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Language Log

Friday, Mar. 21, 2008 - 11:59 a.m.

NPR's Story Corps this morning had a very timely story, recounted by a woman in Alabama. I think it was her grandmother? Maybe great grandmother. She had been a young woman in 1910 or so, and her (white) employer had thrown away some perfume and nail polish, so, not really having access to such things herself, she took it and wore it to church. Went to a store afterward, where the (white) storeowner asked her who let her wear nail polish and perfume like a white woman. Then he proceeded to take a pair of pliers and pull out her fingernails, one by one.

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I thought Obama's speech kicked ass.

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