The Negro eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 168 pages of information about The Negro.

In nearly every age and land men of Negro descent have distinguished themselves.  In literature there is Terence in Rome, Nosseyeb and Antar in Arabia, Es-Sa’di in the Sudan, Pushkin in Russia, Dumas in France, Al Kanemi in Spain, Heredia in the West Indies, and Dunbar in the United States, not to mention the alleged Negro strain in AEsop and Robert Browning.  As rulers and warriors we remember such Negroes as Queen Nefertari and Amenhotep III among many others in Egypt; Candace and Ergamenes in Ethiopia; Mansa Musa, Sonni Ali, and Mohammed Askai in the Sudan; Diaz in Brazil, Toussaint L’Ouverture in Hayti, Hannivalov in Russia, Sakanouye Tamuramaro in Japan, the elder Dumas in France, Cazembe and Chaka among the Bantu, and Menelik, of Abyssinia; the numberless black leaders of India, and the mulatto strain of Alexander Hamilton.  In music and art we recall Bridgewater, the friend of Beethoven, and the unexplained complexion of Beethoven’s own father; Coleridge-Taylor in England, Tanner in America, Gomez in Spain; Ira Aldridge, the actor, and Johnson, Cook, and Burleigh, who are making the new American syncopated music.  In the Church we know that Negro blood coursed in the veins of many of the Catholic African fathers, if not in certain of the popes; and there were in modern days Benoit of Palermo, St. Benedict, Bishop Crowther, the Mahdi who drove England from the Sudan, and Americans like Allen, Lot Carey, and Alexander Crummell.  In science, discovery, and invention the Negroes claim Lislet Geoffroy of the French Academy, Latino and Amo, well known in European university circles; and in America the explorers Dorantes and Henson; Banneker, the almanac maker; Wood, the telephone improver; McCoy, inventor of modern lubrication; Matseliger, who revolutionized shoemaking.  Here are names representing all degrees of genius and talent from the mediocre to the highest, but they are strong human testimony to the ability of this race.

We must, then, look for the origin of modern color prejudice not to physical or cultural causes, but to historic facts.  And we shall find the answer in modern Negro slavery and the slave trade.


[35] “Some authors write that the Ethiopians paint the devil white, in disdain of our complexions.”—­Ludolf:  History of Ethiopia, p. 72.

[36] Ripley:  Races of Europe, pp. 58, 62.

[37] Denniker:  Races of Men, p. 63.

[38] G. Finot:  Race Prejudice.  F. Herz:  Moderne Rassentheorien.

[39] Ratzel:  quoted in Spiller:  Inter-Racial Problems, p. 31.

[40] Spiller:  Inter-Racial Problems, p. 35.

[41] Ratzel:  History of Mankind, II, 380 ff.

[42] Industrial Evolution, p. 47.

[43] These and other references in this chapter are from Schneider:  Culturfaehigkeit des Negers.

[44] Atlanta University Leaflet, No. 19.

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The Negro from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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