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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  2738 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today's Writing Prompt: A Person and A Place

I think you have achieved your goal of presenting Mr. Wilson as part of the space he occupies. He is someone of the past who is still tenaciously holding on against time's march. I assume you mean to present him as sharp inside if you were to develop the story farther along because of the way you've presented the inner area of his home. I very much liked the presentation of the books within his parlor as the anchoring point of the home both because of the way early black civil right's leaders had to be well educated and present themselves, but also because that's always how I've felt next to a big wall-covering bookshelf, as if it was there to hold the weight of the entire house down on one corner. Big and powerful and larger than life.

Isherwood  ·  2738 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Spot on. If I were to develop it out, it would be the story of a downtown neighborhood in a southern city. As mostly white families come in with the intention of becoming part of the history of the neighborhood, they actually preserve a cleaner and more distant version of the past. As homeowners associations and neighborhood watch groups try to get Mr. Wilson to clean up his house to bring it up to the standards of the newly "historic neighborhood" the conversation with the reporter will show that the good intentions of these new families are almost the same as those of their father's, whose patronizing "we know best attitude" pushed a generation to the tipping point.

It's a fun idea actually, with the house and the neighborhood acting as a mirror to the social issues.

You're right about the interior and the book case, I'm hoping for Mr. Wilson to be the one who sees the parallels, and uses his knowledge of history to navigate a world of whites who believe they're helping but who also haven't examined that belief.