Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

By Philip S. Foner; Robert James Branham | Go to book overview

pany among some of our most respectable men, with a kind of brotherly affection which ought to be shown only to a gentleman of honor.

Now, Mr. President, all such mean, and more than disgraceful actions as these, are powerful auxiliaries, which work for our destruction, and which are abhorred in the sight of God and of good men.

But, sir, I cannot but bless God for the glorious anticipation of a not very distant period, when these things which now help to degrade us will no more be practiced among the sons of Africa,--for, though this, and perhaps another, generation may not experience the promised blessings of Heaven, yet, the dejected, degraded, and now enslaved children of Africa will have, in spite of all their enemies, to take their stand among the nations of the earth. And, sir, I verily believe that God has something in reserve for us, which, when he shall have parceled it out upon us will repay us for all our suffering and miseries.


17 SLAVERY AND COLONIZATION

Peter Williams Jr.

On December 28, 1816, the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Colour of the United States (popularly known as the American Colonization Society) was organized. The Society, supported by influential groups, aimed to colonize free blacks overseas and thus rid the United States of a "troublesome presence." Although some leading African Americans supported voluntary emigration, believing that black people could never achieve freedom and dignity in the United States, most opposed the scheme from its inception. They were convinced that the promoters of the Society wished to get rid of free blacks in order to make slavery secure, and they were repelled by the racist arguments directed by the Society against African Americans as a inferior, degraded class who should be removed from the United States. They charged, furthermore, that the Society, by encouraging anti-black prejudice, was responsible for the deprivation of rights already enjoyed by free blacks.

On July 4, 1830, the Reverend Peter Williams, Jr., delivered a sharp

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For the honor of our city, we are proud in stating that the individual referred to is tolerated in but one or two families, who, according to Major Noah, are styled "good society." [Note by Editor of Freedom's Journal.]

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