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Scripto | Transcribe Page
An Address Delivered by Prof. W.S. Scarborough, of Wilberforce University, on Our Political Status, at the Colored Men's Inter-State Conference in the City of Pittsburgh, PA., Tuesday, April 29, 1884.
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OUR POLITICAL STATUS.
strong protest against oppression and loudly in favor of liberty and equality. John Brown, whose body lies mouldering in the grave, while his great soul is still marching on, died in behalf of the liberty of this same people with whom we are identified. Surely we cannot remain quiet or inactive at a juncture like this. Times demand counsel and concerted action on our part. Circumstances demand that we rise up as one man and strike in behalf of a down-trodden people. Will we do it? It remains for us to decide now what shall be done for ourselves and for our country.
The first object to be secured among us is a more perfect unity and a better understanding as to what methods of procedure are best adapted to aid us in changing our present constitution. The specific object of this Conference, I take it, is to promote more effectually our general welfare; to devise ways and means by which our common interests may be the more sacredly guarded.
This is not a movement that should arouse suspicion, since all races and classes of citizens have had similar gatherings, for similar purposes. Indeed it would be strange, gentlemen, if under the circumstances, we were not moved to take some action in our own behalf. Our civil and political rights are withheld from us; our liberty is placed in jeopardy, and we as a race are ostracised and outraged. Justice is trampled under foot, in the face of the stern fact that the National safety lies in National justice, and that no government is safe that permits such outrages to escape punishment.
"So simple a thing as an unjust tax on tea precipitated the American Revolution. The outrage and inhumanity of slavery produced the greatest civil war in all history. Outrages now practiced upon the colored people of the South will produce like consequences if long tolerated."—Ohio State Journal, December 26, 1883.
I am not Jewish enough to advocate an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth, but I do insist upon sufficient harmony in our own divided ranks to demand, unitedly, protection, recognition and equality before the law. It is gratifying to observe that after the Supreme Court of the United States has taken the pains
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