“The stories, the murmurs, the headlines of the last few months had imprinted in my mind the word HATE. I had heard my sisters say, “Why do they hate us?” I had heard Mama say with lonesome resignation, “I don’t understand all this hate in the world.” It was a bleak and awful-sounding word, yet I had no idea at all what shape it might take if ever I confronted it. I saw it as a dark, amorphous cloud that would descend from above and enclose us forever. As we entered Los Angeles, I sat huddled in the back seat, silent, fearing any word I uttered might bring it to life.”
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