“I have just visited a negro school,” said a letter writer. “I never had such hard work to control my risibles in my life. There sat along the sides of the room, all in one class, little girls of five years, and men of forty–each equally advanced in their studies. Of course their curiosity was excited to see the stranger. So, occasionally they looked up, which called forth from the old man in charge, the admonition, “Confine yersels to yer buks. Sam, keep yer eyes on yer knowledge buks. Miss Susan, stop dat, or I’ll give yer de cowskin ‘cross yer legs,” and other equally gentle corrections. I heard them read; and as they were standing up in rows, without regard to height or age, reading in concert, interspersed with the old man’s scowls over his big brass spectacles, and his threatenings with the cowskin, I could not resist any involuntary smile.”
Originally posted 2008-09-07 13:20:31.