fed to the gators for covetin their women, or maybe just lookin cross-eyed. Wadn't like it happened ever day. But the chance of it, the threat of it, hung over the cotton fields like a ghost. I worked them fields for nearly thirty years, like a slave, even though slavery had supposably ended when my grandma was just a girl.
I had a shack I didn't own, two pairs a' overalls I got on credit, a hog, and a out-house.
I worked them fields, plantin and plowin and pickin and givin all the cotton to the Man that owned the land, all without no paycheck. I didn't even know what a paycheck was. It might be hard for you to imagine, but I worked like that while the seasons rolled by from the time I was a little bitty boy, all the way past the time that president named Kennedy got shot dead in Dallas.
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All them years, there was a freight train that used to roll through Red River Parish on some tracks right out there by Highway 1. Ever day, I'd hear it whistle and moan, and I used to imagine it callin out about the places it could take me One day, I just got tired a' bein poor. So I walked out to Highway 1, waited for that train to slow down some, and jumped on it.
I didn't get off till the doors opened up again, which happened to be in Fort Worth, Texas. Now when a black man who can't read, can't write, can't figger, and don't know how to work nothin but cotton comes to the big city, he don't have too many of what white folks call "career opportunities.
I ain't gon' sugarcoat it: The streets'll turn a man nasty. And I had been nasty, homeless, in scrapes with the law, in Angola prison, and homeless again for a lotta years by the time I met Miss Debbie. I want to tell you this about her: She was the skinniest, nosiest, pushiest woman I had ever met, black or white. She was so pushy, I couldn't keep her from finding out my name was Denver. She investigated till she found it out on her own. For a long time, I tried to stay completely outta her way. But after a while, Miss Debbie got me to talkin 'bout things I don't like to talk about and tellin things I ain't never told nobody — even about them three boys with the rope.
Some of them's the things I'm fixin to tell you. Life produces some inglorious moments that live forever in your mind. One from remains seared on my brain like the brand on a longhorn steer. In those days, all schoolchildren had to bring urine samples to school, which public health workers would then screen for dread diseases. As a second grader at Riverside Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, I carefully carried my pee to school in a Dixie cup like all the other good boys and girls.
But instead of taking it to the school nurse, I mistakenly took it directly to Miss Poe, the meanest and ugliest teacher I ever had. My error sent her into a hissy fit so well-developed you'd have thought I'd poured my sample directly into the coffee cup on her desk. To punish me, she frog-marched me and the whole second-grade class out to the play-ground like a drill sergeant, and clapped us to attention.
Because he was stupid enough to bring his Dixie cup to the classroom instead of the nurse's office, he will spend the next thirty minutes with his nose in a circle. Miss Poe then produced a fresh stick of chalk and scrawled on the redbrick schoolhouse wall a circle approximately three inches above the spot where my nose would touch if I stood on flat feet.
Humiliated, I slunk forward, hiked up on tiptoes, and stuck my nose on the wall. After five minutes, my eyes crossed and I had to close them, remembering that my mama had warned me never to look cross-eyed or they could get locked up that way. After fifteen minutes, my toes and calves cramped fiercely, and after twenty minutes, my tears washed the bottom half of Miss Poe's circle right off the wall.
Same Kind of Different as Me movie review () | Roger Ebert
With the strain of loathing peculiar to a child shamed, I hated Miss Poe for that. And as I grew older, I wished I could send her a message that I wasn't stupid.
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I hadn't thought of her in years, though, until a gorgeous day in June when I cruised down North Main Street in Fort Worth in my Mercedes convertible, and security waved me through the gate onto the private tarmac at Meacham Airfield like a rock star. It would have been perfect if I could have had Miss Poe, a couple of old girlfriends — Lana and Rita Gail, maybe — and, what the heck, my whole Haltom High graduating class, lined up parade-style so they could all see how I'd risen above my lower-middle-class upbringing.
Looking back, I'm surprised I made it to the airfield that day, since I'd spent the whole ten-mile trip from home admiring myself in the rearview mirror. I guided the car to the spot where a pilot stood waiting before a private Falcon jet. Dressed in black slacks, a starched white shirt, and spit-shined cowboy boots, he raised his hand in greeting, squinting against the Texas heat already boiling up from the tarmac.
Hall," he called over the turbines' hum. Carefully, and one at time, we moved three Georgia O'Keeffe paintings from the Mercedes to the Falcon. Two years earlier, I had sold the same collection — two of O'Keeffe's iconic flower paintings and one of a skull — to a wildly wealthy south Texas woman for half a million dollars. Now, that client was divesting herself of both a gold-digging husband and the O'Keeffes. The new buyer, an elegant, fiftyish woman who owned one of the finest apartments on Madison Avenue and probably wore pearls while bathing, was also divorcing.
She was hosting a luncheon for me and a couple of her artsy, socialite friends that afternoon to celebrate her new acquisitions. No doubt an adherent to the philosophy that living well is the best revenge, she had used part of her king's-ransom divorce settlement to purchase the O'Keeffes at nearly double their former value.
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My client had sent the Falcon down from New York to retrieve me. Inside, I stretched out in a buttercream leather seat and perused the day's headlines.
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The pilot arrowed down the runway, took off to the south, then banked gently north. On the climb-out, I gazed down at Fort Worth, a city about to be transformed by local billionaires.
It was much more than a face-lift: Giant holes in the ground announced the imminent construction of great gleaming towers of glass and steel. So ambitious was the project that it was systematically displacing the city's homeless population, which was actually a stated goal, a way to make our city a nicer place to live. Looking down from three thousand feet, I was secretly glad they were pushing the bums to the other side of the tracks, as I despised being panhandled every day on my way to work out at the Fort Worth Club.
My wife, Debbie, didn't know I felt quite that strongly about it. I played my nouveau elitism pretty close to the vest. Ancient history as far as I was concerned. I had shot like a rocket from canned soup to investment banking to the apex of the art world. Gratitude in the face of aggressive condescension. Eventually Hounsou borrows a suit, goes to church and teaches the community an absolutely meaningless life lesson. God, I hate this film so much. I want to set it on fire. I want to kick it to splinters in front of its crying children.
I want to drown it in a bucket of horse diarrhoea. This is the worst, most offensive thing I have ever seen. Still, at least the act of patronising Hounsou half to death has brought Kinnear and Zellweger closer together. Topics Film Trailer review. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All.