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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
                A RAY OF LIGHT.                     359

love ease and enjoyment so much, that we are apt to think only
of ourselves. Now I was very much opposed to coming to the
United States to reside a few years," she continued; "when
my son first spoke of it, it made me seriously ill; and I was only
convinced of my error by a friend interceding for him. I knew
it was perfectly right for him to visit his native land, but I
was selfish and felt as if I never could reside in this country,
or be separated from him either.  Since my arrival here, I have
myself and friends miserable pining for England, although I
have every comfort the country affords. But when my niece
and  Miss Cecil told me what disadvantages your family labored
under how by great injustice and cruel prejudice you had been
deprived of your education, your brother of employment, and
worse than all, the privilege of attending divine service, my
sympathy was aroused, and I felt as if I must do something
for you."
  "You are very kind, Madam, to think of our humble family,"
remarked Sophie, not knowing what else to say.
  "Don't speak of it," said the lady. "I find we are less selfish
when we have work to perform.  I was taught from chidhood
to be a friend to those less fortunate than myself. Wouldn't
you like to go on with your studies Miss Leland, if you had an
opportunity to do so?" asked Mrs. Ashley, pleasantly.
  "Nothing would give me more pleasure, if I could afford it,"
was the reply. 
  "We will  speak of that again," said the lady.  "What amount
do you realize by your sewing? Excuse my inquisitiveness," 
she added, smiling.
  "Certainly," returnel Sophie. "Mother and I work all the
time, and the sum realized is so trifling that we are forced to
deny ourselves many things that we really need.  Most seam-
stresses earn more than I do however."
  "How is that?" asked the lady.
  "Simply because they are white," returned Sophie;  "That
is all the recommendation a person needs in this country  Such
a person can sew out day after day, and receive her board, her
wages, and good treatment; while if I attempt to go out, I am
obliged to fast all day, or go home, because I will not take my
food in their back kitchens." 
  "Shameful!" said Mrs. Ashley.  Do you  receive such
treatment from all classes, or only from the poorer people?"
she asked.                          
  "We receive it from all classes generally," was the reply.
"Sometimes I meet with persons of principle.  Social position
makes no difference; the rich set the expample, and the poor
think they must imitate their superiors. It would be impos-
sible for me to give you a perfect idea of American prejudice,
Mrs. Ashley." 
  "I don't understand it," said the lady toughtfully. "It
must be the result of ignorance and superstition. There is
nothing in christianity to justify it. But I was about to speak of


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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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