African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Annie Virginia Culbertson, "The Origin of White Folks" (1920)

DE white folks nee-nter putt on airs
About dem wash'out faces,
De culled folks wuz made de fust,
De oldes' uv de races.
Dey'z kneaded outer mud an' truck,
An' den stood up in places
Along de fence to bake 'em dry,
An' dat's de on'liest reason why
Dey's got dem sunburnt faces.
Dey had a scrumpshous time ontwel
Ole Nick got on deir traces,
An' den dey et dat apple up,
An' fell in deep disgraces;
An' when dey hearn deir names called out,
Dey run fer hidin' places,
An' turnt so pale dey stayed dat way,
An' dat's de reason why, folks say,
Dey's got dem wash'out faces.

Published in The Brownies' Book, January 1920

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