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Proceedings of the Council of the Georgia Equal Rights Association. Assembled at Augusta, Ga. April 4th, 1866. Containing the Address of the President, Captain J. E. Bryant, and Resolutions Adopted by the Council.

1866GA-State-Augusta_Proceedings_Equal-Rights-Association (7).pdf

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7

to do this it is absolutely necessary that your paper be sustained. You can not estimate the amount of good that may be accomplished if it is sustained. If you love your race do not allow this paper to go down.

You are aware that there exists a strong and deep rooted prejudice against your race on the part of the American people. This is not surprising, when you consider that nearly all of your race, in this country, have been slaves, and that slaves have been despised in all ages, and that the race that is held in that condition is necessarily degraded. But when you remember that yours is not the only race that has been enslaved; that perhaps the ancestors of your late masters were slaves; that the Jews have in modern times been despised as much as you, and that these races have become powerful, wealthy and respected, you should take courage. Strive to overcome all difficulties. learn what is necessary to be done to elevate and improve your people, and then go forward, laboring earnestly, fearlessly and prudently to accomplish the great work you have undertaken, trusting in God who has already done so much for your people.

A few months since, we were told that you would not work, unless you were compelled to do so, but we always replied that you would work if fairly paid and kindly treated. The truth of this assertion has since been demonstrated As a people, it is now admitted that you are working faithfully, when you receive justice.

We have been told that 'Niggers' could not be educated; but it is a fact that has been demonstrated, not only that they can learn, but that they learn as rapidly as white children. We have the testimony of distinguished men to prove this; among others, that of General C H Howard, a young man of learning, and a teacher of experience. If more testimony is required, it can be obtained by visiting the colored schools of this or any other city in Georgia.

It is said that 'niggers' have no business to send a man to Washington to represent them ; that it will 'stir up bad blood ;' that 'white men will be offended' &c., &c. I know of no good reason why colored men have not, as good a right to be represented in Washington, as white men; and if 'bad blood' is stirred up and white men are foolish enough to be offended thereat, it can not be helped. If men were deterred from doing their duty because bad men get offended, there would be no reform in the world. Strive always to do right; be industrious; be temperate; be peaceable ; be good, law abiding citizens, but do all in your power to secure for your people equal rights. If men complain, say, gentlemen you complain because you are taxed, and representation is denied you; you complain because Congress refuses to recognize your State Government; you complain because your professions of loyalty are not believed; but you claim the right of taxing us without giving us representation; you refuse to recognize our right to citizenship, yet you must admit that we were always loyal and obedient to laws that were oppressive, and, now if you will allow 'bad blood' to be stirred up, and will be offended, because we

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