From the book Sula
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Founder of National Suicide Day, Shadrack is a veteran of war. A survivor of battle, Shadrack was hospitalized for over a year before he returned to the Bottom. He lives in a shack previously owned by his long deceased grandfather. On January 3 every year, in observance of National Suicide Day, he parades through the Bottom with a cowbell and lets everyone know that they may kill themselves or one another.