Back in the Day When things weren’t Ok

November 8, 2007
By Dashawn Smith, Laurinburg, NC

As me and my “gang members” pick at the cotton
We look at our “driver” and wish he was rottenin’

We never could live a life of our own
Because masters would come and wreck our homes

They would break up our marriage and sell our brothers
Children were sold and so were their mothers

We had very little education and they weren’t willing to teach
Because they hated for us to know how to write and how to read

Everyday we worked hot and sweaty from sunrise to sunset
But when Sunday came it felt like it was time to cash our checks

We would grab our bibles and sing at the church
But hated to go back because we knew it was time to work

Everyday we would pray and pray for freedom
And it seemed like many whites agreed with us but not many Southern people

They wanted to keep us and their laboring workers
They even made code laws (Black Codes) just to oppress us:
Don’t raise your hand against the white man
Don’t raise your voice against the white man
Always move out the way for the white man
Don’t beat a drum or blow a horn around the white man
They even said that we couldn’t meet more than 4 family members at one time
Eventually these rules became crimes

The punishment was cruel and very corrupted
They tied us up to poles and whipped us in public

So you know what, we began to FIGHT back
We were tired of being mistreated because we were black

I began to give the masters a hard time destroying their cotton
We took their guns and started a riot

We fought so hard while they cried like babies
We were determined to do anything to abolish our slavery

We overcame Haiti to where we were free
That can only happen with people like Christophe, Toussaint and me

State by state we eventually earned our freedom
This leads us to recent years to say “we the people”

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