streets of despair.
these streets stretch from one end to the other
and connect like a maze from which very few can fully escape.
despair sits on this country in most places like a charm,
but there is a special gray death that loiters in the streets
of an urban Negro slum...
and the distortion is as old as its sources:
the fear, frustration, and hatred
that Negroes have always been heir to.
it is just that in the cities,
which were once the black man's twentieth century "Jordan,"
promise is a dying bitch with rotting eyes.
and the stink of her dying is a deadly killing fume...
it is the tone,
the quality of suffering each man knows as his own
that finally must be important,
but this is the most difficult to get to.
LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka)