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‘White and Brown’
A Moment between a Boxer and His Coach: Saturday, 1:00 P.M., 3/18/17

Oliver and James are walking up the stairs to the main floor of the Loch Raven Senior and Rec Center after training in the boxing gym below. Oliver had taken a disappointing step onto the scale and James had refused to crush his own hopes for fitness by stepping up to the indicting device.

Oliver is a young, kind-faced, black man with big bright, inquisitive eyes that place women of color under an instant spell and comfort sissy white folk. Oliver is a real, live, Magic Negro, making life better for a number of white folks.

James is an aging, white-bearded, Caucasian, with narrow blue “devil slits” for eyes—an infamous white devil, having actually been “The Man” for four years. He is a seasoned negro-wrangler and is tutoring Oliver in various aspects of magic negromanship. He uses his hickory juju stick as a cane as they walk up to the witless world above…


Oliver: You know, James, I was reading this woman’s article on losing weight and the difference between white fat and brown fat. Apparently white fat is easily accessed energy storage and can be reduced more quickly. But she describes brown fat as inert, hard to motivate, an inefficient means of tapping into the body’s energy reserves.

Laughter echoes in the stairwell from both men.

James: Well, Oliver what do you think of that characterization, keeping in mind that the brown fat she referenced—for I have seen it—is really more yellow than brown?

Oliver: Well, I find it both racist and hilarious.


James: You know those two words rhyme for a reason.

Oliver: Well, what do you think about it?

James: You know, questioning the work ethic of the yellow races is far beyond the pale. Some group has got to take the metaphoric hit.

The laughter of the enlightened diabolic echoes up through the halls of that marble-tiled edifice, that was once a school for childish minds and now houses pugilists, Zumba babes and the dull-witted elders of a dying race.

The Punishing Art

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