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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (75).pdf

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74

justice by taking notice of them. Make the most of the good they do for the colored race, and you will get more good of the same kind.

(2) My second suggestion is, that the best way to counteract race prejudice, or any other kind of prejudice, is to cease trying to talk it down and begin to live it down. One of your own race, Miss Lucy Laney, said to you the other day, "Get culture, character, and cash, and the problem will solve itself." That is good advice. Act upon it.

But see to it that in trying to work out the destiny of your race you do not fall into the mistake of simply aping the white man. God drew the color line. It was He who said, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin?" I see that some doctor is advertising a patent medicine which he claims will bring about this result. I do not believe that any of you will send for this medicine. Don't be ashamed of your black skin. Don't be ashamed of being a Negro. Work out your destiny under God along the line of your race characteristics. As was said in the discussion this morning, let your literature grow out of your own life. Build on your own foundation. Though clouds and darkness veil the final issue of the new race problem, we may trust that in pursuing "the right, as God give us to see the right," clouds and darkness will flee before us. It is the path of the just that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Relations of the Races

The discussion following this address was marked by frankness and moderation. The first speaker said that he wished to express his gratitude for the outspoken words of Dr. Campbell, and that he hoped the number of such men in the South might be increased. Another said that if the sentiments that had been expressed were those of the younger instead of the middle-aged men of the South, the Negro might hope for better things; but that under the present circumstances, the chasm seemed to be widening and deepening. It was believed by some that if the two races could get together on a basis of good-will, wonders might be accomplished. One of the members said that what the Negro feels toward the southern white man is not prejudice but suspicion, a natural enough feeling after the treatment he has received in some quarters. He insisted that there is a difference

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