Everything in Harlem is black — except all business which is owned by whites and immigrants. The only stores that are not owned by whites, the street people will tell you, are the omnipresent funeral homes, since white undertakers will have nothing to do with black bodies. Being an undertaker is one of the surest ways of reaching middle-class status. For death is as ubiquitous in Harlem as the fear haunting everybody beneath the uneasy sporadic laughter. Yet I feel safer as a member of the ever-present invisible «Whitey» in Harlem than most blacks are, for as always in slavery, aggression is aimed towards fellow victims rather than towards the hated oppressor.