Re: 'Po-chops, cabbage, and kone-bread - and Kool Aid to wash it down!'

06/16/07 - posted by Hamilton Barrett

Hi Jim, Thanks for checking out this story. I almost didn't post it, as our own times are so much more culturally sensitive than the 1950s, but as I've never really been shy about reciting this for listeners of any race, and none has ever interpreted it negatively (They were all too busy laughing), I decided to keep it in the original accent. 'The Story of Ber Rabbit' and even Mark Twain's 'Tom Sawyer' ran into serious trouble for trying to recreate African-American vernacular English, so I momentarily considered a translation into ordinary English, but that would almost certainly have ruined the value of the piece. And there's some defense in the observation that samples of Ebonics are included in the Wikipedia. Unlike a written version, in person I usually include a performance of the full blown-out hand-jive that Ralph taught me, which never fails to leave any audience too overwhelmed to be critical, as they gain the revelation that "This is a White guy who's been someplace." LOL

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