Roots

Anderson: You know when I was a little boy, there was an old negro farmer that lived down the road from us, named Monroe. He was… I guess he was just a little more luckier than my daddy was. He bought himself a mule. It was a big deal in round that town. Now my daddy hated that mule. Kuse, his friends were always kidding him about, “They saw Monroe out plowing with his new mule and Monroe is going to rent another field now he had a mule”. One morning that mule showed up dead. They poisoned the water. After that, there wasn’t any mention about that mule around my daddy. It just never came up. One time we were driving down that road and we passed Monroe’s place and we saw it was empty. He just packed up and left, I guess, he must of went up north or something. I looked over at my daddy’s face, I knew he done it. He saw that I knew. He was ashamed. I guess he was ashamed. He looked at me and said: “If you ain’t better than a nigger, son, who are you better than?”.

Ward: I think that’s an excuse.

Anderson: No it’s not, excuse. It’s just a story about my daddy.

Ward: Where’s that leaves you?

Anderson: With an old man who just so full of hate that he didn’t know that being poor was what was killing him.

— “Mississippi Burning”