Just ran across a note on early 20th century PM among the blacks of the deep American south. Thought y’all might enjoy it.
It is from "The Seven Laws of Success", by Herbert W. Armstrong, p. 13…
In 1912 the Negroes of southern Mississippi were only 47 years removed from slavery and the end of the American Civil War — and fewer years still from the Carpetbagger debacle (1865-77).
During the first half of that year, though I was not yet twenty, I was timekeeper and paymaster of a southern Mississippi lumber mill. I handled the payroll of some 350 Negro laborers, in addition to other employees.
Education had not come to those adult laborers, though it was starting with their children. Victims of generations of this slavery and the Reconstruction Period that followed, not one of these men could write his own name. Each merely made a cross when I wrote out his name and labeled it: "His mark."
Yet, of all the classes of people I have ever known, these uneducated, happy-go-lucky Negroes of by-gone times appeared to be the happiest. They were free from cares and worries. They bore no burdens of responsibility. They weren’t even worried about civil rights.
They were like the man in the motion picture "Porgy and Bess" who sang: "I got plenty o’ nuthin’, and nuthin’s plenty fo’ me." But they had free air to breathe; the young man had his gal; the married his wife and many "chillun" — old Hub Evans, with "only three" wives, said he had "thutty-six, Suh, an’ hopes t’ make it foty fo’ ah dies."
Keywords: [tag]early[/tag], [tag]20th[/tag], [tag]century[/tag], [tag]american[/tag]
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