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The Negro's Future

The Negro's Future image
Parent Issue
Day
4
Month
May
Year
1883
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Frederick Douglass, the "Douglass" of the colored race, in his recent address in Washington, on the occasion of the celebration of the emancipation of the slaves in the District of Columbia, spoke thus of the future of the race, and their rights as citizens of this great commonwealth : The question is sometimes asked, when and by whom the negro was first suspected of having any rights at all? In answer to this enquiry, it has been asserted that William Loyd Garrison originated the anti-slavery movement; that until his voice was raised against the American slave system, the whole world was silent. With all respect to those who makc this claim, I am compelled to dissent ! from it. I love and venérate the name of William Loyd Garrison. I knew him long and wcll. He was a grand man, a moral hero, a man whose acquaintance and friendship it was a great privilege to enjoy. While liberty has a friend on earth, and slavery an earnest enemy, his name and his works will be held in profound and grateful memory. To him it was givento formúlate against oppiession and slavery, the testimoials of all ages. He revived, but did not origínate. It is no dsparagement to him ot affirm that he was preceded by many other good men whom it would be a pleasure to remember on occasions like this. Benjamin Lundy, an humble Quaker, though not the originator of the anti-slavery movement, was in advance of Mr. Garrison. Walker, a colorea man, whose appeal against slavery startled the land like atrump of coming judgment, wasbefore either Mr. Garrison or Mr. Lundy. Emancipation without delay was preached by Dr. Hopkins, of Rhodc Island, longbefore the voice of either Garrison, Lundy, or Walker was heard in the land. John Wesley, a hundred years before, had denounced slavery as the sum of all villainies. Adam Clark had done the same. The Society of Friends had abolished slavery among themselves and had borne testimony aginst the evil, long before the modern anti-slavery movement was inaugurated. In fact, the rights of the negro, as a man, and a brother, began to be asserted with the earliest American Colonial history, and I derive hope from the fact that the discussion still goes on, and the claims of the negro rise higher and higher as the years roll by. Two hundred years of discussion has abated 110 jot of its power or its vitality. Behind itwe have a great cloud of witnesses, going back to the beginning of our country and to the very foundation of oui government. á -Ti f T T Fellow Citizens - In view of the history now referred to,the low point at which he started in the race of life on this continent and the rnany obstacles which had to be surmounted, the negro has reason to be proud of his progress, if not of his beginning. He is a brilliant illustration oí social and anthropological revolution and evolution. His progress has been steady, vast and wonderful. No people has ever made greater progress under similar onditions. We may trace his rise from Godwin contending for his right to baptism, to Garnson with abolitionism, and later on to Gilliam alarmed at the prospect of negro supremacy. His progress is marked with three G.'s, Godwin, Garrison, Gilliam. We see him changed from a heathen to a Christian by Godwin, from a slave to a freeman by Garrison, from serf to a sovereign by Gilliam. I am not a disciple of Professor Gilliam, and have neither hope nor fear of black supremacy. I have very little interest in his ethics or his arithmetic. It may or it may not come to pass. Sufficient unto the day is both the evil and the gooc thereof. A hundred years is a little further down the steps of time than I c;.re to look, for good or for evil. When father Miller proved by the Bible, from whose pages a grea many things have been proved, tha the world would come to an end il 1843, and proved it so clearly tha many began to make their robes ii which they were to soar aloft abov this burning world, he was asked b) a doubting Thomas, "But father Mil Ier, what if it does not come?' "Well," said the good old man,"then we shall wait till it does come." The colored people of the Unitec States should imítate the wisdom o father Miller,and wait. But we should also work while we wait. For afte all, our destiny is largely in our own hands. If we find we shall have to seek, if we succeed in the race of life it must be by our own energies, anc our own exertions. Others ma; clear the road, but we must go for ward or be left behind in the race o: life. If we remain poor and dependent, the riches of other men will not avail us. If we are ignorant the intelligence of other men will do but little for us. If we are foolish, the wisdom of other men will not guideus. If we are wasteful of time and money, the economy of other men will only makc our destitution the more disgraceful and hurtful. If we are vicious and lawless, the virtue and good behavior of others will not save us us from our vices and our crimes. There is but one destiny it seems to me left for us, and that is to make ourselves, and be made by others, a part of the American people in every sense of the word. Assimilation, not isolation, is our true policy and our natural destiny. Unification for us is life; separation is death. We cannot afford to set up for ourselves a separate political party or adopt for ourselves a political creed apart from the vest of our fellow-citizens. Our own interests will be best subserved by a generous care for the interests of the nation at large. All the political, social and literary forces around us tendito unification. ■ _ SmallNed was reasonably gonerous with his other goodies, but he eould ncver be induced to part with even a "bite" of molasses candy. So the surpriso of the family circle may easily be raagined when, after retiring one day o a secluded corner with a thick stick of his favoritesweet.he suddenly emerged and offered to givo away a largo )icce. It had become entangled in one )f his long curls, and pulling and twistng it only pulled and twisted the curl, and at last, with tears, partly of pain and partly of vexation, in his eyes, Ned iretfully exclaimed: "Ohdear! whoever '11 get this 'lasses candy out of my hair may nave it.-

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Subjects
Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat