Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Mother's Tale

Whites and Blacks or the Question Settled. 12



The woman, who, on leaving the flare of her service, takes a "lew scraps" or "morsels of food" to feed her "young" at home,is stopped, searched, the provision found (sent to jail); comes to trial, is convicted and sentenced to probably six months at hard labor in the chain-gang. The children at home, with hungry stomachs and weeping eyes, that night (filled with grief) sleep in an old deserted and cheerless house, alone. No tidings of “mammy” have reached them. Next day, the next, and for weeks, no "mammy" comes. Poor little children, "mammy" is working at hard labor in the chain-gang for trying to make her way home with "refused morsels," which she little dreamed, at the time she took them, would be called stealing.

The little children — one takes sick, dies and is buried; cause, want of food and proper attention. Another, ten years old, is so hungry that he seizes an apple or a dozen peanuts; he thinks no one sees him; he is so ravenously hungry that all he sees is some-thing to eat. Poor little fellow, you were discovered and before you have had time to eat the apple, or the peanuts,a policeman has hand cuffed you, and your doom is fixed. The apple or peanuts are given back to the confectioner or fruit dealer and you are marched to the "lock up," still hungry. “Why didn't you ask for the apple”, says one. "Because sir. I knew I would be refused, and I was so hungry I could not resist the temptation." Why don't you work”? "Mammy is paid such small wages that she cannot afford me decent clothes, and no one will hire me to work for them in the plight I am in".

The judge, next morning in the court room, states that it is his duty to stop petty thieving. He inquires for the boy's mother,and is told she is not in the court room. He then says to the little fellow, "I will fine you $50.00 and cost, or six months." The judge would have been just as humane if he had said one million dollars and cost, or six months. It means the same to the boy, — six months in the chain-gang. In one sense it is a kind act, for he will now get a glimpse of his "mammy" who is also there. The sad sight will be to see the "mammy," whose time will be out sooner than her tender child's, taking her leave of him. Oh, God! Thou who hearest the widows and the orphans when they pray, surely Thou canst hear the groans of such creatures as these.

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