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Will the Afro-American Return to Africa?
			
390                    CHURCH REVIEW.

dustry and economy; they have a heritage in the government
and in the soil, consecrated by the bones of their dead, which
have no price and can be purchased with no money; and they
find that, in the condition of freedom, their position is growing
better and more secure every year, due, mainly, to the develop-
ment of a more self-reliant and self-supporting manhood and
womanhood. While the surplus population of all the civilized
governments are given a cordial and pressing invitation to come
here and enjoy the wealth of our soil and the liberality of our
institutions, Afro-Americans cannot understand why they should
have a cordial and pressing invitation given to them to betake
themselves out of the country.  Instead of accepting the invita-
tion as a compliment, they regard it as an insult. If they do not
always proclaim it from the housetops, it is because they consider
silence to be the most sarcastic form of contempt. That they
should be asked, seriously, to leave a country they had enriched
with their toil and defended with their lives, and that grave Sen-
ators in the Congress should propose that public money should
be placed at their disposal to expedite their self-expatriation,
seems to them insult so glaring as to relieve them of the necessity
of organized protest. Such baseness carries upon its face a
sufficient condemnation and rebuke. It is like asking a coequal
heir to abandon his portion of the estate, in order that there may
be absolute harmony in the division of the benefaction.
   I think these reasons are sufficient to show why Afro-Ameri-
cans do not, should not, and will not return to Africa.
  The sentiment that the Afro-American should return to Africa
is by no means general. Far from it. The great mass of our
fellow-citizens would oppose any proposition intended to coerce
us into leaving the country, if any such was contemplated or
proposed. They rightly believe we are old enough to decide the
question of residence for ourselves; but a few people, bent upon
doing the same thing, can make a great noise. A small spark,
dropped in a cow-shed, started a fire that destroyed the greater
part of Chicago. And as the three tailors of Tooley Street were
convinced that they were the people of England, so a few people
in the United States have always presumed to speak for all the
people upon questions affecting Afro-Americans. So persistent
and uluative have they been that many have accepted the false
prophets to be the Simon-pure articles; but the whole race-
question in the United States has reached a stage where the
Afro-American resents the assumption that he has no tongue, no
voice, and no brains in his head.  The good people who persist,
annually, in getting off in a corner by themselves and resolving
for Afro-Americans may delude and impose upon themselves,
but the rest of mankind laugh at them.
  Over and above the reasons already given to show that Afro-
Americans will not return to Africa, as a whole, stands the further
reason that it would be a physical impossibility to do anything




			
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, [Vol.08, Num. 4]

Will the Afro-American Return to Africa?

Thomas

Volume:  08
Issue Number:  04
Page Number:  387
Date:  04/1892


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