Monday, May 12, 2014


Chapter II, Cont'd

In the book called "An appeal to Pharaoh" it is stated:
"The Negro was the cause of the division of the United States into the two sections, the North and the South, and has been the cause of all the strife that has taken place between those sections since the independence of the colonies was established.

Without stopping to prove how false is this quoted statement, it is true, that the Negro, whenever it is possible to make him such, is always made a "scapegoat, for every wrong committed. But during this "reconstruction period", the Negro, though misunderstood, was found, in spite of cares, sorrows, troubles and afflictions, more happy than his white neighbor. Spending his dollar with a reckless disregard for the future, that would put a millionaire to shame: light hearted, sunshiny and full of joy even at a funeral, camp meeting or a hanging: here and there, buying a little piece of land, building a neat cottage and exampling after the other race in bringing up a respectable family, working hard all day, frolicking all night or nearly so, but fresh and ready for work next morning.

This is the life he was leading when the ballot was placed in his hand. Freedom obtained as a war measure: suffrage given as a political exigency. The former prayed for, but hardly expected: the latter found him not only unprepared but surprised. The once nonentity now an entity, equal in every way to the highest in the land from a before the fan' standpoint: with power to make or unmake congressmen, governors and presidents. Had this increased "mark" of the government's consideration been given as a merited and deserved gift, or without the hope of reward, it would have made the donors archangels of the first brightness in that city of eternal light. It was not, however, so given. In fact the Negro can truthfully say that all he has received has been given him out of necessity. 

He was freed that the Southern army might be crippled and conquered. He was enfranchised that the union people and Repub-
lican party might remain in power. The politicians who favored giving the Negro the ballot predicted and prophesied how he would vote when given the power.

Let us see if their prophecies came true. Why did not the South free the blacks? Why did not the owners of the South make free men and women out of those who had made their crops and enriched them, and had nursed their children into manhood and womanhood? Why did the Southern owners wait for strangers to come and do
this noble act? Why did you not do these things and go down in history to be forever known as race redeemers?

It is not yet too late to cover yourselves all over with honor and glory. Refuse to stay back in the dead past, but make fleet your feet and rush on, still more rapidly on. With this, the age of progress, to the golden goal which, if you will, awaits you.

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