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We’re in the same boat brother, / We’re in the same boat brother,

And if you shake one end, / You gonna rock the other / It’s the same boat brother



We're in the Same Boat Brother

By Huddie “LeadBelly” Ledbetter


We’re in the same boat brother,

We’re in the same boat brother,

And if you shake one end,

You gonna rock the other

It’s the same boat brother


The Lord looked down from his holy place

Said Lawd duh me, what a sea of space

What a spot to launch the human race

So he built him a boat for a mixed-up crew,

With eyes of Black and Brown and Blue.

S that’s how’s come that you and I

Got just one world and just one sky.


We’re in the same boat brother,

We’re in the same boat brother,

And if you shake one end,

You gonna rock the other

It’s the same boat brother


Through storm and grief,

Hit many a rock and many a reef,

What keep them going was a great belief.

That the human race was a special freight

So they had to learn to navigate.

If they didn’t want to be in Jonah’s shoes,

Better be mated on this here cruise.—Why—


We’re in the same boat brother,

We’re in the same boat brother,

And if you shake one end,

You gonna rock the other

It’s the same boat brother


So the boiler blew, somewhere in Spain,

All the kettle was smashed and 40 cranes.

Steam boat out from the Oregon Main.

Oh, it took some time for the crew to learn

What is bad for the bow ain’t good for the stern.

If a fire took place in China today

Pearl Harbor just gonna blaze away.


We’re in the same boat brother,

We’re in the same boat brother,

And if you shake one end,

You gonna rock the other

It’s the same boat brother

posted 13 April 2006

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Huddie Ledbetter Biography


Huddie Ledbetter, known as “LeadBelly” was born January 20 (or 29), 1885 (or 1889), in Mooringsport, Louisiana (near Shreveport). LeadBelly, a nickname acquired in prison for his physical toughness,  was the only child of Wesley and Sally Ledbetter  His parents moved to Leigh, Texas when he was five and it was there that he became interested in music, encouraged by his Uncle Terrell who bought Huddie his first musical instrument, an accordion.

In 1916 (or 1918), LeadBelly fought and killed a man in Dallas and was sentenced to thirty years to be served in the state prison in Huntsville, Texas.

In 1925, LeadBelly wrote a song asking Governor Pat Neff for a pardon. Neff, as legend goes, set Huddie Ledbetter free.

In 1930, LeadBelly was arrested, tried, and convicted of attempted homicide and sentenced to another prison term in the infamous Angola Farm prison plantation in Louisiana.

In July 1933 LeadBelly met folklorist John Lomax and his son Alan who were touring the south for the Library of Congress collecting unwritten ballads and folk songs using newly available recording technology.

On August 1, 1934 LeadBelly got his pardon with the ballad “Goodnight Irene.”

On September 1, 1934 John Lomax agreed to hire LeadBelly as an assistant on his recording travels. the arrangement proved successful, so much so that Lomax decided to take Leadbelly to New York.

In 1935 Lomax took LeadBelly north to New York where he became a sensation.

He forged a reputation on the folk circuit, making personal appearances, recording for a variety of labels and doing radio work.

In 1936 John and Alan Lomax published with Macmillan Negro Folk Songs as Sung by LeadBelly.

In early 1939 Huddie was arrested for assault. During the trial LeadBelly made his first commercial recordings since 1935, for a small company known as "Musicraft," which had left-wing and liberal associations. LeadBelly recorded some 13 tracks and received a small advance on the royalties.

He was convicted by a jury of third-degree assault. He was sentenced to less than a year on Riker's Island prison, eventually serving just eight months.

In early 1940, LeadBelly was released, and moved back into the New York folk circuit. He had become well known in the recording industry.

In the early 40s, Ledbetter performed with Josh White, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Woody Guthrie.

In 1944 LeadBelly headed to Hollywood. There he made a reasonable living in conditions favored by the Californian defense industry, playing the club circuits.

He also had the opportunity to record some material for Capitol records, unusually backed by zither, including some rare piano rags very seldom featured in his repertoire.

The Capitol sessions remain some of LeadBelly's best recorded work.

In 1948 LeadBelly cut, with the aid of the newly invented long playing record, what would later become known as his Last Sessions, a definitive document of The Life and Music of the King of the Twelve-String Guitar.

In 1949 Ledbetter fell ill with Lou Gehrig’s disease on a European Tour.

On December 6, 1949, LeadBelly died in New York. . . .

Source: CYAD

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

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According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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Ancient African Nations

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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 Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 13 February 2012




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