[Ads-l] stay black and die

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 24 02:58:38 EDT 2016

On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> "Jonah's Vine Gourd" (Lippincott, 1934), by Zora Neale Hurston, who grew
> up in Eatonville, Florida.  You can "Look Inside" a 1990 paperback version
> on Amazon.com.
> In an argument at a church meeting, in response to someone telling her to
> speak only when spoken to: "Ah aint got tuh do but two things - stay black
> and die," Sister Berry snapped.

I was less thorough than I could have been, not thinking that anyone else
was going to be seriously interested in this. So, I simply chose the most
easily-located, clear cite.

She uses it in more than one place. At least one publication gives her the
credit for the coining of the phrase.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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