"The North, it must be recalled, did not have to undergo a revolution in its thinking to accept the subordination of the Negro. When the Civil War ended, nineteen of the twenty-four northern states did not allow blacks to vote. By 1900, all the southern states, in new constitutions and new statutes, had written into law the disfranchisement and segregation of Negroes, and a New York Times editorial said: "Northern men ... no longer denounce the suppression of the Negro vote.. . . The necessity of it under the supreme law of self-preservation is candidly recognized." "

While not written into law in the North, the counterpart in racist thought and practice was there. An item in the Boston Transcript, September 25, 1895:

"A colored man who gives his name as Henry W. Turner was arrested last night on suspicion of being A highway robber. He was taken this morning to Black's studio, where he had his picture taken for the ''Rogue's Gallery". That angered him, and he made himself as disagreeable as he possibly could. Several times along the way to the photographer's he resisted the police with all his might, and had to be clubbed. "

"In this atmosphere it was no wonder that those Negro leaders most accepted in white society, like the educator Booker T. Washington, a one-time White House guest of Theodore Roosevelt, urged Negro political passivity. Invited by the white organizers of the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta in 1895 to speak, Washington urged the southern Negro to "cast down your bucket where you are"-that is, to stay in the South, to be farmers, mechanics, domestics, perhaps even to attain to the professions. He urged white employers to hire Negroes rather than immigrants of "strange tongue and habits." Negroes, "without strikes and labor wars," were the "most patient, faithful, law-abiding and unresentful people that the world has seen." He said: "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly." "

"Perhaps Washington saw this as a necessary tactic of survival in a time of hangings and burnings of Negroes throughout the South, It was a low point for black people in America. Thomas Fortune, a young black editor of the New York Globe, testified before a Senate committee in 1883 about the situation of the Negro in the United States. He spoke of "widespread poverty," of government betrayal, of desperate Negro attempts to educate themselves."

"...Many Negroes fled. About six thousand black people left Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and migrated to Kansas to escape violence and poverty. Frederick Douglass and some other leaders thought this was a wrong tactic, but migrants rejected such advice. "We have found no leader to trust but God overhead of us," one said. Henry Adams, another black migrant, illiterate, a veteran of the Union army, told a Senate committee in 1880 why he left Shreveport, Louisiana: "We seed that the whole South - every state in the South - had got into the hands of the very men that held us slaves."

"Even in the worst periods, southern Negroes continued to meet, to organize in self-defense. Herbert Aptheker reprints thirteen documents of meetings, petitions, and appeals of Negroes in the 1880s - in Baltimore, Louisiana, the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Kansas - showing the spirit of defiance and resistance of blacks all over the South. This, in the face of over a hundred lynchings a year by this time."

"Despite the apparent hopelessness of this situation, there were black leaders who thought Booker T. Washington wrong in advocating caution and moderation. John Hope, a young black man in Georgia, who heard Washington's Cotton Exposition speech, told students at a Negro college in Nashville, Tennessee:

"If we are not striving for equality, in heaven's name for what are we living? I regard it as cowardly and dishonest for any of our colored men to tell white people or colored people that we are not struggling for equality. . . . Yes, my friends, I want equality. Nothing less. . . . Now catch your breath, for I am going to use an adjective: I am going to say we demand social equality.... I am no wild beast, nor am I an unclean thing. Rise, Brothers! Come let us possess this land. ... Be discontented. Be dissatisfied. ... Be as restless as the tempestuous billows on the boundless sea. Let your discontent break mountain-high against the wall of prejudice, and swamp it to the very foundation...""

"Another black man, who came to teach at Atlanta University, W. E. B. Du Bois, saw the late- nineteenth-century betrayal of the Negro as part of a larger happening in the United States, something happening not only to poor blacks but to poor whites. In his book Black Reconstruction, written in 1935, he said:

"God wept; but that mattered little to an unbelieving age; what mattered most was that the world wept and still is weeping and blind with tears and blood. For there began to rise in America in 1876 a new capitalism and a new enslavement of labor.""



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