A Social History of the American Negro eBook

Benjamin Griffith Brawley
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about A Social History of the American Negro.

It is quite possible that if promoted on a scale vast enough such a Negro super-government as that proposed could be realized.  It is true that England and France seem to-day to have a firm grip on the continent of Africa, but the experience of Germany has shown that even the mailed fist may lose its strength overnight.  With England beset with problems in Ireland and the West Indies, in India and Egypt, it is easy for the millions in equatorial Africa to be made to know that even this great power is not invincible and in time might rest with Nineveh and Tyre.  There are things in Africa that will forever baffle all Europeans, and no foreign governor will ever know all that is at the back of the black man’s mind.  Even now, without the aid of modern science, information travels in a few hours throughout the length and breadth of the continent; and those that slept are beginning to be awake and restless.  Let this restlessness increase, let intelligence also increase, let the natives be aided by their fever, and all the armies of Europe could be lost in Africa and this ancient mother still rise bloody but unbowed.  The realization of the vision, however, would call for capital on a scale as vast as that of a modern war or an international industrial enterprise.  At the very outset it would engage England in nothing less than a death-grapple, especially as regards the shipping on the West Coast.  If ships can not go from Liverpool to Seccondee and Lagos, then England herself is doomed.  The possible contest appalls the imagination.  At the same time the exploiting that now goes on in the world can not go on forever.

CHAPTER XVII

THE NEGRO PROBLEM

It is probably clear from our study in the preceding pages that the history of the Negro people in the United States falls into well defined periods or epochs.  First of all there was the colonial era, extending from the time of the first coming of Negroes to the English colonies to that of the Revolutionary War.  This divides into two parts, with a line coming at the year 1705.  Before this date the exact status of the Negro was more or less undefined; the system of servitude was only gradually passing into the sterner one of slavery; and especially in the middle colonies there was considerable intermixture of the races.  By the year 1705, however, it had become generally established that the Negro was to be regarded not as a person but as a thing; and the next seventy years were a time of increasing numbers, but of no racial coherence or spiritual outlook, only a spasmodic insurrection here and there indicating the yearning for a better day.  With the Revolution there came a change, and the second period extends from this war to the Civil War.  This also divides into two parts, with a line at the year 1830.  In the years immediately succeeding the Revolution there was put forth the first effective effort toward racial organization,

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A Social History of the American Negro from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.