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Charlotte O'Fay

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  • Charlotte O'Fay

    This poem is an old one too! It tells the story of a Black woman who has a White father and a White half-sister named Charlotte O'Fay. The Black woman is reflecting on her life growing up in the Jim Crow South


    When I was a little girl
    I couldn't play in the park
    My hair was too nappy
    My skin was too dark

    But I had a half-sister
    named Charlotte O'Fay
    And because she was White
    they let her play all day

    And when Summers got hot
    and I tried to keep cool
    The Whites wouldn't let me
    have a dip in the pool

    And if I got in anyway
    they would pull me down
    I jus' thank the Lord
    that I didn't drown

    Once there was a boy
    who broke the rule
    They pulled him down
    and he drowned in the pool

    But that Charlotte O'Fay
    she just went down to the gym
    where they gave her lessons
    and she learned how to swim

    She swam so well
    my white father would beam
    They even made her captain
    of the swimming team

    And when I wanted to learn
    to read and write
    I couldn't go to the School
    'cause I wasn't White

    So I had to learn
    in a broke-down shack
    with alot of other kids
    because we were Black

    But that Charlotte O'Fay
    she was awfully bright
    She learned how to read
    She learned how to write

    They filled her mind
    with all sorts of knowledge
    And when the time came
    she went off to college

    I remember that day
    I hugged and kissed her
    And she left without knowing
    I was her half-sister

    Her life must have continued
    on that upward track
    Because when she left home
    she never came back

    But as for me . . . I did learn
    And I gained some knowledge
    But the Whites wouldn't let me
    attend the State College

    So, I stayed home
    and thought of Charlotte O'Fay
    I wondered what she was doing
    and how she spent her day

    I wondered what she would read
    And what she would write
    And how life would be different
    if I were born White

  • #2
    This one has the feel of a folk ballad. I think your talents are in full sail here, Rhymeboy.


    • Rhymeboy
      Rhymeboy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks grant hayes This is one of my personal favorites

  • #3
    Wonderfully done Rhymeboy. It touches deeply of the injustices.


    • Rhymeboy
      Rhymeboy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you AlexandratheLate