Green Flake and Abraham – Poem

Here is a tribute given to Green Flake at the July 24th 2007 Pioneer Commemoration at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte NC. It included artwork and photos.

When Brigham Young said “This is the right place, drive on”, he most likely said it to a trailblazer from North Carolina named Green Flake. Green Flake was a 19-year old slave who joined the church in Nauvoo, Illinois. He was a bodyguard for the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1844, the year when Joseph ran for president. A key platform of Joseph’s campaign was to free the slaves by selling public lands to compensate the owners and help the South make the economic transition. As you look at this museum’s exhibit “From Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers”, think about how much smoother and quicker that transition would have been if this plan had been used and war had been avoided.

A poem called “Green Flake and Abraham”, in the style of Dr. Seuss, is a tribute to our North Carolina pioneer. It refers to past Biblical rationalizations for slavery and discrimination as the Curse of Ham. It then witnesses to the full blessings of Abraham that have come to Green Flake and other Black Pioneers through our unfolding Constitution and the spirit of connecting all families. It will be read by Elder Rambo from Kelso, Washington who is serving a mission in the Charlotte area.

This is the right place, drive on he said,
A Salt Lake view from Brigham’s bed.
And who drove on and lead the way?
Was me, Green Flake, … plus Oscar Crosby and Hark Lay.

 Three strong young men, I was nineteen.
Both saint and slave, I served the team.
We blazed the trail and sang our songs,
With hope the Lord would right all wrongs.


I am Green Flake, Green Flake I am.
I do not like the curse of Ham.
As pioneer, was glad to work,
Just set me free, and bless my curse.

How did I get to Great Salt Lake?
I’ll tell the tale of this Green Flake,
Who was born in 1828. 

From Carolina just north of South,
In Anson County, I came out.
Plantation fields were my green home.
We served master and did not roam. 

A wedding gift at age of ten,
To James and Agnes Flake, so then,
This Green young boy became a Flake,
And all a move to Mississippi take.

Then Mormons came to preach God’s Word,
James and Agnes the spirit heard.
Up river we move to Nauvoo,
And there I get me baptized too.

I was washed in Old Man River,
Set free from sin, sweet Lord deliver.
John Brown’s the man who baptized me.
No, not the Brown of song history.

I, Green, was Black, and Brown was White,
Yet brothers we by gospel light.
The year was 1844.
I was sixteen, slave ten years more. 

That year kept me a workin’ hard,
For Joseph Smith, a bodyguard.
That year he ran for president,
To set slaves free with payment sent. 

The Mormon Book says this land,
Should sure be free for every man.
Joseph Smith had a plan,
To pay for freedom – would that be grand!

But Carthage Jail would end his life,
And set our course for joy and strife.

By 46 we left Nauvoo,
As Brigham’s lead, I blazed the view. 

We found the place that God prepared,
Brown land turned green with water shared.
I built a cabin for the Flake’s.
Then trekked back East for goodness sakes. 

I brought more Saints to Utah’s life,
And found dear Martha for my wife.
I paid vegetables for the right,
My sweet potato both day and night. 

Master Flake went on a mission,
California, his position,
But a mule kicked his head and he was dead
Poor Agnes, his wife, came west in his stead. 

I, Green Flake stayed in Salt Lake,
And worked for Flake’s tithing sake.
1854, I was set free,
With Brigham Young befriending me.

Our children would sit on Brigham’s lap,
For this and more I tip my cap.
I only wish for temple rights,
To say goodbye to Ham’s cursed plight. 

I listened to a Bible plan,
At least as taught to me by man.
I do not like that Cain-Ham curse,
Could you please rethink that verse? 

I raised my family in Salt Lake,
Till death did dare my Martha take.
The year was 1885.
I know in heaven she is alive. 

I, Green Flake, moved to Idaho,
Faithful saint where e’er I go.
October 20, 1903
Is when the earth buried me.

In Union Cemetery, with Martha dear,
Is a Green and Black suit of a pioneer.
I am Green Flake, Green Flake I am.
I am now full blessed by Abraham. 

On to heaven’s great expansion,
Father’s house has many mansions.
I am Green Flake, Green Flake I am.
Full blessed I am by Abraham.

6 thoughts on “Green Flake and Abraham – Poem”

  1. Pingback: Flake descendant ironically embodies LDS, pioneer history |

  2. Please correct the spacing of the poem—
    Single-spaced stanzas of four lines, separated by a blank ‘line’.

  3. Thanks for your note. I had some problem with the tool, but I think it looks good now.

  4. What a wonderful testimony and legacy Bro Flake has left us! I’m Taiwan born Chinese that joined the church in 1984 and have called the U.S. my home since 1987. I witness the Lord’s gathering hand and praise Him for this Promosed Land. May we call upon the pioneer spirit that’s in each of us by seeking and celebrating the truth. God be thanked for a living prophet among us and the blessings of His Holy Priesthood and temple ordinances!

  5. Love the episode. Gut I giggled during the poem. It reminded me of a Dr. Seuss poem: “I do not like Green’s curse of Ham. I do not like it Sam I Am. “

  6. OK to giggle. Dr Seuss taught good lessons in a fun way. For Green Eggs and Ham, he taught us not to prejudge something of a different color.

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