Lead Belly the Blues man and his beautiful wife in Wilton,CT
A 1909 poetic ditty by Kentucky educator Joseph Cotter reflects this disdain. Cotter criticized the tendency of black “intellectuals” to belittle the economic achievements of the black farmer in contrast to the elites’ own college-bred attainments. He pointed out that many an experienced farmer earned a better livelihood than some college graduates. He wrote:
What deeds have sprung from plow and pick!
What bankrolls from tomatoes!
No dainty crop of rhetoric
Can match one of potatoes . . .
A little gold won’t mar our grace,
A little ease our glory.
This world’s a better biding place
When money clinks its story.