My voice is the loudest.
In this story published incelebrated poet, novelist, and playwright Langston Hughes —67 describes such an incident in the life of a talented and proud American high school student, Nancy Lee Johnson, whose family had moved from the Deep South to the North so that she might have better opportunities.
What, to begin with, are her attitudes toward her country and toward her race? Has it changed by the end?
Has the move North been in vain? Is color-blindness a possible or desirable prospect in America—for blacks? If racial prejudice is at odds with the American Dream, what about racial pride and racial preferences? The thrilling news did not come directly to Nancy Lee, but it came in little indirections that finally added themselves up to one tremendous fact: Yet you never could tell.
Last year nobody had expected Joe Williams to win the Artist Club scholarship with that funny modernistic water color he had done of the high-level bridge.
In fact, it was hard to make out there was a bridge until you had looked at the picture a long time. Nancy Lee Johnson was a colored girl, a few years out of the South. But seldom did her high-school classmates think of her as colored.
She was smart, pretty and brown, and fitted in well with the life of the school. She stood high in scholarship, played a swell game of basketball, had taken part in the senior musical in a soft, velvety voice, and had never seemed to intrude or stand out, except in pleasant ways so it was seldom even mentioned—her color.
Nancy Lee sometimes forgot she was colored herself. She liked her classmates and her school. Particularly she like her art teacher, Miss Dietrich, the tall red-haired woman who taught her law and order in doing things; and the beauty of working step by step until a job is done; a picture finished; a design created; or a block print carved out of nothing but an idea and a smooth square of linoleum, inked, proofs made, and finally put down on paper—clean, sharp, beautiful, individual, unlike any other in the world, thus making the paper have a meaning nobody else could give it except Nancy Lee.
That was the wonderful thing about true creation. You made something nobody else on earth could make—but you. Nancy Lee was proud of being American, a Negro American with blood out of Africa a long time ago, too many generations back to count.
But her parents had taught her the beauties of Africa, its strength, its song, its mighty rivers, its early smelting of iron, its building of the pyramids, and its ancient and important civilizations. Both parents had been to Negro colleges in the South.
And her mother had gotten a further degree in social work from a Northern university. Her parents were, like most Americans, simple, ordinary people who had worked hard and steadily for their education.
Now they were trying to make it easier for Nancy Lee to achieve learning than it had been for them.The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley - Summary. Shirley's is a very noisy neighborhood. Of all of the noisy elements there, her voice is the loudest, she says, and proudly.
Her father too is loud. Her mother on the other hand is desperate for quiet. One morning, Shirley is called in to Mr. Hilton's classroom.
He offers her the part of narrator of. Dec 03, · NPR’s Book Concierge Our Guide To ’s Great Reads. by Nicole Cohen, David Eads, Rose Friedman, Becky Lettenberger, Petra Mayer, Beth Novey and Christina Rees – . "The Loudest Voice" is an amusing tale about a little Jewish girl, chosen to play the lead in her school's Christmas pageant, and her family's reactions.
Despite the story's popularity, Grace Paley's reading of it at Vermont Public Radio for New Letters On The Air was the first time she ever recorded it. Is Shirley in Grace Paley's "The Loudest Voice" considered a hero in her multicultural world?
If In Grace Paley's short story, "The Loudest Voice," Shirley, the daughter of Jewish immigrants, is considered a hero by the play's director Mr. Hilton, a teacher of the school play. CHRISTMAS STORY: The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley Posted on December 30, There is a certain place where dumb-waiters boom, doors slam, dishes crash; every window is a mother’s mouth bidding the street shut up, go skate somewhere else, come home.
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