Full text: The little review (8 (1922), 2)

54 
look after you. Jes you obey Him an don’t you worry!” 
Introducing his companion, he assures his audience that this 
is “a splendid speaker,” and he listens eagerly to the other’s 
halting, practiced: “Ah didn’t expect to be called on to speak 
yeah this even”; and interpolates quick bright “Amen”s, “Yes, 
He will”s, and “Bless His Name”s during the exhortation that 
followed. 
That night they are not attacked or molested. 
But at a gathering of Negroes on a later night I see the same 
brisk strange little man standing unnoticed by himself at one 
side of the hall, and I go to him and assure him of my sym 
pathy and tell him that I was present the night he was 
attacked. He passes over that hastily; it was nothing; he has 
had many such experiences; but when I ask him about himself 
he answers my questions obligingly, though with some diffi 
dence. He knows nothing of his parents except that before 
the emancipation one or both were slaves; he has been taught 
scarcely anything; and has done hard work all his life. In his 
youth he joined a church and began to preach, but having come 
soon afterward to see the quality of churches and to be aware 
of his “mission,” he travelled “north” and began to go about 
working and preaching. He belongs to no church and dis 
approves of all alike. He has no property, permitting himself 
nothing but poverty and labour. Already he is looked down 
upon as improvident by those who know him. His wife has 
left him, not relishing her lot with him, for they were forced 
always to lodge in the poorest parts of the towns they visited. 
The intolerance and hate of white Americans for Negro people 
made their lives harder than they would otherwise have been. 
Single rooms near small independent “missions houses,” if there 
were any that suited, were their temporary homes; and from 
one such the wife went at last to visit at the town of Nashville 
in the distant state of Tennessee, and she has not come back. 
Her intention to do so was vague at her departure. Her hus 
band has suffered a great deal through her desertion and has 
humbly and pitifully begged her by letter to return, but he has 
born her failure to do so and goes on with his work. He is not 
loved, nor even much liked by anyone, I find later; he and his 
preaching, his high standards, his belief, his self-reliance and
	        

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