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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BLACK CAT

NEVER CROSS A STREET IF A BLACK CAT CROSSES BEFORE YOU.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE

Keyword(s): STREET BLACK CAT

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 00001920S

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KNOCK KNOCK JOKE

KNOCK KNOCK
WHO'S THERE?
BOB
BOB WHO?
BOB BA BLACK SHEEP HAVE YOU ANY WOOL?

Where learned: UNKNOWN

Keyword(s): NAME ; NURSERY RHYME: BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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Entry filtered.

RIDDLE QUESTION

WHAT'S BLACK OUTSIDE AND WHITE INSIDE?
DEARBORN

Submitter comment: HEARD FROM CLASSMATE AT ST. ALPHONOUS
HIGH SCHOOL IN DEARBORN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETHNIC ; EXCLUSION OF BLACKS FROM DEARBORN, MICHIGAN HOUSING ; RACE SEGREGATION ; SATIRE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 09-27-1967

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WHY DID THE BLACK MAN WEAR A TUXEDO TO HIS VASECTOMY?
ANSWER. IF I'M GONNA BE IMPOTENT I MIGHT AS WELL LOOK
IMPOTENT.

Submitter comment: I GOT THIS JOKE FROM THE MOVIE "SOUL MAN." IT WAS TOLD
BY TWO WHITE GUYS IN FRONT OF A BLACK GUY TO MAKE HIM
FEEL BAD.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): IMPOTENT- USED INSTEAD OF THE WORD IMPORTANT TO MAKE ; THE BLACK MAN'S SPEECH SEEM BAD.

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- BLAC

Date learned: 10-00-1987

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Martin Luther King Holiday

This holiday (the 3rd Monday of January) was passed in honor
of a man (born January 15, 1929) who stood for peace and equality
for all. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee (1968) at the
age of 39. It is the first legal holiday honoring a Black or
Afro-American. In 1986, the automotive industry started
celebrating the Monday following Easter (called "Easter Monday")
as its holiday honoring Dr. King. As of this year (1992), the
automotive industry has two "paid holidays" honoring Dr. King.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Black History

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Winter
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Secular hero

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HUMOR

THAT'S AS FUNNY AS A PAY TOILET IN A DIARRHEA WARD.

Where learned: KANSAS ; WICHITA

Keyword(s): BLACK HUMOR

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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The Blacksmiths Son

Long ago in a small village there lived a blacksmith. Now although blacksmiths were poor, they were, nevertheless, held in respect because they were the strongest men in the village.

People used to go to the blacksmith for advice and help. This particular balcksmithhad one son, and the blacksmith wanted his son to be a blacksmith also. But the son was lazy and did not like to work. One day he told his father: "father, I have a very brilliant idea. I'm going to learn your trade in an easy way. Here's my plan: Put me in a large basket above yuor workshop and I will watch everything you do. And by watching you constantly, I will earn your trade."

So the son was put in the basket and watched his father fort several months. Then the son said to his father: "Father, I think I'm ready." And so the father gave the son tools, and a large piece of iron, and said to his son: "now son, what are you going to make?"

"Father," the son said, "I think I'll make a hammer."

"Son," the father said, "If you can make a hammer, you will be a better blacksmith than I, because it took me five years to learn how to make a hammer." And the son worked feverishly for several days but to no avail. So the son went to his father and said: "Father, I think I'll make a horseshoe instead."

The father said; "Son, if you can make a horseshoe, you will be a better blacksmith than I, because it took me three years to learn how to make a horseshoe." The son again went out, pounding and forming, but to no avail. He said to the fahter: "Father, I think I will make a nail instead of a horseshoe."

The fahter said: "Son, if you can make a nail, you will be a better blacksmith than I, because it took me two years to learn how to make a nail." The son worked for several hours, but to no avail. He said to his father: "Father, I will make something you never made. I will make a needle."

"Son," said the father, "if you make a needle, you will be a better blacksmith than I, for no smith has made a needle. " And so, the son worked and worked until finally there was nothing left. but he did not give up. He said: "Father, I will make something with no iron at all."

"Son, if you can make something without iron, it will indeed make you a great blacksmith," the father replied.

The son said: "Come watch, Father." He took a pair of tongs and heated them red hot, and suddenly plunged them into a barrel of water, and said: "Father, I did it. I made a pss."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original Boggs Number [ B665] crossed out and B646 is written next to it.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Keyword(s): Blacksmith ; FAMILY ; Father ; Hammer ; HORSESHOE ; HUMOR ; IRON ; Learn ; Lesson ; Needle ; Outsmart ; Skill ; Son ; TRADE ; Wise ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Black

Negro:

Excited negro bank bandit says "OK you mudder stickers, this is a fuck up."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in a pile marked [?]

Where learned: BUFFALO ; NEW YORK ; Collection

Keyword(s): Black ; DEROGATORY ; ETHNIC ; HUMOR ; Language ; NEGRO ; Offensive ; SLANG ; Stereotype ; TONGUE TWISTER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
Filter - Mature Content

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Superstition

Bad Luck:

If you see a black cat on ground hog's day, destruction is at hand.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD.

Collector's last name may be: Supenski, Suprinski, Serpenski, Surpinski...

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Black ; CAT ; Destruction ; Groundhog ; OMEN ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Superstition

 

Never cross the path of a black cat becasue bad luck will follow.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P752] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Myself

Keyword(s): Black ; CAT ; jinx ; LUCK ; OMEN ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Superstition

Black Cat:

If a black cat crosses your path to the left you'll have bad luck. If he crosses to the right you'll have good luck.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [B440, P880] crossed out / Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME ; WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; Black ; CAT ; Feline ; LEFT ; LUCK ; OMEN ; RIGHT ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Language

Tongue Twister:

The big black bug

Bit the big black bear

In his big black back.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Something similar (but shorter) already typed as Prose.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): Bear ; Black ; Bug ; COLOR ; Language ; TONGUE TWISTER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech

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Play on Words

There once was a Texas oilman who went to see his dentist and, when asked which tooth bothered him, he replied, "Oh, drill anywhere. I feel lucky today!"

Submitter comment:

He heard it from one of his friends.

Data entry tech comment:

Motif added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in pile marked These don't sound traditional - Do Not File Yet.

Keyword(s): Black Gold ; Dentist ; Drilling ; HUMOR ; Oil ; PUN ; Texas

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man

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Retort

Age before beauty.

Beauty was a horse.

Submitter comment:

Heard during college days

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: OHIO

Keyword(s): BEAUTY ; Black ; COMEBACK ; HORSE ; INSULT ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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Proverb

That's the pot calling the kettle black.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V200] crossed out. Replaced wtih current classification.

Where learned: Sterling Heights

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Black ; COLOR ; HYPOCRISY ; Kettle ; Maxim ; Pot ; PROVERB ; Similarity ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

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Entertainment: Song

Hush-A-Bye:

Hush a bye, don't you cry, go to sleep little baby.

When you wake, you will find, all the pretty little horses.

Black ones and bays, white ones and grays, all the pretty little horses.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): BABY ; Bay ; Black ; COLOR ; Dapple ; Entertainment ; Gray ; HORSE ; LULLABY ; SONG ; White

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

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Autograph Rhyme

Album Rhyme:

Roses are Red

Violets are Black

You'd look better

With a knife in your back

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): AUTOGRAPH ; Back ; Black ; COLOR ; ENEMY ; FLOWERS ; KNIFE ; poem ; Red ; RHYME ; Roses ; Signature ; VERSE ; VERSE ; Violets

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

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riddle

Question: What's black and white and red all over?

Answer: A newspaper.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Black ; COLOR ; Homophone ; Language ; NEWSPAPER ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; Read ; Red ; RIDDLE ; White ; WORDPLAY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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Vocabulary

Grandma's Black Beads = lines of dirt formed on the neck

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Beads ; Black ; Dirt ; Grandma ; Language ; NECK ; Nickname ; Saying ; SLANG ; Term

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

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Riddle

What's black and white and red all over?

Variations of answers:

1) Newspaper
2) Skunk with a diaper rash
3) Penguin with a sunburn
4) Blushing zebra

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Black ; Blush ; Brain Teaser ; COLOR ; Diaper Rash ; JOKE ; NEWSPAPER ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; Red ; RIDDLE ; SKUNK ; Sunburn ; White ; WORDPLAY ; Zebra

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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