The New Negro

The New Negro

The New Negro

The New Negro

Excerpt

It is hard, indeed, in the Christian economy of things, to understand how all of us have been able to tolerate monstrous country-wide racial patterns and devices deliberately designed to hold some of our brothers and fellow countrymen in a genuine state of slavery. It is nearly one hundred years since Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; the centennial of the signing of this document is January 1, 1963.

But tolerate this racial prejudice and discrimination is precisely what we -- and all of the Churches of America -- have done for one hundred years. During most of this time the course of race relations has apparently been influenced more by the political balance in our country, and by changes in the economic fortunes of our land, than by the conscience of our Churches, or ourselves. Indeed, the background of the current more speedy and dramatic progress in interracial justice lies in the migration of many of our people during the second World War, and in the fact that a labor shortage in that war created openings in many jobs that before were available only to whites.

Recently we have all seen growing evidence that people are consciously seeking a just social order, one free for all our citizens, white and Negro. People increasingly want to shape the social order of the future, as they rightly should. The multiplication since the second World War of public and private organizations and agencies working for interracial justice is one sign. The more dramatic direct-action movements which in the past two years have aroused the conscience of our nation as never before, and have also produced some fast progress in some places in our country, are another. Along with these signs, we have been able to observe a quickening conscience on the racial problem in religion . . .

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