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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Convention of Colored Newspaper Men Cincinnati, August 4th, 1875, Wednesday A. M.
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organization for the advancement of our interests, and the securement of our rights as a civilized people, and that to whatever we recommend as worthy of the attention and effort of the colored people, we earnestly invoke the favorable attention of our white fellow-citizens, pledging them in return, our hearty co-operation in all enterprises, which have their purposes, the improvement of the condition of any class of American citizens, or for maintaining the peace of the Nation at home, and sustaining its prestige abroad.
"That we deeply deplore the spirit of malevolence that has enforced, and still follows us unto the separation which we have vainly sought to escape; and not less do we deplore the fact , that a considerable portion of the the Press misrepresent our motives, malign our characters, underrate our powers, and ridicule our aspirations on the one side, while they applaud every obstacle thrown in the way of our elevation on the other, on all sides we meet agents and element no less discouraging, tending to deprive us of our citizenship; to depress, and, if possible, to extinguish the feelings of self-respect and the habit of self-reliance on our part, and to weaken, if not destroy, all confidence in our ability and virtue on the part of our friends.
"That while our past oppression has prevented us from acquiring the characteristics which belong to the higher civilization, we repel with indignation, as utterly false and malicious, the accusations made by Bishop Wilmer, the New York Independent, Father Ryan, and those who join with them in asserting that colored people of the South are hopelessly degraded, and that they 'have no religion, no morals, and no conscience.'
"That, considering the depths of poverty and ignorance from which the colored people of the South have recently so recently been lifted, and keeping in view the limited opportunities for improvement at their command, and remembering the unscrupulous and relentless opposition offered against our advancement, we can but contemplate with pride, the progress made by our people in every walk of life. Prevented from purchasing lands, we still cling to the industries connected with the cultivation of the soil; denied the opportunities of education, we snatch the chances for instruction and fearful disadvantage; deprived of our civil rights, we are, nevertheless, actnated? by patriotic sentiments; refused justice in the courts, we are still law-abiding citizens; excluded from the house of God, we still seek the protection of that God whom the white man worships.
"That, knowing the elevating influence exerted upon any race of wealth, which ever seeks to anchor itself to the soil, we cordially approve every movement, whether connected with schemes of emigration, or co-operative societies looking to ownership of lands in the South, or elsewhere, by colored people for the systematic cultivation of soil.
"That, recognizing the value of the inestimable boon of education to our children, we contemplate, with profound satisfaction and pride, the extent to which educational facilities have been embraced throughout the South, by parents, for their children; the advancement made by our youth; he fidelity with which our teachers have performed their duties; an the fortitude in which they have endured indignity and outrage;and we pledge ourselves to exert the utmost of our ability, our energies and influence, to extend and perpetuate the benefits of common school instruction."
Governor Pinchback then remarked upon the happy progress and termination of the Convention. He had attended many meetings of colored men, but never seen as
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