See Rock City

See Rock City

Monday, August 26, 2013

Did Slave Children In The U.S. Play Any Games?

Children always play games, even when they are mistreated and enslaved. Here are some of the games that we know some slave children played:

Hide the Switch: children tried to find a branch that had been hidden, and the first child to find it could smack one child with it before hiding it for the next turn. This was a common game during this time, and slaves were not the only children who played this.

Haley Over or Anti-Over: children divided into two groups and stood on each side of a building. One child tossed a ball over the building and the children in the other group tried to catch it. Whoever caught it ran around to the other side and threw it to try to hit one of the other group with the ball. If you got hit with the ball, you were "out."

Bob a Needle: children sat in a circle and passed a needle or pin (or even a needle case) behind their backs while singing a song. When the song ended, the child who was "it" had to guess who had the needle.

Children also played many "Let's Pretend" games, where they pretended to be different people. There is a record of one group of slave children having a pretend funeral for a dead chicken, with the daughter of the slave owner pretending to be the preacher and giving a sermon for the animal.

Songs were popular, and many songs also involved clapping and other rhythms. Here is a popular children's clapping song from that time:
The Clapping Rhythm is:
1. Clap own hands together
2. Cross arms in front of chest
3. Clap own hands together
4. Clap hands with partner three times

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,
All dressed in black, black, black,
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons,
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother,
For fifty cents, cents, cents,
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant.
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.
He jumped so high, high, high,
He reached the sky, sky, sky,
And he never came back, back, back,
'Till the end of July, 'ly, 'ly.

Source: Internet