Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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A PAINTED PICTURE OF A SOUL.                         129
"Goin' to hold out to the end, Let trials come as they will come�"
"Keepa-inching along; Jesus will come by and by."
"Made my vow to the Lord; Never will turn back; I will go, shall go, To see what the end will be."
"Stand the storm, it won't be long, We'll anchor by and by."
His soul is strengthened with hope, else why would he strive, en�dure, and be patient? How could he? If he had not been sure that a better day was coming, all that remained for him would have been renunciation of all strivings and aspirations, giving himself up to the things of this world, exacting an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. He sang his hope in such songs as�
"Goin' to see my Jesus,
"Goin' to see my Jesus, Some of these mornings Hope I'll join the band."
"I hope to meet my brother there, Who used to join with me in prayer."
Thus we find faith, hope, patience, endurance, prayer, joy, cour�age, and humility and the love of mankind, of home, and of God to be the salient qualities of the Negro's soul. Such is the testimony of the only true expression of his soul, his songs. Yet were there no songs to record these, they could be seen reflected in his life. With these virtues, his regnant forces, it is not difficult to account for his progress. On the other hand, it is quite difficult to understand why he receives such unbrotherly treatment at the hands of his brothers. If not to others, it is certainly a wonder to the later generation of Negroes, that in spite of such unwholesome and positively pernicious conditions as the system of slavery generated, our forbears possessed and developed such souls, and although the story brings tears to our eyes, our hearts swell with pride that we can claim such ancestors