Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

Gawd's Handwritin' [Short Story]

Dublin Core

Title

Gawd's Handwritin' [Short Story]
The Messenger
Vol. L, No. 6
Entire short story (Pages 27 -31)

Description

This short story mocks African Americans through racist exaggerated vernacular and creating a character, named "A'nt Lucy" that is described as obese, lazy, dirty and "the blackest n*****." The plot of this story is that the there was a leaf found with "Our God" written in gold on a tree that "disreputable" and "agnostic" families cut down, referred to as the "Poor House" families. The whole town, Pheno, and even the black families 10 miles outside of Pheno, like A'nt Lucy began redeeming their sins and converting to Christianity. A'nt Lucy brought her ten children and grandchildren down to see the leaves and was told that it was all a joke on the Christians by the one of the Poor House families' sons. A'nt Lucy replied that they would write "Gawd" not God because they were uneducated and that it was truly God's Handwriting. This is the punchline of the story, mocking the idiocy of African Americans who thought they were smarter than the white disreputable outsiders with unwavering but incorrect superstition and faith. Thus, the story reveals the racist stereotypes of stupidity and laziness regarding African Americans at this time.

Creator

Source

Virginia Baptist Historical Society
Archives 78.2
Richmond,VA

Date

April 1924

Contributor

Morgan Snider

Format

Files

Collection

Citation

Mary Peple, “Gawd's Handwritin' [Short Story],” Race & Racism at the University of Richmond, accessed May 24, 2018, https://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/116.