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In Words of Promise, coverage of the source of the Negro anthem "Lift E'vry Voice and Sing" captures the agonizingly small advances of black writers in the Jim Crow era.
In these, single figures (or occasionally small groups) captured in midmovement or at the climax of a pose appear isolated and luminous, spotlighted in pitch-dark surroundings: A man spins the wheels of a bicycle as it seems to climb an invisible 6o-degree hill; another hangs agonizingly upside down from a pole; a third, elderly man focuses every ounce of his attention on a ball he's juggling (all works untitled).
Now that primary market is three days away, via an agonizingly slow and robbery-prone train ride.
The author and Ian, and sometimes she alone, are taken on impromptu trips and spend days with people whose sense of time is agonizingly different from theirs.