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Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.


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Broadbrim. the Quaker signal officer, was thrown out of employment until he got a job of looking after the interests of " Lo, the poor Indian." Even the affairs of John Chinaman, the heathen, found plenty of applicants willing to attend to them ; but John is educated and shrewd, and handles a great deal of money, so he can mind his own business without caring much about the interference of the 'Melican man.

Only the interests of the Negro- American suffer for want of attention. The interests of all other races and classes are sufficiently represented. There are authoritative German, French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, Welsh, Swedish, Scandinavian, scientific, literary, commercial, financial, agricultural, railway, mining, manufacturing, and medical journals attending to every conceivable interest throughout its every conceivable division and ramification, and in this busy world all the hands must be busy looking after their own interests. Then who can look after the interests of the Negro- American, and where is the authoritative journal to be the mouthpiece, so badly needed, for the whole race, a National Review untrammeled by sectarian bias, or a fawning, mercenary policy to keep up its existence? The race needs a National Review, devoted to its interests, for its own good. A taste for self-praise should be encouraged, but it can only be through praiseworthy merit ; and a taste for our own literature ought to be fostered, but it should only be when that literature is of a praiseworthy and wholesome character. "Let another praise thee and not thine own lips." says Holy Writ. When our people see that their National Review keeps good company; when they see that the best papers of the country make excerpts and quotations from it ; when they see that emanations from the pens of their own race are copied from their own colored review, and placed alongside of the productions of the greatest scholars of the age, they will not then be ashamed of a good colored newspaper, as many now are, but a pride of race will be strengthened, and they will find themselves extolling the capabilities of this one or that one and illustrating with quotations, selections, and the like. These, gentlemen of the Conference, are only a few of the reasons for the necessity of a National Review, devoted to the interests of the Negro-American ; but I am so sure that many others, and each one more powerful, will present themselves to you, that I am inspired with the hope that this Conference will enter into ways and means for raising a sufficient capital to insure its publication.




By William Still

According to the programme, I am to present for the consideration of this Conference some thoughts upon the "Opportunities and capabilities of educated Negroes."

Long before the advent of emancipation, and ever since, the attitude of our people in this country has absorbed no small share of my study. I have looked upon their condition with intense interest, feeling to be fully identified with them, however regarded. However, in the discussion of the subject, I take it for granted that I shall best meet the required demands by confining myself chiefly to the present momentous problem involving the Negro's status since emancipation.

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