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Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored People : held at Albany, New-York, on the 22d, 23d and 24th of July, 1851.

1851NY.21.pdf

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74 BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS

land fattening upon the hideous error that God has created a noble and an ignoble race, and that by virtue of this he has given a right to the strong to tyrannize over the weak--to load his body with chains and shut him up from revelations of light and love guaranteed to him in the very ground work of his being.

The history of slavery and caste in this country is so palpable that it needs no recapitulation here. It is a history written in blood and black with enormities and crimes. That it owes its origin and continuance to misdirected views is made evident in the fact that where a different system of culture been adopted, the so-called antagonistic races have grown up in terms of amity, and have moved on an equal platform, basking under a common civilization, and raching out to a common destiny.

The fact made glaring by the education adopted, that there is a vast disparity in the standard of culture of the two classes involved in the argument, has been made a justifying cause for tyrannizing over those whose only crime has been, that where no food has been given them, they have not grown fat, and where light has been shut from them, their sight has become dim and obscure.

Time, therefore, having sanctioned the erroneous doctrine that because there is a difference in development, the truth is evident that there is a difference in capacity. It rests with us to counteract the perverted teachings of the land, by filling up as soon as possible the chasm of mind that has separated us, and to bring to our mental storehouse those rich freights of thought and intelligence that really make eminent any people, and the want of which makes us yield too readily to such influences as cause us to remain the vassals and slaves of a more powerful clan, and pliant subjects to a system of education highly improper of itself, and which serves to render us less fitted to appreciate the advantages of a true system, and makes us willing instruments to embarrass and postpone the prospects of securing such as is proper.

The system of education most conducive to our advancement seems to be that which will most readily annihilate in us that weakening acknowledgement, that our means of elevation are to be ever distinct and separate from those educational appliances that end so rapidly to push onward the great American people. In other words, we must partake, as far as is practicable, in the advantages of those literary and religious institutions, where common rights are respected, and where manhood is acknowledged as an equal inheritance! Schools established by caste, while they may not be contemned where better reliances are not to be had, are depressing in their influences, and unfitted to prepare our children to assume an equality of position in the after severe lessons of life. We never may expect to claim, or our opponents to grant, full freedom in carrying out the great aims of life, where we are educated in acknowledgment of the fitness of that spirit of colonization that shuts us out from enjoying the advantages of the better schools of the land. This being our conviction, let us give good attention to securing for our children a liberal education, remaining steadfast in the determination to unceasing efforts to uproot the evil of proscription on account of color, wherever it is to be met with, either in school houses or in churches, ever maintaining perseverance in the right direction, and a dignity of demeanor that will characterize us as a people knowing our rights, willing to assert them, and to make sacrifices of present convenience to the end of securing their permanent possession.

In addition your committee recommend the passage of the following resolutions:

Resolved, That the character of Central College, in its principles, its ability and appointments, is such as we can cheerfully recommend to the support of the colored people.

Resolved, That the renewed evidence of firm adherence to the principle of the universal brotherhood of man, as given by the noble position maintained by that institution of learning known as "Central College," at McGrawville, Cortland county, which institution spurned the bribe held out to it by way a pecuniary aid from the State, on condition of the departure from its princi-

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