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Progress of the Negro Race: Address at a Patriotic Race Service, Philadelphia
pointed to important places in the first year of the present ad-
  It has often occurred to me that the negro people have failed
to celebrate properly the anniversary of their freedom or the
anniversary of the birth of the Great Liberator--Abraham Lin-
coln.  I think it would be well if the negroes in Pennsylvania and
all over the United States would, from now one, make a more
pronounced effort to celebrate these two great historic anniversa-
ries by suitable patriotic gatherings, assemblages and rallies so
that the members of the race might refresh their recollections by
recalling the character and achievements of the Immortal Lin-
coln and the long and heroic struggle for liberty. Such celebra-
tions would also bring about discussions as to the progress which
the race had been making during the preceding year and instruc-
tive deliberations would follow as to a program of action for the
ensuing year in the interest of the race.

              Semi-Centennial of Freedom
  I was gratified, therefore, when it was proposed that a semi-
centennial of liberty and freedom should be celebrated in Phila-
delphia in September, 1913, I took especial interest in this cele-
bration and was glad to help secure the necessary legislation and
appropriation from the State of Pennsylvania, so that the cele-
bration might be rendered a creditable success. It was especially
gratifying that the idea of this exposition was conceived by col-
ored men and its achievement was coincident with the presence
in the Legislature of our Commonwealth of a Representative of
your race.
  The exposition was planned and managed by negro men and
women, and every detail worked out by them. The exposition
furnished one of the few instances where the negro men of the
State and Nation, unaided by their white brothers, carried to a
successful conclusion an undertaking of such great scope.  It
was not done at the Cotton States Exposition at Atlanta, nor the
Jamestown Exposition at Norfolk, nor the New Jersey Exposi-
tion at Atlantic City.
  The exposition promoted what I always have had in mind--
a greater devotion to the above-mentioned anniversaries, because
it influenced other States, like New Jersey, New York and Illi-


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Progress of the Negro Race: Address at a Patriotic Race Service, Philadelphia


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