shine as lowly worker...

Shine is the lowliest worker in the giant ship; his station is in the bowels of the Titanic, down among the coal piles and boilers. He doesn't so much beat the white man as show practical intelligence while the white is stupidly proclaiming faith in his machine, a machine which, like many others, the black could not have.

"Titanic" is about a laborer named Shine, who combines the ability of the physical hero with the verbal skill of the trickster or pimp hero. Shine cracks jokes as he swims away from the sinking ship and drowning whites.

He ends up safely on dry land.

Shine on the Titanic: A Folk Poem