Daughter of the Revolution: The Major Nonfiction Works of Pauline E. Hopkins

By Pauline E. Hopkins; Ira Dworkin | Go to book overview

IV.
Africa:
Abyssinians, Egyptians, Nilotic Class, Berbers,
Kaffirs, Hottentots, Africans of Northern Tropics
(including Negroes of Central, Eastern, and Western
Africa), Negroes of the United States

When we consider the fact that there are 1,300,000,000 people in the world and that only about 375,000,000 are white (or one-quarter of the globe's population), we are not surprised that the dominant race dreads a “dark peril,” and sees in every movement made by the leading representatives of dark peoples, a menace to his future prosperous existence.

Most of the 1,000,000,000 of dark-skinned brethren are found in Africa, the vast southwestern peninsula of the Old World: No other division of land on the globe has such a compact and rounded outline. Access to the interior is rendered difficult because of the general absence of gulfs and large inlets. With the rapid advance which exploration has made in Africa in recent years, there has followed a great rivalry among European nations for colonies and protectorates; but while great wealth and boundless avenues for commerce have been opened up, civilization has been a mixed blessing to the natives, and today the eyes of Christendom are fastened upon the Congo Free State and its attendant acts of atrocity in the enforcement of slavery within its borders. The regeneration of Africa is upon us, but blood and tears flow in its train.

The characteristics of the people comprising African stock may be described as having heads rather long than broad, hair black and rarely straight, and the skin almost invariably black or very dark.


Abyssinians

The Abyssinians, or Ethiopians, comprise the people of the elevated plateau of Abyssinia. Under this general designation are comprehended many tribes— speaking different languages, but whose origin has long been a puzzle to historians. In stature they are rather below than above six feet, and are fairer than Negroes, with an oval face, a thin, finely-cut nose, good mouth, regular teeth, and frizzled hair. Abyssinia is interesting both in geographical and ethnological features. So striking is the resemblance between the modern Abyssinian and the Hebrews of old that we are compelled to look upon them as branches of one nation in spite of strong evidence to the contrary. As this theory is forbidden us, how are historians to account for the existence of this almost

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