The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90418   Message #3567056
Posted By: Azizi
15-Oct-13 - 09:20 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread
Subject: RE: Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread

I'm commenting to inform those reading this thread that I just became aware that this Wikipedia article about the rhyme "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" cites this Mudcat thread.

I strongly disagree with most of what that author wrote, for instance this beginning statement: "Miss Lucy" (similar to Miss Suzy), is the name of an American schoolyard rhyme and clapping game in which emancipated African American culture is mocked."

As a much less serious disagreement, it appears to me that in that article that along with a few other comments [that I consider to be lacking in authenticity] that Wikipedia author considers the recollections that Chaz and M Ted made in their comments [that they thought that the "lady with the alligator purse" in those rhymes was a social worker] to be an across the board fact [i.e. that the alligator purse was a standard accessory for social workers in the United States]. Also, given that author's other statements, it appears to me that that author an/or her readers might think that Chaz and M Ted and other Mudcat members who commented on this thread are African American. That author would be correct about that assumption only with regards to me.

I just published this post on my cultural blog:

As part of that post I included the following comment which I post here in its entirity for full disclosure:

"Citation #7 is given as a "discussion on the folklore of the Miss Lucy rhyme". That link leads to "Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread"

I'm very much familiar with that discussion as I posted the majority of the comments on that particular discussion thread. Furthermore, as a once very active member of that discussion forum, I'm aware of the race of the other members who posted comments on that thread. I know that they all are White [I'm African American]. This is pertinent because, given her conclusions in this article, I gather that the author of the Wikipedia page erroneously assumed that both of the commenters were African American who mentioned social workers in regards to that "Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat" rhyme. And, as it turns out both of the commenters were men.

GUEST,Neighmond [Chaz]* Date: 10 Apr 06 - 02:03 AM wrote "We always thought the lady with the aligator purse was the social worker!"
*Chaz was writing as a Guest because he hadn't logged in, but he was [and maybe still is] a member of that forum.

M Ted wrote on 21 Apr 06 - 06:06 PM "My neighborhood was not one of the better ones, and we knew the lady with the alligator purse to be a social worker,because wherever misfortune visited, she followed".

In that discussion thread I presented my theory that the lady with the alligator purse was a herbalist or some other non-traditional health care provider. In Part II of this series read more about this theory as well as my comments challenging both Chaz's and M. Ted's implications about how social workers are considered and interacted with when they arrive as investigators at homes in Black communities or any other communities.

Click for another Mudcat post that partly focuses on examples of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby". I also participated in that discussion.
I'm including the following information about Mudcat Cafe although some may consider this to be off topic . However, I believe this information is pertinent in general terms and because it appears to me that the Wikipedia author of the article about "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" assumed that Black people were the one who mentioned that as children they thought that the lady with the alligator purse was a social worker. So for the public record and because I believe that it is important to document & share as much demographical information as possible including race for folkloric products [which also describes online blog posts and discussions], let me take this time to indicate the following:

Although Mudcat Cafe was & is a Folk & Blues forum, most of the music discussions have been and continue to be about folk music from White Europeans [This isn't redundent.] and White Americans. And while Mudcat excels in discussions about Old Time Music and early Blues, it's participants rarely discuss other forms of Blues and other folk music originating from & largely performed by People of Color. Also, while there were discussion threads on playground rhymes prior to my participation at Mudcat, the record shows that I spearheaded those discussions during the five years that I was an active member of that forum.

When I was active with that forum most Mudcat members were males & females fifty years & older who came from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia in that order. Some other Mudcaters came from Germany, New Zealand, and a few other European nations.

During the years that I was active with Mudcat Cafe -from August 2004 to November 2009- there was only three other publicly acknowledged People of Color who were members of that forum - a Japanese man, a woman who was a Koori [an indigenous person] from a particular region of Australia, and a Black man from Ghana who I recruited to that forum & who unfortunately was only active there for a very short time. None of those persons commented on either one of the Mudcat discussion threads that I linked to in this post.

I'm sure that a small percentage of people who have posted and posts as non-members ["Guests"] on that forum were/are People of Color, although few Guests gave that demographical information.

Lastly, it appears to me since 2009 to date my description of the membership & Guest demographics for that forum remains the same.

NOTE FOR THE RECORD: I've posted a link to this pancocojams post and these comments about that forum in the Mudcat thread to which the Wikipedia author hyperlinked."

-Azizi Powell