" Poor Man's Cotton" Hall Woodruff
There's not much work here for mamma. "Sharecropping ain't easy, especially for no woman" she'd tell me. Until one day she went up to daddy, who by the way is our landowner and said she leaving. Just think having to always worry that someone might take your mamma cause she chose to fall in love with a white man.
"Reapers" Jean Toomer 1923
Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones
Are sharpening scythes. I see them place the hones
In their hip-pockets as a thing that’s done,
And start their silent swinging, one by one.
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds.
His belly close to ground. I see the blade,
Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade.
It was just me and mama. Daddy felt that his life was in the South. Even though I missed my father I found it exciting. Traveling by train with all these random people. Watching the old folks play cards and say how the black man never gone get his break. It was thousands of us in all these tight rooms not knowing what to expect.
" Schools out" Allan Rohan 1936
Moving out here gave me new opportunities with being a little black girl. Smart in class and having white friends gave me some thing the South couldn't. Not to mention the nice clothing mamma was able to provide. My teacher Mrs. Kimberly said that Philly will open new doors for me. From the looks of it, it already is.