AFRICA AND AMERICA.
back sorrows and repentances to the past. We can, by
the magic touch of Fancy, summon the tragedies and
comedies of by-gone days; but the sense of obliga¬
tion, the ideas of responsibility, all pertain to the time
to come. It is on this account that I beg to call your
attention to-day, to—" The NEED OF NEW IDEAS AND
NEW AIMS FOR A NEW ERA."
The subject divides itself in two heads:—
ist. The need suggested, and 2nd, the aims for a
new era, which shall meet the need.
I choose this topic because it seems to me that there
is an irresistible tendency in the Negro mind in this
land to dwell morbidly and absorbingly upon the ser¬
vile past. The urgent needs of the present, the fast-
crowding and momentous interests of the future appear
to be forgotten. Duty for to-day, hope for the mor¬
row, are ideas which seem oblivious to even leading
minds among us. I fear there is a general incapacity
to reach forward to a position and the acquisitions
which are in advance of our times. Enter the schools,
and the theme which too generally occupies the youth¬
ful mind is some painful memory of servitude. Listen
to the voices of the pulpit, and how large a portion of
its utterances are pitched in the same doleful strain!
Send a man to Congress, and observe how seldom pos¬
sible it is for him to speak upon any other topic than
slavery. We are fashioning our life too much after the
conduct of the children of Israel. Long after the
exodus from bondage, long after the destruction of
Pharaoh and his host, they kept turning back, in mem-