“So de white man throw down de load and tell de nigger man tuh pick it up. He pick it up because he have to, but he don’t tote it. He hand it to his womenfolks. De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see. Ah been prayin’ fuh it tuh be different wid you.”
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In a black marriage, the black woman is worse than a "nigger", she is a mule.
Nanny is trying to explain that she doesn't want Janie to live the same type of life as women before her. She wants her to marry a man who will support and protect her.
Their Eyes Were Watching God