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Message for the Next Fifty Years
			
             A MESSAGE FOR THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS

                  Oswald Garrison Villard

              ON  THIS, the fiftieth anniversary of the Emancipa-
              tion Proclamation, it seems to me that the colored
              people should, above all else, greatly resolve in the
              spirit of the fathers to stand more together as a
              race irrespective of religious or party divisions.
              I am not one who believes that the old spirit of
              the nation which freed the colored people is dead.
              On the contrary, I believe that an appeal for
justice and fair treatment would still bring about results if fairly
and earnestly made before the public. The longer I am in the work
for the colored people the more sincerely do I feel that upon them
rests the chief responsibility for their own progress, and most
necessarily so. The Proclamation freed them from frightful physical
and mental sufferings and gave them life and liberty, though not
necessarily the pursuit of happiness, nor even the protection of the
law at all times and in all places. But they still seem far from free
in other ways and some of their chains are self-imposed.
    If I may give your readers a message for the next fifty years, it
is that they organize, organize and again organize, to protect them-
selves. They have an enormous latent power for self-protection and
self-advancement, which they do not begin to exercise, for one reason
or another. Let them imitate the Jews and stand together as a
clan on behalf of their rights and the results will be amazing. It
was to move in this direction that some of us founded the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but the response
has been slow in view of the opportunities for usefulness and the
needs of the hour. Have your readers ever thought what could be
accomplished for the colored people with even a fund of $500,000 a
year? Think what could be done with such means to enforce the
laws, punish those guilty of crimes against the race and advance
the race spiritually, physically and morally. It ought not to be an
impossible undertaking to raise this sum; even half of it, if, dedicated
to and in the memory of Lincoln, it is wisely expended, would insure
an even greater progress for the race than has been possible during
                              225




			
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Item Description Next Next

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 29, Num. 3

Message for the Next Fifty Years

Garrison

Volume:  29
Issue Number:  03
Page Number:  225
Date:  01/1913


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