Remus- Views of the African Exodus

THE Southern papers have not devoted much attention to the movement that is known as the " African exodus." This is to be ac counted for by the fact that the modern re porter, sharp as he is. has never yet learned the art of getting information from the ne groes, particularly if they are disposed to hold their tongues. In truth, the African exodus, so called, is important as well as serious. It is more extensive than the newspaper men have any idea of, and has made a very deep impression on a certain class of negroes.

Uncle Remus's "Miss Sally" discovered this fact the other morning, while she was at tending to her domestic duties, and heard a very interesting controversy in the bargain. The old man went into the kitchen, as was his custom, before going to his work. On this particular morning Chloe, the cook, seemed to be in a very good humor. She saluted Uncle Remus cordially, and then asked, in a tone of friendly solicitude: -

"Ain't you gwine home?"

"Ain't I gwine whar?" responded Uncle Remus.

"Ain't you gwine home ? Lots of 'em gwine home."

"What I gwine home fer, when I des come fumdar?" inquired the old man,looking at Chloe with a puzzled expression.

"Ah, Lord!" exclaimed Chloe, wiping the flour from her fat arms with her apron, "you ain't bin dar yit. you better git ready an' go."

"How come I ain't bin dar? You don't speck I bin trollopin' 'roun' fum post to pillar de whole blessed night, does you?"

"I went down ter Zion Chapel las' night, an' dar I hear Brer John Henry. Man, suh ! I ain't never hear anybody talk purtier dan what Brer John Henry did. He say, he did, dat we all mus' go back home - go back ter Af'ica whar we come fum; an' he kep' on tell he make us all feel right thankful. Sis 'Ria she jump up an' holler bless God! she gwine, an' den all un us holler dat we gwine. I hear talk er deze white folks preachers - man! dey can't hot' Brer John Henry a candle when he git up dar in de pulpit an' begin ter rock fum side ter side an' swing his arms. You better come on an' go wid us, better come on an' go home."

"Who - me ? " exclaimed Uncle Remus in- dignantly. "What I gwine to do in Affiky? I ain't no Affikin nigger."

"Yes, you is, too," said Chloe, somewhat wrought up, "kaze Brer John Henry say dat colored folks all come fum Af'ica, an' dem what 'ny it speaks fum ign'ance uv de sperrit."

"What he know 'bout it?" asked Uncle Remus, scornfully. "Down yander in Put mon County dat ar same preacher call hisse'f Tom Perryman, an' now he come up here en call hisse'f John Henry. Ef he ain't know his own name, how come he know so much 'bout Affiky ? Now des tell me dat."

"Ah, Lord!" exclaimed Chloe with inde scribable unction. "Brer John Henry know. He could n't a-talked no purtier dan ef he 'd 'a' done seed it. An' we er all agwine. I gi' 'im a dollar, an' Sis 'Ria gi' 'im a dollar, an' all un um gi' 'im a dollar."

"Who got de money ?" inquired Uncle Remus. "Dish yer John Henry?"

"No," said Chloe, "dey wuz a man dar, an' he tuck de money. He come fum 'way oft yander, an' he say he gwine take it an' buy tickets ter Af 'ica fer us all. He say he done got de tickets, and he gwine ter 'stribbit um 'fo' long, des soon ez de ship come in."

Here Uncle Remus uttered a dismal groan.

" Wuz you dar when dat ar Tom-en-Jerry preacher " -

"He name Brer John Henry," exclaimed Chloe, indignantly, "dat what he name."

"Wuz you dar, Chlory," Uncle Remus went on, "when dat ar John Henry preacher en de t'er man went 'roun' behime de house en 'vided de money out?"

"No, I wan't!" exclaimed Chloe, turning on the old man viciously, "an' nobody else ain't seed um - dat 's what!"

"I 'speck dat 's so," said Uncle Remus, rub bing his beard thoughtfully. "Dey er lots too slick fer dat."

"I dunner what you want ter run down yo' own color fer," remarked Chloe. "Better leave dat fer de white folks."

"Whose color?" inquired Uncle Remus, vith angry emphasis. "Ef dat ar John Henry ain't paint hisse'f, he's a rank merlatter ez de sun ever shined on. He ain't none er my color. I 'm a full-blood nigger, myse'f, en I come fum Ferginny."

"Dat what make me say what I does," said Chloe, in a tone at once friendly and confiden tial. " Bein' ez you is a full-blood nigger, you oughter come en go 'long wid us. you mghter come en go home ter Af 'ica wid us. Brer John Henry say dat de full-blood colored folks is got mo' p'int-blank rights in Af'ica dan all de yuther folks put together Brer John Henry cert'n'y say dem ve'y words."

Uncle Remus leaned against the wall and groaned. Chloe, ignoring the old man's ap parent contempt for the scheme, continued after a little pause: -

" Brer John Henry say we all des ez well go now ez to go later. He say dat Af'ica b'longs ter de colored folks by good rights, en he say dey oughter go en take occupiance er de tan' 'fo' it git tooken up by white folks. He say dat all dis country whar we at now b'longs ter de Injuns, en dey er gwine ter come back here en take it. Dey done broke loose out yander now; an' Brer John Henry say dat what dey fightin' fer, on account er de white folks takin' der Man' fum um, an' when dey come, de colored folks vhat stay here is got ter fight 'em. Brer John Henry is sholy say dat, kaze I hear 'im wid my own years."

The only comment that Uncle Remus made was a heart-rending groan.

"You may well ter groan," Chloe went on. "You may well ter groan ef you ain't gwine home wid us, kaze we er all a-gwine. De colored folks is done commence ter move. Dey er comin' here fum Texas an' fum all out dar."

"Comin' whar?" asked Uncle Remus.

"Comin' here, ter dis ve'y town."

" Is dis Affiky?"

"No, 'tain't, but it 's on de road, an' de colored folks is a-movin'."

"How long is dey gwine ter stay 'roun' yer?" Uncle Remus inquired, straightening himself up.

"Tell de ship come," said Chloe.

"Ah-yi!" exclaimed Uncle Remus. "Twel de ship come. Dat des 'zactly what I 'lowed. Dey er gwine ter stay twel de ship come, en betwixt dis time en dat, what dey gwine do? Who gwine ter feed um?"

"Dey gwine ter feed deyse'f," said Chloe, indignantly. "Who feed 'em whar dey come fum ? Dey had ter work dar - let 'em work here."

"I ain't so mighty sho' en certain 'bout der workin'," said Uncle Remus placidly. " I been noticin' dis, dat whar you fin' niggers so keen fer ter traipse alsout fum post ter pillar, dey ain't apt ter hurt deyse'f wid work. Some un um bin runnin' fum work ever sence de farmin' days wuz over. An' dey er makin' a great to- do 'bout gwine off ter Affiky, kaze somebody done gone en tole um da, all dey got ter do atter dey git dar is ter set in de sun en watch de truck grow. All dey got ter do is ter set dar en let der ha'r grow bushy. Ain't de man what wuz 'vidin out de money wid dat ar John Henry preacher a white man?"

"What ef he is?" responded Chloe, snap pishly;" what dat got ter do wid it?"

"Dar 't is!" exclaimed Uncle Remus tri umphantly. " You dunner whar he come fum. Yon dunner how long he gwine stay. You dunner whar he gwine. Yit de niggers is givin' im 'im der money, en makin' ready ter go ter Affiky. Dey er des er swarmin' ter At lanta en makin' ready ter cross de Atlanta Ocean, when 't won't mo' dan kyar um 'cross town en back. En yit, here you is talkin' ter me 'bout bein' er white folks nigger."

"I don't keer; I don't keer!" exclaimed Chloe. "I know what Brer John Henry say."

"Ef dat ar white man wuz ter come honeyin' 'roun' me," continued Uncle Remus, "I 'd do 'im like de Coon did de Polecat."

"Go off fum here!" said Chloe. "What de Coon do?"

"One mighty sol' day, Mr. Coon wuz layin' up in his house, which he call it de Holler Tree Tavern. He wuz all quiled up in dar, warm en snug, when he year somebody knock in' at de do'. Hit 'uz Mr. Polecat. Mr. Coon say, 'Who dar?' Mr. Polecat say, 'Vit 's me.' Den Mr. Coon say, 'What you want?' Mr. Polecat say, 'Open de do', I wanter come in en warm.' Mr. Coon say, 'What you name?' Mr. Polecat say, 'I 'm name Coony Coon, fum Coon Holler. I 'm de bes' frien' yo' gran'pa is ever had.' Mr. Coon crack de do' en peep at 'im, en den he say, 'Uh-uh ! you don't look like coon, you don't walk like coon, you don't talk like coon, en I know mighty well you don't smell like coon. You can't come in here !'"

"I say it! " exclaimed Chloe, restored to good humor.

" Miss Sally," said Uncle Remus, turning to the lady of the house, who came in just then, " I 'm gwine 'roun' en tighten up de chicken-house en de sto '-room twel dish yer Affikin move is done blowed over. Chlory dar" -

"Miss Sally!" exclaimed Chloe, "I'll hatter quit here ef you don't make dat ole nigger man go on 'bout his business. He been in here quoilin' de whole blessed mornin'."

But before the lady could say anything, Uncle Remus was rapidly walking across the yard with a rake on his shoulder.


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