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WHY THE NEGRO IS BLACK.
NE night, while the little boy was watch
ing Uncle Remus twisting and waxing some shoe-thread, he made what appeared to him to be a very curious discovery. He discovered that the palms of the old man's hands were as white as his own, and the fact was such a source of wonder that he at last made it the subject of remark. The response of Uncle Remus led to the earnest recital of a piece of unwritten history that must prove interesting to ethnologists
“Tooby sho de pa’m er my han's w’ite, honey,” he quietly remarked; “en, w'en it come ter dat, dey wuz a time w'en all de w'ite folks ’uz black-blacker dan me, kaze I done bin yer so long dat I bin sorter bleach out.”
The little boy laughed. · He thought Uncle
Remus was making him the victim of one of his practical jokes; but the youngster was never more mistaken. The old man
The old man was serious. Nevertheless, he failed to rebuke the ill-timed mirth of the child, appearing to be altogether engrossed in his work. After a
After a while he resumed : “ Yasser. Fokes dunner w'at bin
let 'lone w'at gwineter be. Niggers is niggers now, but de time wuz w'en we 'uz all niggers tergedder.”
“When was that, Uncle Remus ?”
" Way back yander. In dem times we ’uz all un us black; we ’uz all niggers tergedder, en 'cordin' ter all de 'counts w'at I year fokes 'uz gittin 'long 'bout ez well in dem days ez dey is
But atter 'w'ile de news come dat dere was a pon' er water some’rs in de naberhood, w'ich if dey'd git inter dey'd be wash off nice en w'ite, en den one un um, he fine de place en make er splunge inter de pon', en come out w'ite ez a town gal. En den, bless grashus ! w'en de fokes seed it, dey make a break fer de pon', en dem w'at wuz de soopless, dey got in fus' en dey come out w’ite ; en dem w'at wuz de nex' soopless, dey got in nex', en dey come out merlatters;
en dey wuz sech a crowd un um dat dey mighty nigh use de water up, w’ich w'en dem yuthers come 'long, de morest dey could do wuz ter paddle about wid der foots en dabble in it wid der han’s. Dem wuz de niggers, en down ter dis day dey ain't no w'ite 'bout a nigger 'ceppin de pa'ms er der han's en de soles er der foot."
The little boy seemed to be very much interested in this new account of the origin of races, and he made some further inquiries, which elicited from Uncle Remus the following additional particulars :
“De Injun en de Chinee got ter be 'counted ’long er de merlatter. I ain't seed no Chinee dat I knows un, but dey tells me dey er sorter 'twix' a brown en a brindle. Dey er all merlatters."
“But mamma says the Chinese have straight hair,” the little boy suggested.
Co'se, honey," the old man unhesitatingly responded, " dem w'at git ter de pon' time nuff fer ter git der head in de water, de water hit onkink der ha'r. Hit bleedzd ter be dat away.”
THE SAD FATE OF MR. Fox.
OW, den," said Uncle Remus, with,
unusual gravity, as soon as the little boy, by taking his seat, announced that he was ready for the evening's entertainment to begin ; now, den, dish yer tale w'at I'm agwine ter gin you is de las' row er stumps, sho. Dish yer's whar ole Brer Fox los' his breff, en he ain't fine it no mo' down ter dis day.”
“ Did he kill himself, Uncle Remus ?” the little boy asked, with a curious air of concern.
“ Hole on dar, honey!” the old man exclaimed, with a great affectation of alarm ; “hole on dar! Wait! Gimme room ! I don't wanter tell you no story, en ef you keep shovin' me forrerd, I mout git some er de facks mix up 'mong deyse'f. You gotter gimme room en you gotter gimme time.”
The little boy had no other premature questions to ask, and, after a pause, Uncle Remus resumed :
“Well, den, one day Brer Rabbit go ter Brer Fox house, he did, en he put up mighty po' mouf.
He say his ole 'oman sick, en his chilluns cole, en de fier done gone out. Brer Fox, he feel bad 'bout dis, en he tuck'n s'ply Brer Rabbit widder chunk er fier. Brer Rabbit see Brer Fox cookin' some nice beef, en his mouf gun ter water, but he take de fier, he did, en he put out to'rds home; but present'y yer he come back, en he say de fier done gone out. Brer Fox 'low dat he want er invite ter dinner, but he don't say nuthin', en bimeby Brer Rabbit he up'n say, sezee :
Brer Fox, whar you git so much nice beef ?' sezee, en den Brer Fox he up'n 'spon',
You come ter my house ter-morrer ef yo’ fokes ain't too sick, en I kin show you whar
you kin git plenty beef mo' nicer dan dish yer,'
Well, sho nuff, de nex' day fotch Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox say, sezee :