Impending Storm

Cast Bronze, Steel & Wheels
27" x 54" x 17"

We didn't 'zackly run away from slavery. You see, our situation wasn't as bad as I heard other peoples bein' treated. Yeah, we got whipped ever' once in a while by Mr. Big himself, but he always seemed to always try to smooth it over by tellin' us how obedient we should be, and grateful to him. The ole folks say he got this way after he accidentally killed an ole black man some years back. The chunk of wood that he hit him with happened to have an iron spike in it, which broke through his head and killed him. They say dat even today, ole Mr. Big cain't sleep right because of that.

One day, ole Mr. Big gathered us all around and tole us that he was plum finished with this slavery thing, and he was gonna move back North where his peoples were from, so we was free to go, and we sho' did, in all directions. He gave to my family one of his best work wagons and a young bullock of some strange breed they say came from African stock. Lawd knows I ain't a-braggin' about this creature, cuz he sho' gave us a heap o' troubles. If we happened to doze off while drivin', he seemed to be carryin' us in tiny circles.

These were hard times-partly because of this strange-lookin' bug, called a boll weevil, which commenced to eatin' up all the cotton. Boll weevils, don't you know, got a long snout on they heads, and seems to lak to eat mos' anyt'ing.

Well. We jus' gathered up our belongings and headed West. Come to find out, we was s'posed to be free some ten years afore he tole us to go. My li'l husband and me was as close as two peas in a pod. My mother was full-blooded Choctaw Indian, and I was the spittin' image of my momma, they say. I had looong black braids, and I wore nothin' but Indian clothes, and Mr. Big didn't mind, t'either. Now my li'l husband, he was as muscully as he was short, just as black as the night sky, he was. Hee hee. An' I sho' loved that man. We was accustomed to lookin' behind us every few minutes during the whole trip, cuz dem no-good Ku Kluxers was always a-prowlin' the roads, lookin' for easy catches. Yeah, they'd grab you if you free or not, and when times got hard, they was grabbin' anybody-Mexicans, Injuns, and Chinamens. When we reached the wide country, and headed for a place they now call Oklahoma, we decided to stay because there was plenty of game, running water, and hospitable people. Lots of dem seemed to be Injuns. Lawd, there was a lot of mixin' then. Anyway, this where we call our home. We built a log cabin near a creek, had lots of babies, and helped build a all-Negro town right there in the Oklahoma territory. From this time and place, we knew we had reached heaven. I jus' hope our children and grandchildren will always be as happy as we were in dem days.