Gerte Quotes in Crumbs from the Table of Joy
LILY. [..] What? I don’t generally do this, but I’ve been nervous as of late.
GERTE. (Sarcastically.) Just how is your … “revolution?” Working hard? You’re spending a lot of time up at the headquarters in Harlem. Where is it exactly?
LILY. Lenox Avenue.
GERTE. That’s right, Lenox Avenue. I haven’t heard you mention it in quite some time. (Lily stands.)
ERNESTINE. Yeah, you ain’t said much.
LILY. ’Cause it’s liable to end up in one of your essays. You got too much imagination to keep a simple secret.
GERTE. Can’t you forget our differences behind this closed door. When I see you I see no color. I see Lily. (She lights a cigarette.)
LILY. Well when I see ya I see a white woman, and when I look in the mirror I see a Negro woman. All that in the confines in this here room. How about that? What do you see Ernie? You see any differences between us?
LILY. There you go.
GERTE. May I say to you both, I have seen what happens when we permit our differences—
LILY. (Enraged.) Don’t lecture me about race. You are the last person on earth I’d look to for guidance.
LILY. […] You expecting too much from that blanched mess of fabric. What’s it gonna get you?
ERNESTINE. I’m gonna graduate in it. I’ll be grown.
LILY. Grown. You think ’cause you got a diploma you grown. You’ll be ready to step out that door in your white dress and get a job or a husband.
GERTE. So where are the warriors in your revolution now? Why don’t they help us? How are we to lead our lives if we can’t go out for a … a picture show on a Saturday night.
LILY. Welcome to our world, […]. You ain’t supposed to period! Stop! Thought you knew about all these things being from Germany and all.
You see Ernestine that’s your America. Negro sitting on his couch with blood dripping down his face. White woman unscathed and the enemy not more than five years back. You can’t bring order to this world. You can’t put up curtains and pot plants and have things change. You really thought you could marry a white woman and enter the kingdom of heaven, didn’t ya?
GODFREY. I’ll make a note to speak to her later.
GERTE. STOP! You’ve assembled lists that run miles and miles. There’s an entire closet crowded with paper and scribbles of things you need to know, things you want to do, questions that must be answered. It would make three lifetimes to get through all of it.
GERTE. If you’d pay attention to the world around you, you wouldn’t have so many questions to ask.