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theatres, to amuse ourselves together in public places and the like.
There are colored men and women whose lives are above reproach, and whose refinement and good behavior is equal to the best Caucasian blood on American soil, and yet they are denied the rights of citizens and discriminated against in almost every walk of life.
We have only one hope, we know that Providence is not asleep, Justice will awake in favor of the dark-skinned man. Chinese, Japanese and all Asiatic races come to our country and are accorded the privilege of American citizenship and social equality, and many of these are no better than the Negro race and some morally not as good.
Whilewe must admit that we have some friends in the South who rejoice in the progress of the Negro, the spirit of the South is to keep the Negro in the background, and in political slavery. The South predicted the downfall of the government, but their fondest expectations failed and their cause was lost. God has decreed otherwise—that the Negro should be free. This same God lives today, and we believe that He will do right.
3. I shall now speak of the Afro-American Negro as he will be in the future.
Every indication points to a happy solution of the vexed race problem. His wonderful achievement since his physical emancipation has been phenomenal. He has been able through efforts of his own and the assistance of the philanthropist to reduce his ignorance sixty per cent. The vast accumulation of property, the improvements in the home-life, the educational and religious advancement and economic and industrial progress that have been made within the last few years are indicative of the fact that ere long the Negro will find his place just a little higher up in the social world. The future is pregnant and freighted with political and social rights of the Afro-American Negro.
The Negro's Star of Social Emancipation has been seen upon the horizon of the times. We may have bitter experiences, the race may suffer much as a result of mob violence; doors may
be closed in our faces, but it matters not what the discriminations nor how severe the punishment, the day is coming when the rights of every man will be respected, whether he be white, yellow, brown or black. The time will come when the white man and the black man will stand upon terms of social equality in all things. As he has admitted the Chinese, the Japanese, the Malays and all other Asiatic races to social equality, he will in time admit the Negro and they will be brothers, working together for the betterment and the advancement of the Master's Kingdom.
4. In my concluding remarks I shall speak of the Afro-American; his social relations with other races than his own, and the final end of the present-day bickering. It is a known fact that the Anglo-American throughout the country offers no social inducements to the Negro, especially in the Southland. Forces are at work in every section of the country to keep the two races apart socially, but regardless of what may be done or said, this barrier is being broken down by the individual man and woman. While we know that discrimination and color castes is a sin and is wrong, we also know that the question of social equality will in time adjust itself -eventually it will force itself upon both races, each race will be a victim within itself, and prejudice and color line will, from circumstances or necessity, have to be entirely wiped out. Old Father Time is gradually bleaching the Negro race and is removing stainspots from the character of the race. Ignorance is giving place to intelligence, wretchedness and wickedness is giving place to righteousness and justice, poverty is giving place to wealth, and prejudice is giving place to love of freedom and good will toward all men. This we believe to be the course of Divine Providence. We have noticed too, that white men have greater respect for the educated and more intelligent members of the race, than they have for the unlearned and lower classes.
It seems that the best white people are eager to come into closer relations with the better class of Negroes. It is plain to us all that education has not driven the whites and blacks apart to any alarming extent, but on the other hand has brought them closer together in a social way. SOCIAL EQUALITY IS AS SURE TO COME AS THERE IS A GOD. It will begin to exert itself among the more intelligent of both races, and in proportion to the real moral worth and intelligence of the race, just in that proportion will social equality dawn upon it.
Again, an investigation will reveal the fact that the Negro is growing brighter with each succeeding generation, and this of itself will in time equalize the races socially. I visited one of our institutions of learning last year and to my utter surprise, out of two hundred pupils in the school building that day, there were only six black children, all the rest were from a dark brown to white! In the course of time the Negro race will be a race of "white Negroes,” and so mixed by cross-blood and intermixing that the question of social equality and equal rights will settle itself and the present-day bickering will come to an end.
JOHN W. Wood.