Daddy! Ain’t You Got No White Friends?

“There are three faithful friends:
an old wife, an old dog and ready money.”
–Ben Franklin

Family Farm
Alabaster, Alabama

When I was just seven years old I asked my daddy during breakfast one morning why I had never seen any of his white friends. My daddy smiled and then chuckled:

“Charlie, I got me some white friends alright, you can be sure of that!”
I shook my head in doubt.

“But daddy! Eye ain’t never seen none of yo’ white friends!”
My daddy set his fork down and fell back in his chair with a wide grin.

“Charlie, SON, you really wont’s to see yo’ daddy’s white friends!”
I smiled satisfied.

My daddy picked up his fork and began scooping up the scrambled eggs on his plate.

“Oh! I got me some white friends alright!”
Said my daddy.

Incensed by my daddy’s amusement, I set my glass of O.J. down roughly next to my daddy making a loud thud to the table. My daddy searched my eyes and a big smile soon left his handsome face.

“Charlie, you mad wit yo’ daddy cause I ain’t got no white friends?
Well, yo’ daddy gots lots of white friends.
I got me some white friends!”

I quickly fired back:
“But daddy, you keep telling me you do, but eye ain’t seen not a ONE…where is yo’ WHITE FRIENDS?
Where is daaay?”

My daddy pushed the breakfast plate away and leaned forward toward me and he whispered:

“See Charlie, I carry pictures of my white friends wit me everywhere I goes.. now would you likes to see the pictures of my white friends?”

I cried with joy.
“DADDY! DADDY! Why you never showed me dees pictures of yo’ white friends befoe?”

My daddy reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of cash and very gingerly he laid the different
dollar bills across the kitchen table. He put down a single dollar bill.

“Now, this here is my white friend named George Washington; no relation to Denzel.
Now, this other white fella right here, he’s my white friend named Abe Lincoln, and this white boy next to him, his name is Hamilton… now this white fella over here ($20.00 bill) this white boy here, see this is my most popular white friend, EVERYBODY loves this white boy, especially yo’ momma.”

Then my daddy unfolded this one bill very carefully and slowly and he told me in a quiet whisper of the importance of this next white boy picture.

“Charlie, this, here, this white boy I got in my hand here, this boy!
My Lord! I swear son, This white fella here is my most favorite white friend in the whole wide world.
Charlie, I don’t go NOWHERE without this fella named GRANT…everybody loves this white boy!
I’m telling you straight, I don’t let NOBODY part me from this white boy and I mean NOBODY!!!”

My daddy grew serious and there was dead silence in the kitchen.
My daddy lit a cigar and blew the smoke up toward the ceiling, the smile came back to him as he probed.

“Now son, I got a question foe YOU…
has you got any white friends?”

I stuck my hands deep down into my pockets and all I could gather was lint.
I pulled out and showed my daddy the lint in my hands and then I shouted loudly to my daddy:

“DADDY! I AIN’T GOT NO WHITE FRIENDS!”

My daddy laughed.

“Charlie would you like me to share my white friends wit you?
Go on son, pick one up and put ’em in yo’ pocket!”

I searched for that white boy named GRANT, I wanted him badly, but that white boy was absent from the rest of the bills on the table. My daddy flicked an ash from his cigar and whispered behind a devilish grin.

“Now Charlie I told you son, me and grant we got a special bond that I never want to break which keeps me from being broke.”

Eye looked up at my daddy as I scooped up all the bills from the table.
I smiled at my daddy and asked him one more question:

“DADDY! Is these thee only white boys you got?
Cause the ones I got in my pocket is all mine!”

My daddy smiled wide then whispered to me:

Now, SON, you ain’t gonna go tell yo’ momma bout this boy named GRANT?
Fo Show, yo’ momma find out about this white boy she gonna do all she can to
break the bond I got with this white fella.”

I smiled at my daddy thinking to myself what fun I would have with my new white friends.

Charles Micheaux
Atlanta*

***********************************
You can watch Oscar Micheaux films @ YouTube.

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