INTRODUCTORY SKETCH. 27
Though your way be dark and dreary,
And your heart be sick with fear.
Never stop in clouds to wonder,
Though you have to shed a tear.
The fact that the Negro is a citizen of the United States,
pre-supposes for him every right that the American govern¬
ment has in its power to give. President Cleveland in his
inaugural address said: " fn the administration of a govern¬
ment pledged to do equal and exact justice to all men, there
should be no pretext for anxiety touching the protection of
the freedmen in their rights, or their security in the enjoy¬
ment of their privileges under the Constitution and its
amendments. All discussion as to their fitness accorded to
them as American citizens, is idle and unprofitable, except
as it suggests the necessity for their improvement. The
fact that they are citizens entitles them to all the rights due
to that relation, and charges them with all its duties, obli¬
gations and responsibilities."
With such guarantees coming from the Executive head,
what need we fear ? We live in the greatest age of the
world's history, when every man may be able and noble if
Let not the Negro hang around and say: "Show me a
fair play," but go to work and make his own play. Archi¬
medes said: " Give me a standing place and -I'll move the
world;" but I say unto you make your own standing place;
then you'll move the world.
Now, in conclusion, I would say that every American
citizen, whether black, red, brown or white, whether
clothed in a mantle of poverty or rich as Vanderbilt, whether
the most humble in position or holding the highest office
in the gift of the nation, has the same guaranteed rights,
and the same interest in the welfare of this government.