Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

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

Calhouns, Rhetts, Brookses, Adamses, et cetera, as Gabriel is ahead of the devil. Yet, when a disloyal white general and his diabolical crew, incarnate fiends, brutally murder and maim for life nearly or quite a dozen of the colored defenders of that state and of the nation, scores of newspapers loom up with wicked apologies, and thousands of pretended church members openly endorse the act. Still we talk about this being a Christian country. Did you ever read the history of the Dark Ages? I have, and I have read of nothing being perpetrated during that long night of dissipation and cruelty, which surpassed the deeds of horror that have been committed in Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and other states, where not only do men pretend to be civilized, but Christianized.

The acts of blood and carnage which have disgraced this nation for the last half-dozen years and are justified by a whole party that even essays to make a President are so revolting to the very instincts of a savage that I should not be surprised to see Hottentots coming as missionaries to this country. The cold-blooded murders that have been perpetrated in this country with impunity and silent approval could not have gone on in any European country without causing a war and arousing the whole continent.

And if we colored people were not so blind and stupid, we would hold a convention somewhere and send a delegation to England, Germany, France, or to all the civilized countries in the Old World, and ask them to interfere in our behalf and save us from mad frenzy of infuriated mobs, before whom the national government, with its immense army and navy, quails and sinks in the dust. I had rather live under a monarch, autocrat, despot, or under any impartial authority than pretend to live under a mobocracy, with no power in the state or nation to quell and bid them stop. How long? How long, O Heaven, before this condition of things will change? When will thy justice, O God, avenge our wrongs?■


102 SOCIALISM: THE REMEDY FOR THE EVILS OF SOCIETY

Peter H. Clark

Peter H. Clark, principal of the Colored High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, was probably the first African American Socialist. Born in Cincinnati in 1829, Clark was the grandson of the southern white explorer William Clark, of the 1804 Lewis and Clark expedition.

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