Essay on The Negro Progress Convention

Essay on The Negro Progress Convention

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The request of the Editor for an article in the journal so ably conducted by him as the organ of the Negro Progress convention finds me in a happily responsive mood. I have just finished writing an article for the official organ of the Association working for the people of my own race; so that the switching off from one racial group to another in an effort to take up a cause that in a broad view is common to both of them is a task that is as agreeable as it is congenial to one like myself whose heart and mind and soul have always been bound up in that cause. All the Indians have suffered, so have the Negroes in the lands to which the Fates have driven their fathers.

But we shall not cherish the memory of those wrongs. Races and nations like individuals, are purified and made strong by suffering. If, however, at times the mind will involuntarily go back to the past, let it not be allowed to linger there in any brooding over conditions and happenings which have been so deplored unless it be warned by its atmosphere and stirred to the spirit that will imbue us with an ever increasing determination to see it (sic) that oppression and injustice in any shape of form shall not be tolerated in this British country under any labour or other system exercising authority under Government.

The present year is a notable one in respect of two great historical events- marking as it does the centenary of the abolition of Negro slavery, and the centenary of the advent of the first batch of Indians from India under the system of indentured labour which was abolished in 1917. Each event is remarkable in its own way, and therefore worthy of commemoration.

I sometimes wonder which was the greater abomination – Negro slavery, or ...

... middle of paper ...

...courage, his push, his intellectual ambition, his faith, and his eloquence; and the Indian with his initiative, his enterprising spirit and plodding industry, his patience and persistency, his temperance and his thrift, his love for religion and his devotion to wife and children; what a wonderful combination they would make, what a stupendous influence they would wield in the full maturity of their powers in the general life of this country! What a splendid contribution they would make to schemes for agricultural and industrial and general and general economic development, as well as for educational advancement and the spread of cultural agencies!

My very best wishes go to my Negro brethren in this their Centenary Year of Freedom, and may they find the bounds of that Freedom ever widening out more and more into the higher realms of the intellect and the spirit.

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