| The way she lends beauty and grace to her task
| Proves that truth: "He restoreth my soul."
|No matter how simple the meal, she gives thanks -
|Keeps faith with her Maker each day. -
|Her religion is simple: "Love God and man."
|Let me be more like her, I pray.
After telling about unscrupulous negro women, I think I should give you a picture of the opposite kind. And, to tell the truth, the rummage sale has been my only unfavorable experience with colored women. I often think of that bright-eyed, attractive negro girl - the look-out for "the gang" - getting her apprenticeship in crime. As a sort of appendix to last week's story, let me quote a traffic court conversation, as given in the little magazine, "The Family Circle," this week: Police Judge: What's your excuse for speeding through town at 60 miles an hour? Defendant: Well, your honor, I had just heard that the women of my wife's church were having a rummage sale, and I was rushing home to save my other pair of pants." Police Judge: Case dismissed! ****
The loyalty and integrity and Christian faith of the good colored people can hardly be exaggerated. There was Julia - always immaculate, who managed her finances in such a way that she was always well-dressed. Julia had class. Not a shred of laziness in her make-up; she did more than was asked of her. Julia had a buoyancy of spirit that was born of right-doing; our children adored her. She was courteous and respectful, but never groveling. She knew she was God's child, and, as such, to be treated with respect. She set her own table as daintily as ours. I liked her for that. Her reverence for God was a beautiful thing; it really glorified her daily living. Only once did Julia and I have a misunderstanding. I was selling dresses and lingerie (or "laundry," as little Virgil told his teacher) at the time. It was wash day; Anna, the faithful colored laundress through four years, when my spine was "on the curve," was there that day. I had come home, over-tired, and, such, always a ready victim to Satan's wiles. I heard Julia and Anna talking in the basement - heard my name - and my imagination, egged on by Old Nick, did the rest. I knew Anna was loyal; but I didn't know Julia so well. Julia was so surprised (rather, shocked) when I cut her short a little later. She waited a bit, then asked quietly, "What's the matter, Mrs. Taylor?" I told her what I THOUGHT I heard. She set me straight immediately, revealing a concern about me that I didn't deserve. And then, with a fine dignity, she said, "You know, I may be black on the outside, but I'm white on the inside." Well, think what you like; I put my arms around her dusky neck, and begged her forgiveness. And when colored people forgive, they really forgive. They put the transgression clear out of their thought. ****
There was Rosa, who came when father had a serious illness; and you knew from the first day that you could trust her with your most precious treasures. I exacted a promise that she would come to me when the new baby (Charlie) arrived. And she kept that promise, though it meant - I found out later - giving up a better job. (She did recover the better job later).****
And then comes Anna. If ever a mortal deserves a crown of righteousness, Anna's will glitter - and illumine her black face. Anna had a worthless husband, who wouldn't work, and was a bad actor in general. The court granted her a divorce and alimony, to support their only child, a boy of eleven. But the father skipped out. Anna not only supported that boy herself, but helped her brother support an aged, crippled mother, who hadn't walked for thirty years. The mother lived with Anna. I tell you, it takes character to meet life on those terms. There is such a divine faith that God will see them through. Anna might well have asked for relief, but, so far as I know, she never did. Her mother-love considered no sacrifice too great. If you wanted to treat Anna royally, just send something home to "Herbert." Herbert is about seventeen now; and I do hope he has found a way to lighten his mother's load. I haven't seen them for three years. When I hear people talk about the negroes being a lazy, shiftless lot, I think of Julia, and Rosa, and Anna - and I know that some of "God's chillun - colored chillun - got wings."
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 2/14/40 - JUST SUPPOSE...