Most folk say the sixth day was Saturday.
Cause on the seventh day didn’t the Lord rest and look his
creation over? Now it may have been Saturday that he done the
work of making man and woman, but from all the signs, he must
thought up the first man and woman on old unlucky Friday.
Saturday or Friday, the Lord made them. Then
he made a nice garden and a fine house with a cool dogtrot for
them to set in when the sun get hot. “Adam and Eve,” he say,
“here it is. Get your stuff together and move in.
“Thank you kindly, Lord,” say Eve.
“Wait a minute, Lord,” say Adam. “how
we going pay the rent? You aint create no money yet, is you?”
The Lord say, “Don’t worry your head
about that, Adam. It’s a free gift for you and the little
So the man and woman move in and start to
ready up the house to make it comfortable to live in. And then
the trouble began.
“Adam,” says the woman, “you get the
stove put up while I hangs the curtains.”
“Why don’t you put up the stove,” say
Adam, and me hang the curtains? You’s strong as me. The Lawd
ain’t made neither one of us stronger than the other. How come
you always shoving off the heavy stuff one me?”
“Cause there’s man’s work and there’s
woman’s work, Adam,” say Eve. “It don’t look right for
me to do that heavy stuff.”
“Don’t look right to who” say Adam.
“Who’s going see it? You know there ain’t no neighbors
Eve stomp the floor. She say, “Just cause
it ain’t no neighbors yet aint no reason for us acting trashy
behind their backs, is it?”
“Ain’t that just like a woman!” say
Adam. Then he set down and fold his arms. “I ain’t going put
up no stove,” he say, “for that woman!
Next thing he know old Eve lollop him in the
talk box with her fist and he fall over backward like a calf hit
by lightning. Then he scramble up and was all over her like a
wildcat. They bang and scuffle round there till the house look
like a cyclone been playing in it. Neither one could whup, cause
the Lord had laid the same equal strength on them both.
After while they both were too wore out to
scrap. Eve flop on the bed and start kicking her feet and
bawling. "Why you treat me so mean, Adam?" she holler.
"Wouldn't treat a no account old hound like you treat poor
Adam spit out a tooth and tried to open the
black eye she give him. He say, "If I had a hound that bang
into me like you does, I'd kill him."
But Eve start bawling so loud, with the tears
just sopping up the bed clothes, that Adam sneak out of the
house. Feeling mighty mean and low, he sat round awhile out
behind the smokehouse studying what best to do. Then he go up to
heaven to find the Lord.
The Lord say, "Well, Adam? Anything
about the house won't work? It's the first one I ever made and
it might have some faults."
Adam shake his head. "The house is
prime, Lord. The house couldn't be no better than it is."
"What then, Adam? say the Lord.
"To tell the truth," say Adam,
"it's that Eve woman. Lord, you made us with the equal
strength and that's the trouble. I can't get the best of her
nohow at all."
The Lord frown then. "Adam!" he
say. "Is you trying to criticize the Lord? Course you's of
the equal strength. That the fair way to make a man and woman so
they both pull in the harness even."
Adam tremble and shake but he so upset an
miserable he just has to keep on. He say, "But Lord, it
really ain't equal between the two of us."
Lord say, "Be careful there, Adam! You
is disputing the Lord smack to the face!"
"Lord," say Adam, "like you
says, we is equal in the strength. But that woman done found
another way to fight. She start howling and blubbering till it
make me feel like I'm a lowdown scamp. I can't stand that sound,
Lord. If it go on like that, I knows old Eve going always get
her way and make me do all the dirty jobs."
"How come she learn that trick?"
say the Lord, looking like he thinking hard. "Ain't seen no
little old pink man with horns and a pitchfork hanging round the
place, is you, Adam?"
"Naw, Lord. Thought I heard Eve talking
with somebody down in the apple orchard this morning, but she
say it just the wind blowing. Naw, I ain't seen no pink man with
horns. Who would that be, anyhow, Lord?"
"Never you mind, Adam," say the
"Well," say Adam, "this woman
trouble got me down. I sure be much oblige if you makes me
stronger than Eve. Then I can tell her to do a thing and slap
her till she do. She do what she told if she know she going get whupped."
"So be it!" say the Lord.
"Look at yourself, Adam!"
Well Adam look at his arms. Where before they
was smooth and round, now the muscle bump up like prize yams.
Look like it was two big corn pone under the skin of his chest
and that chest it was like a barrel. His belly it was like a
washboard and his legs so awful big and down right lumpy they
"Thank you kindly, good Lord!" say
Adam. "Watch the woman mind me now!" so that Adam high
tail it home and bust in the back door.
Eve setting down rocking in the rocker. Eve
looking mean. Didn't say a mumbling word when Adam come
strutting in. Just look at him, just reached down in the wood
box for a big stick of kindling.
"Drop that stick, woman!" say Adam
"Say who?" say the woman. "Who that
talking big round here?"
"With that, she jump on him and try to
hammer his head down with the stick
Adam just laugh and grab the stick and heave
it out the window. Then he give her a lazy little slap that sail
her clean cross the room. "That who saying it, sugar!"
"My feet must have slip or
something," say Eve. "And you the one going to pay for
it out of your hide, Adam!"
So the woman come up clawing and kicking and
Adam pick her up and whop her down.
"Feet slip again, didn't they?" say
"It must be I couldn't see good where
you is in this dark room," say Eve. She rise up and feather
into him again.
So Adam he pick her up and throw her on the
bed. Before she know what, he start laying it on with one hand,
hold her down with the other.
Before long Eve bust out bawling. She say,
"Please quit that whacking me, Adam honey! Aw please,
"Is I the boss round here?" say
"Yes, honey," she say. "You is
the head man, boss."
"All right," he tell her. "I
is the boss. The Lord done give me the more power of us two.
From now on out and then some, you mind me, woman! What I just
give you ain't nothing but a little hum. Next time I turn the
whole song loose on you."
He give Eve a shove and say, "Fry me
some catfish, woman."
"Yes, Adam honey," she say.
But old Eve was mad enough to bust. She wait
till Adam catching little nap. Then she flounce down to the
orchard where there's a big old apple tree with a cave between
the roots. She look round till she sure nobody see her, then she
stick her head in the cave and holler.
may been the wind blowing and it may been a bird, but it sure
sound like somebody in that cave talking with Eve. Eve she sound
like she complaining that she got a crooked deal and then it
sound like she saying, "yes--yes--Yes. You mean on which
wall? The east wall? Oh! all right."
Eve come back to the house all smiling to herself like she know
something. She powerful sweet to Adam the rest of the day.
next morning Eve go up to heaven to find the Lord.
say, "you again Eve? what can I do for you?"
smile and drop a pretty curtsy. "Could you do me a little
old favor, Lord?" say Eve.
Eve," say the Lord.
"See them two
little old rusty keys hanging on that nail on the east
wall?" Eve say. "If you ain't using them, I wish I had
them little old keys."
declare!" say the Lord. "I done forgot they hanging
there. But, Eve, they don't fit nothing. Found them in some junk
and think maybe I find the locks they fit some day. They been
hanging on that nail ten million years and I ain't found the
locks yet. if you want them, take them. Ain't doing me no
So Eve take the two keys and thank
the Lord and go on back down home. There was two doors without
no keys and Eve find that the two rusty ones fit.
she say. "Here's the locks the Lord couldn't find. Now,
Mister Adam, we see who the boss!" Then she lock the two
doors and hide the keys.
Before long Adam come
in out of the garden. "Gimme some food, woman!" he
"Can't Adam," say Eve.
"The kitchen door is lock."
fix that!" say Adam. So he try to bust the kitchen door
down. But the lord built that door and Adam can't even scratch
Eve say, "well, Adam honey, if you go
out in the woods and cut some wood for the fire. I maybe can get
the kitchen door open. Maybe I can put one then conjure tricks
on it. Now, run along, honey, and get the wood.
chopping is your work," say Adam, "since I got the
most strength. But I do it this once and see can you open the
So he get the wood and when he
come back, Eve had the door open. And from then on out Eve kept
the key to the kitchen and made Adam haul in the wood.
after supper Adam say, "Come on, honey, lets you and me hit
the frog hair."
eve. "The bedroom door is locked."
say Adam. "Reckon you can trick that door too, Eve?"
can," say Eve. "Honey, you just get a piece of tin an
patch that little hole in the roof and while you's doing it,
maybe I can get the bedroom door open."
Adam patched the roof and Eve she unlocked the bedroom door.
From then on she kept that key and used it to suit herself.
that the reason, the very reason, why the men think they is boss
and the women knows they is boss, cause they got them two little
keys to use in that slippery women's way. Yes, forever more and
And if you don't know that already,
you ain't no married man.
Source: Tennessee Writers' Project,
God Bless the Devil!
by James R. Aswell, et al. The University of Tennessee Press, 1985.
* * *
* * *
I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life
Edited by Michael G. Long
Bayard Rustin has been called the
“lost prophet” of the Civil Rights
Movement, a master strategist and
organizer of the 1963 March on
Washington and a deeply influential
figure in the life of Martin Luther
King Jr. Despite these achievements,
Rustin often remained in the
background, largely because he was
an openly gay man in a fiercely
homophobic era. Published on the
centennial of his birth, and in
anticipation of the 50th anniversary
of the historic March on Washington,
I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life
in Letters are his
words shining through a collection
of more than 150 of Rustin’s
letters. His correspondents include
major figures of his day — for
example, Eleanor Holmes Norton, A.
Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Ella
Baker and of course, Martin Luther
King Jr. “I have file boxes full of
Rustin’s letters that I tracked down
in archives across the country,”
said book editor Michael G. Long.
time it took to complete the research was much
longer than I had predicted, not just because of the
number of letters I had in hand, but also especially
because for their high quality. It was incredibly
difficult to weed out those letters I really liked
but that did not serve the purpose of putting
together a publishable narrative of letters. And
there are quite a few of those that are topically
fascinating but not easily fitting for a narrative.”—phillytrib
* * *
Sex at the Margins
Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry
By Laura María Agustín
This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. —Lisa Adkins, University of London
* * *
The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance
Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It
By Les Leopold
How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions: Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy? How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again?
And what can we do to get our money back? In this
page-turning narrative (no background in finance required)
Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's
exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school
districts were taken in by "innovative" products like
collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again.
* * * *
Life on Mars
By Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection.
Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
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Negro Digest /
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* * * * *
The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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post 22 June 2008