Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922

Uncle Rube's Defense

Whut do I keer ef de white-folks do 'buse us!
I'm go'n to stand fuh de cullud race;
Whut do I keer ef de roscals do 'cuse us
All, when dere's only one man in disgrace?

White-folks a-thievin' and rahin' an' kickin',
Uddah white-folks, ez still ez a mouse;
Aftahwhile, somebody steals a few chickens,
Den, dey wan'to search old Deacon Jones' house.

Habn't proved yet, dat a cullud man took dem;
'Coons gen'ly steal de chickens,' dey say,
Runnin' 'roun' here a-peepin' and a-lookin',
Givin' de re'l thief a chance to git away.

Ev'ry low trick dat de black man's a-doin'
'Flects right back on de race, as a whole;
But de low co'se dat de white man's pursuin',
Casts not a blot on his good brudder's soul.

Let de black man do somepin wuth mentionin',
White-folks ez still and shy ez a fawn;
Let him do somepin dat's mean an' belittlin',
Umph! den de whole race has got it an' gone.

I don't deny dat some blacks is a-tryin'
Hawd, to make de race 'pear like a cuss,
But do ez dey will,--you know I ain't lyin',
Dere's white-folks a-doin de same er wuss.

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