Just Another Morning – Juneteen Day
by Gail Christian (slave name)
A one-act play based on true events as described by those who were there.
In the fields near Houston, Texas a small group of slaves were chopping cotton in the early morning light of June 19, 1865, when in the distance they saw a large cloud of dust. Out of the dust emerged a union soldier on horseback riding toward them at a furious pace. He abruptly stops about 50 yards from the group who are singing that old slave favorite, I Get No Kick From Champagne, and yells to them in a loud voice.
Soldier: Hey, slaves, yawl is free.
Slave #1. What did he say?
Slave #2. I think he said, can yawl see?
Slave #3. No sir, we all blind. We the Five Blind Boys from Alabama. Want us to sing you a song?
Slave #4. Fool, he didn’t say , can yawl see. He said, yawl is free.
Slave #5. Hey, soldier, Free to do what?
Soldier: How the hell do I know, I ain’t no slave. Just don’t go into town and start bothering no white women.
Slave #1: O.k. we’ll take bothering white women off the wish list.
Soldier: I’m off to the next plantation .
Slave #2: Well, where do we go from here?
Slave #3: Anybody got any money?
Slave # 4: Nope.
Slave #5: Anybody know where we are?
Slave #1: Nope.
Slave # 2: Think the master will let us use the phone?
Slave #3: Who we gon’ call, Harriet Tubman.
Slave #4: Seems like we all free to be screwed.
Slave #5: Yep. Seems that way.
Slave # 2: Want to bust some rhymes?
Slaves in Unison: I said a hip, hop, a hippie to the hippie
to the hip hip hop, you don't stop the rockin' to the bang bang boogie say up jumps the boogie
to the rhythm of the boogity beat.
Slave # 3: If this catches on we can sell mixed tapes out the back of the wagon and make something out of ourselves.
Slave # 4: I think we should stick with gospel even if we ain’t blind.
Slave #5: Personally, I’m gonna start working out so I can swim back to Africa.
Curtain goes down.
Cast returns to Rikers to serve their time.