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    Poet of Our Race   Table of Contents     Sister Johnson's Speech

Johnson, Maggie Pogue
Virginia Dreams

- To Professor Byrd Prillerman

To Professor Byrd Prillerman

[President of West Virginia Colored Institute.]

Dar's a skool in West Virginny,
Dat I hears dem call de Farm,
Whar dey raises ebery t'ing to eat,
En has de bigges' barns,--
Whar de ho'ses en de cows,
In restin' spend de night,
And w'ar away de hours,
To dey own heart's delight.

'Tis dar dey teaches eberyt'ing
In de wuken line,
As much as folks kin well take in
Upon de common min';
Dey I'arns you how to cook,
Dey I'arns you how to sew;
In fact, dey teaches eberyt'ing
Dat you wants to know.

Has you eber seed de president
Ob dat skool, de Farm?
De man who bosses eberyt'ing,
From de skool room to de barn;
I tell you he's a great man,
To meet him you kin see
De 'telligence beamin' from his face
As blossoms from a tree.

He's hammered on de chillun's heads,
Fo', lo, dese thirty years,
Poundin' knowledge in dem
'Mid dumbness en 'mid fears;
He's bro't dem from de dunce stool
Ob ignance en disgrace,
En trained dem in his skool
To lead folks ob de race.

He's one de oldes' teachers,
In West Virginny State,
En what dat man don't know
Ain't worthy to relate;
So, when you wants to go to skool
To be sho to I'arn,
Go to dat Cullered Institute
Dat some folks call de Farm.

    Poet of Our Race   Table of Contents     Sister Johnson's Speech