Joseph Seamon Cotter

(1861 - 1919)

Joseph Seamon Cotter
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On the Bardstown, Kentucky plantation where Stephen Collins Foster composed "My Old Kentucky Home", lived a young slave girl in whose soul were interesting melodies of her own. Strong in spirit and dramatic flair, Martha Vaughn faithfully served as the personal maid to Mrs. Rebecca Rowan, mistress of the Old Kentucky Home. Yet her vivid accounts of visions and dramatic recitations of her original stories and plays while she worked, forced plantation owners to send her away concerned that she would disrupt discipline among the other slaves. It's been said that of such mothers are seers and poets born. And so in this instance it proved to be.

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Best Poem of Joseph Seamon Cotter

Is It Because I Am Black?

Why do men smile when I speak,
And call my speech
The whimperings of a babe
That cries but knows not what it wants?
Is it because I am black?

Why do men sneer when I arise
And stand in their councils,
And look them eye to eye,
And speak their tongue?
Is it because I am black?

Read the full of Is It Because I Am Black? Updates

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