Author: Peter Nielsen
Release Date: February 4, 2005 [EBook #14900]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK black man’s place ***
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Susan Skinner and the
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JUTA & Co., Ltd.,
Cape town. Port Elizabeth. UITENHAGE.
The reader has a right to ask what qualification the writer may have for dealing with the subject upon which he offers his opinions.
The author of this book claims the qualifications of an observer who, during many years, has studied the ways and thoughts of the Natives of South Africa on the spot, not through interpreters, but at first hand, through the medium of their own speech, which he professes to know as well as the Natives themselves.
The question stated.
The white man has taken up the burden of ruling his dark-skinned fellows throughout the world, and in South Africa he has so far carried that burden alone, feeling well assured of his fitness for the task. He has seen before him a feeble folk, strong only in their numbers and fit only for service, a people unworthy of sharing with his own race the privileges of social and political life, and it has seemed right therefore in his sight that this people should continue to bend under his dominant will. But to-day the white man is being disturbed by signs of coming strength among the black and thriving masses; signs of the awakening of a consciousness of racial manhood that is beginning to find voice in a demand for those rights of citizenship which hitherto have been so easily withheld. The white people are beginning to ask themselves whether they shall sit still and wait till that voice becomes clamant and insistent throughout the land or whether they shall begin now to think out and provide means for dealing with those coming events whose shadows are already falling athwart the immediate outlook. The strong and solid feeling among the whites in the past against giving any political rights to the blacks however civilised they might be is not so strong or as solid as it was. The number is growing of those among the ruling race who feel that the right of representation should here also follow the burden of taxation, but while there are many who think thus, those who try to think the matter out in all its bearings soon come to apprehend the possibility that where once political equality has been granted social equality may follow, and this apprehension makes the thinking man pause to think again before he commits himself to a definite and settled opinion.