Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

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

or go somewhere else. In either case they will grow weaker and we stronger and stronger. . . . We can and must undermine our oppressors by controlling our own moneys until "All men are created equal" becomes a truth in this land.

Let me state here that some white people may think my remarks are severe. But let me state: all such must remember that I am a southerner by birth and education and have inherited from my ancestors as much of the chivalric blood as they have. Secondly, I have read their histories and learned how to act and what to advise from them themselves. If they want to understand me let them take their wife and children and put them in the place of mine and let them take my place. . . .

Colored men of America, we have made great advances, but we have not reached Canaan. We must still contend against the Amalekites, Hittites, Hivites and Philistines. May the God who presides over the destinies of nations help us to work out our destiny. Physical slavery has fallen. Let us unite to break the chains of prejudice, ostracism, deprivation of civil, political and social rights, and the sins that are worse than physical slavery.■


119 IMPORTANCE OF RACE PRIDE

Edward Everett Brown

Edward Everett Brown, a distinguished African American lawyer, delivered an address on the importance of race pride before the Colored National League of Boston, March 5, 1888. The Colored National League was formed in 1876 in reaction to the Republican Party's failure to uphold the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. It was dissolved in 1900.

In this speech, Brown identifies race pride, the will to "at all times . . . love better than all things colored men and things of our own race," as the key to black advancement and the lessening of white prejudice. Brown exemplifies this approach by reciting the accomplishments of prominent black attorneys of Boston who achieved great success and grudging respect from the white legal establishment.

Brown was born in New Hampshire in 1858. He studied law in the office of Judge John White of the New Hampshire probate court, attended Boston University Law School, and was admitted to the Boston bar in 1884. In 1886, he formed the first black law firm in the state of Massachusetts along with fellow attorneys James Harris Wolff and Edward Gar

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