Gawd's Handwritin' [Short Story]

Dublin Core


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


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.



Virginia Baptist Historical Society
Archives 78.2


April 1924


Morgan Snider



The Messenger_1924_27.jpg



Mary Peple, “Gawd's Handwritin' [Short Story],” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed May 19, 2024,