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Comment 3 of 27, added on January 7th, 2006 at 8:45 PM.
At 52, I was recently reminiscing with my mother about a talent show that
my second grade teacher put me in. I represented my grade and recited this
poem which she had taught me. I only remembered a few of the words, and
they are a bit different than what I looked up tonight to find on the
internet. I remember saying, "Little Brown Baby with tears in yo
eyes.....what you been a doing,there suh? Makin mudpies? Come to yo pappy
and sit on his knee....I remember dramatizing the poem with dialect and
being told my teacher I was talented. I did follow this oratorical path for
a time; however ultimately ended up in social work and being a believer in
social justice. I commented to my mother how offensive this poem would be,
and wondered if I should feel guilty for dramatizing it. She reassured me,
"You were just a little girl, and it was the teacher who coached you to do
the poem." I dont know where the poem came from, but my teacher was Ms.
Lucille Jones in Lawton, Oklahoma. I felt I had found an old lost friend in
a way to find the poem tonight some 39 years later, and hoped my elementary
citation honored Mr. Dunbar in some strange way all those years ago in an
auditorium filled only with white children, teachers, and parents.
Beverly A. Taylpr
from United States
Comment 2 of 27, added on June 10th, 2005 at 10:07 PM.
My mother a descendant of slaves from Tennessee, loved Paul Laurence
Dunbar's works, and especially this poem. It was recited and read to us
children on those cold nights in Minnesota many times. Now I have a
collection and still read them.
Addison from United States
Comment 1 of 27, added on June 5th, 2005 at 10:27 PM.
My father used to stretch me out across his chest as he lay on the big,
worn sofa in our living room and, my face close to his, recite this poem. I
can hear his gentle baritone voice in every word. I do not know in what
context he, an Irish Catholic Tennessean, committed the poem to memory; but
in my mind, I was the little brown baby, and I feel my father's love in its
cadence, its beauty and its message.
M. Roses from United States
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