The handcuffs used in Will Mayes’s abduction symbolize the ongoing social and emotional enslavement of black men in this society, and the ways in which they are criminalized without reason or proof. As the angry mob of white men attempts to get Mayes into the car, an unidentified character produces the handcuffs. The mysterious origin of the handcuffs further suggests the possibility that one of the white men is a member of law enforcement, making the local authorities complicit in the extrajudicial killing of a black man. What is more, the image of a black man being shackled by a group of white men evokes images of slavery, reminding readers of its enduring legacy and of the slave-era mentality that lasted long after emancipation.
Handcuffs Quotes in Dry September
“Kill him, kill the black son!” the voice murmured. They dragged the Negro to the car. The barber had waited beside the car. He could feel himself sweating and he knew he was going to be sick at the stomach. “What is it, captains?” the Negro said. “I ain't done nothing. ‘Fore God, Mr John.” Someone produced handcuffs.