Academic journal article The Journal of African American History

The New Fatherland

Academic journal article The Journal of African American History

The New Fatherland

Article excerpt

The statue of Germania stands at the border of the German fatherland where the plunging Rhine murmurs its tales against its banks. In her raised right hand she holds a shining sword while the shield in her left hand glitters in the midday sun. Her eyes are turned to the west where many of her sons, nourished at her bosom, had gone to a new fatherland. They came to a foreign country to live among a foreign people who are sons of Adam, but whose faces, alas, are black, faces they have been taught to despise, and, what is more, that contact with them would stain them. Did the German fatherland teach them to set their hearts according to the color of people's faces; did the God of the Germans direct that the door to the house of Jesus Christ be shut against my people? Can this be true? I cannot believe that the house of Hus and Luther could accept such teaching. No! For before they throw themselves into the hell of southern prejudice, they will listen to the voice of an oppressed people, of a growing nation that, with the help of God and its own right hand rises higher and higher, closer to the perfect day. A quarter of a century ago, these people were slaves and even learned philosophers wisely declared that they had no souls, and Christ's own priests sermonized this from the pulpit. The land of God could not remain silent; freedom's march could not be stopped. Just as the Germans were glad to see the fall of Berlin avenged by the fall of Paris, likewise great happiness broke out in the black breasts in America when the slaves went free. …

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