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

dreams are dreams, and that facts are facts. They would not be
philanthropists if they did. As they spend most of their time
thinking for others, often at a comfortable salary, they will not
understand why others should bother to think for themselves.
And in all sorts of quarters just now, the greatest surprise is
manifested because the Afro-American is demonstrating that he
has any mind whatever and can use it for thinking purposes. It
nearly takes their breath (and occupation, too) away.
  Ever since the American Colonization Society was organized,
more than a half century ago, for the purpose of accommodating
those Afro-Americans who wanted to return to Africa, the ques-
tion of Afro-American colonization has occupied more or less of
the public attention. It was a dream of Henry Clay, who was
opposed to slavery, and of Abraham Lincoln, who did not believe
that the Afro-American could live here as a freeman, that coloni-
zation would solve the problem. Perhaps it would have done so,
if the Afro-American, before and since the war, had not set his
face against it, as the devil is said to set his against holy water.
He would not have it; he will not have it; and all the philan-
thropists and other good people who want to have it, having
decided that he must have it, are simply horrified, cast down, at
their wits' end, because of it They have spent millions of money
andyears of honest toil, in attempting to put their decision into
something they could "point to with pride," and of which they
could exultantly exclaim, "I told you so!" but Liberia is all that
they have brought forth. I do not wish to be understood as in
any way underrating Liberia as a government There is not
enough of it, perhaps. I simply emphasize the fact here, that if
the dreams of those who are responsible for its existence had
been such as they anticipated and predicted, the country would
to-day contain a million or more Afro-Americans, instead of the
handful that it does contain. Instead of being an infant in popu-
lation, it would be a giant. The Afro-American has simply
refused to go to Liberia as a race; and when he has gone as an
individual, he has, in many instances, returned by the next
steamer, as my good friend Bishop Turner is said to have done,
although he has been anxious for twenty years for an opportunity
to die there.
  The Afro-American has reasoned, that if fifteen millions of
Europeans have, since 1820,deemed it wise and advantageous to
come to the United States, it would be wise and advantageous
for  him to remain here.  What was good enough for the op-
pressed and starving peasants of Europe and the peons of China,
was good enough for him, despite the arguments of those who had
decided that he must go.  This is one view of the matter, and,
perhaps, an important,one,to a thorough  understanding of the
colonization failure.  Men do not usually run away from oppor-
tunities which the rest of mankind are rushing forward to enjoy.
  The Afro-American is just like other people in this respect. Is
he unlike other people in any respect?


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

Will the Afro-American Return to Africa?


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


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