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.
All along the line we need more uprightness—­more strength.  Even when a man has committed a crime, he must receive justice in court.  Within recent years we have heard too much about “speedy trials,” which are often nothing more than legalized lynchings.  If it has been decreed that a man is to wait for a trial one week or one year, the mob has nothing to do with the matter, and, if need be, all the soldiery of the United States must be called forth to prevent the storming of a jail.  Fortunately the last few years have shown us several sheriffs who had this conception of their duty.

In the last analysis this may mean that more responsibility and more force will have to be lodged in the Federal Government.  Within recent years the dignity of the United States has been seriously impaired.  The time seems now to have come when the Government must make a new assertion of its integrity and its authority.  No power in the country can be stronger than that of the United States of America.

For the time being, then, this is what we need—­a stern adherence to law.  If men will not be good, they must at least be made to behave.  No one will pretend, however, that an adjustment on such a basis is finally satisfactory.  Above the law of the state—­above all law of man—­is the law of God.  It was given at Sinai thousands of years ago.  It received new meaning at Calvary.  To it we must all yet come.  The way may be hard, and in the strife of the present the time may seem far distant; but some day the Messiah will reign and man to man the world over shall brothers be “for a’ that.”


Unless an adequate volume is to be devoted to the work, any bibliography of the history of the Negro Problem in the United States must be selective.  No comprehensive work is in existence.  Importance attaches to Select List of References on the Negro Question, compiled under the direction of A.P.C.  Griffin, Library of Congress, Washington, 1903; A Select Bibliography of the Negro American, edited by W.E.B.  DuBois, Atlanta, 1905, and The Negro Problem:  a Bibliography, edited by Vera Sieg, Free Library Commission, Madison, Wis., 1908; but all such lists have to be supplemented for more recent years.  Compilations on the Abolition Movement, the early education of the Negro, and the literary and artistic production of the race are to be found respectively in Hart’s Slavery and Abolition, Woodson’s The Education of the Negro prior to 1861, and Brawley’s The Negro in Literature and Art, and the Journal of Negro History is constantly suggestive of good material.

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