Unnamed Negro Paving Crew 1

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Unnamed Negro Paving Crew 1
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Unnamed Negro Paving Crew 1
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Perhaps as another symptom of the "newness" of the town Horace and Belle move to in Flags in the Dust after her divorce, on his way back from the railroad station he notes that the street is "uptorn . . . in the throes of being paved" (376). The "lines of negroes" doing the work "swing their tools in a languid rhythm," singing "snatches of plaintive minor chanting punctuated by short grunting ejaculations" (376). Since they explicitly work in "lines," this may be a chain gang, and the men may be convict laborers, but that is not said explicitly.