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62       THE CRISIS

Very good.

"We should worry."

If they do not want us to fight, we will work. We will walk into the industrial shoes of a few million whites who go to the front. We will get higher wages and we cannot be stopped from migrating by all the deviltry of the slave South; particularly with the white lynchers and mob leaders away at war.

Will we be ousted when the white soldiers come back?


So there you are, gentlemen, and take your choice,--

We'll fight or work.

We'll fight and work.

If we fight we'll learn the fighting game and cease to be so "aisily lynched."

If we don't fight we'll learn the more lucrative trades and cease to be so easily robbed and exploited.

Take your choice, gentlemen.

"We should worry."


by Leila Amos Pendleton

NO, indeed, chile, I never did believe in taking things frum dead people. You know Aunt Calline Juniper was my mother-in-law and a grander one never hopped, so when she died, me and May Jane Juniper, which married her other son, was awful sorry. We certainly was. As for Uncle John, her husband, he just took on turrible. Everybody loved Aunt Calline and they sent lots of flowers to the funeral and three sheaves of wheat.

Now I never could bear the sight of sheaves of wheat, less they was at the mill, and when all them sheaves come rollin' in to Aunt Calline, I begun to look at 'em cross-eyed. I was in hopes, though, that everybody would forget 'em and they'd be left in the simitary. But no sooner was Aunt Calline covered up than here comes the undertaker with a long face and all three of them sheaves.

Uncle John took 'em very solemn-like, handed one to me and one to May Jane and says, "Chillun, always keep these to 'member Calline. I'll keep one and when I die, Sally, you must take it, as you're the oldest." Ever notice how people are always making you presents of things you hate? "Laws," thinks I to myself, "this is worse than Chrismus." I groaned down in my toes, but didn't say anything outward, and here goes May Jane and me home loaded down with wheat. They was the biggest sheaves I ever seen,-- they was small-sized shocks, in fact.

Well, after I got that wheat home, I didn't have a place to put it and everytime I cleaned up, I had it to move. "No, indeed," thinks I to myself, "I'll never have a chance to forgit Aunt Calline." Finally, the thought struck me to have the sheaf framed, because though I never could like it any better, it would at least be out of the way.

And what do you think that man charged to frame it? Ten dollars! Ten whole dollars! It certainly do seem funny to me how folks are always laying to rob bereaved mourners. Seems like they've made up their minds to git all they can out of you while you're kinder unconscious-like. But I wasn't that much of a mourner, so I carries my wheat home without a frame, and then me and that sheaf has it. Every time I went into the settin' room I was either knocking it down or pickin' it up until I was sick and tired of the sight of it.

One day, about six months after Aunt Calline died, just as I was haulin' that sheaf around, May Jane came in. "May Jane," says I, "how do you like your sheaf?" "Don't like it at tall, Sally." "Well," says I, "I've got a plan, and if you'll stand by me and say nothin', I think we kin fix Aunt Calline's sheaves." So the day when Uncle John and Georgie, which is my husband, and Samyell, which is May Janes's, went over to Rushtown to the hog-killin', I sent for May Jane. "M. J.," says I when she got there, "the men are gone for the day and now's our time. Wrap up your sheaf with a plenty of paper and bring it over here."

When May Jane came back, I had my sheaf all bound up so you couldn't tell what it was, and my hat and coat on. "Sally," says May Jane, every solemn, "What on earth are you goin' to do?" Says I, "May Jane,


foller me."  So out we goes with them great bundles and all the neighbors peepin' through their blinds and wonderin' what we had and where we was goin'.

I led May Jane to the horse-cars and as the line ended at our street we set there a while before the car started, both of us feelin' very funeral-like and neither sayin' a word, though May Jane kept a eyein' me as if she wanted to ask some questions.  But I kep' lookin' straight ahead with a long face, so she didn't say nothin'.

All of a sudden the conductor broke out singin' "Bringin' in the Sheaves," and the driver joined in the chorus.  I never have known how they happened to strike on that hem, but it was too much for us.  We looked at each other and then burst out, and we laughed untel we couldn't see.  The driver started up his horses and the conductor look at us as if he thought we was daft, but that did not hender us from laughin'.

As soon as she could speak, May Jane says, "Sally Ann Juniper, You have just got to tell me what you're goin' to do."  "May Jane," says I, "we air goin' to carry these sheaves right straight to Aunt Calline.  That's what.  When people gives things to dead people, they wants 'em to have 'em.  That's why they gives 'em sheaves and pillers and pams and such instid of pincushions and calendars and postcards, and I believe in lettin' dead people have everything that belongs to 'em."  May Jane got pop-eyed but she never said a word.

So we carried that wheat out and laid it on Aunt Calline's grave and I hope she feels satisfied.  We do if she Don't.  But one quare thing about it is that neither Georgie nor Samyell has ever inquired after them tributes. I believe in my soul that they was just as tired of 'em as we was.  As for Uncle John, he went to desperate courtin' of that little sixteen-year-old Simmins gal just six weeks after Aunt Calline had been put away.  He tried to git Cannie Simmins to accept him as a husband, and his sheaf as a bokay but she wouldn't have neither, so that wheat offering is still willed to me.  But if I should be the longest liver, I mean to see to it that sheaf number three is left in the simitary on top of Uncle John. 


Much has been written of the recent migration of colored people from the South to the North, but there have been very few attempts to give a definite, coherent picture of the whole movement. Aided by the funds of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, THE CRISIS has attempted to put into concrete form such knowledge as we have of this movement.

The data at hand are vague and have been collected from a hundred different sources. While the margin of error is large, the actual information which we have gathered is most valuable.

First, as to the number who have migrated to the North, there is wide difference of opinion. Our own conclusion is that about 250,000 colored workmen have come northward. This figure has been builded up from reports like the following which we take from various personal sources and local newspaper accounts:

From Alabama, 60,000 able-bodied workers; from Savannah, Ga., 3,000; Montgomery, Ala., 2,000; West Point, Ala., 1,000; Americus, Ga., 3,000; Jefferson County, Ala., 10,000; West Point, Miss., 1,000; South Carolina, 27,00; West Point, Ga., 800; Macon, Ga., 3,000; Florida, 15,000; Notasulga, Ala., 3,000. From Abbeville, S.C., "by the hundreds all through the fall and winter." From Muskogee, Okla., "5,000 from the city and vicinity." One day "1,022 Negroes from the South came into Cincinnati." An estimate of the Boston, Mass., Transcript gives 200,000 immigrants. From Southwest Georgia, 5,000. Bradstreet's estimate: "An immense migration." From Birmingham, Ala., 10,000; Arlington, Ga., 500; Waycross, Ga., 900; Bessemer, Ala., 3,000; Columbus, Ga., 500; Tuscaloosa, Ala., 2,500; Dawson, Ga., 1,500. Immigrants to Springfield, Mass., 500; to Chicago, Ill., 50,000, and "coming in at the rate of 10,000 in two weeks," (estimate of the Chicago American).

As to the reasons of the migration, undoubtedly, the immediate cause was economic, and the movement began because of floods in Middle Alabama and Mississippi and because the latest devastation of the boll weevil came in these same districts.

A second economic cause was the cutting off of immigration from Europe to the North and the consequently wide-spread 
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