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In Egypt Land

In Egypt Land

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Published by Angela J. Smith

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Published by: Angela J. Smith on Apr 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/16/2011

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INEGYPTLAND
I
ItwasAlabama,
1932
butthespringcamesameasitalwayshad.Amanjustcouldn'thelpbelievingthiswouldbeagoodyearforhimwhenhesawredbudanddogwoodeverywhereinbloomandthepeachtreeblossomingallbyitselfupagainstthegrayboardsofthecabin.AmanhadtobelievesoCliffJameshitcheduphispairofoldmulesandwentoutandploweduptheoldlandtheotherman'slandbutheplowed
it
andwhen
it
wasploweditlookednewagainthecottonandcornstalksturnedundertheredclayshiningwithwetunderthesun.YearsagohethoughtheboughtthislandborrowedthemoneytopayforitfromthefurnishmerchantinNotasulgabigwhitemannamedMrParkerbutbetwixttheinterestandthebadtimescomingMrParkerhadgotthelandbackandnighonto
$500
moreowingtohimforinterestseedfertilizeandrationswithamortgageonallthestock-thetwocowsandtheircalvestheheiferandthepairofoldmules--MrParkercouldcomedrivethemofftheplaceanydayifhetookanotionandthelawwouldbackhim.Migh
ty
fewsharecroppersblackfolksorwhite
 
36In
Egypt
Land:ANarrativePoem,1940
evergotthemselvesstocklikeCliffhadtheydidn'thaveanycowstheyplowedwiththelandlord'smuleandtoolstheydidn'thaveathing.Tookaheapofdoingwithouttogetyourownstockandyourowntoolsbuthe'ddone
it
andstillthathadn'tmade
him
satisfiedThelandheplowedhewantedtobehis.Nowallcomeofwantinghisownlandhewasbacktowherehestarted.AnydayMrParkercouldrunhimoffdriveawaythemulesthecowstheheiferandthecalvestosellintowntakethewagontheplowtoolsthestore-boughtfurnitureandtheshotgunonthedebt.NothatwasonethingMrParkerneverwouldgetaholdofnotthatshotgun...Rememberingthatnightlastyearrememberingthemeetinginthechurchheandhisneighborsalwayswenttodeepinthewoods~andwhenthefolksweren'tsingingorprayingorclappingandstompingyoucouldhearthebranchsplashingoverrocksrightoutbehind.ThatmeetingnightthepreacherprayedaprayerforallthesharecropperswhiteandblackaskingthegoodLordJesustolookdownandseehowtheyweresuffering."FivecentcottonLordandnowayLordforamantocomeout.FiftycentsadayLordforworkinginthefieldjustfourbitsLordforagoodstronghandfromdawntodarkLordfromcantillcan't
 
In
Egypt
Land37
ain'tnowayLordamancancomeout.They'sgottobeawayLordshowustheway..."Andthentheysang."GoDownMoses"wasthesongtheysang"GoDownMoses,waydowninEgyptlandTelloldPharaohtoletmypeoplego"andwhentheyhadsungthesongthepreachergotupandhesaid"BrothersandsisterswegotwithustonightacoloredladyteachesschoolinBirminghamgoingtotellusabouttheUnionwhat'sgotroomforcoloredfolksandwhitewhat'sgotroomforallthefolksthatain'tgotnolandthatain'tgotnostockthatain'tgotnosomethingtoeathalftheyearthatain'tgotnoshoesthatraisesallthecottonbutcan'tgetnonetowear,ceptoldpatchedyoverhaulsandfloursackdresses.BrothersandsisterslistentothiscoloredladyfromBirminghamwhotheLorddonesentIdobelievetoshowustheway..."ThenthecoloredladyfromBirminghamgotupandshetoldthem.ShetoldthemhowshewasraisedonafarmherselfasharecropfarmnearDemopolisandwalkedsixmilestoaone-roomschoolandsixmilesbackeverydaytillherpeoplemovedtoBirminghamwheretherewasahighschoolforcoloredandshewenttoit.Thensheworkedinwhitefolks'housesandsavedwhatshemadetogotocollege.ShewenttoTuskegeeandwhenshefinishedgotajobteachingschoolinBirminghambutshenevercouldforgetthepeopleshewasraisedwith

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