ing language: "Xo man eA'er came into the world with a
grander opportunity than the American Xegro. He is
like the new metal dug out of the mine, lie stands at
this late day on the threshold of history, Avith everything
to learn and less to unlearn than any civilized man in the
world. In his heart still rings the free sound of the
desert. In his mind he carries the traditions of Africa,
the songs with which he charms American ears are re¬
frains from tropical forests, from the great inland seas
and rivers of the Dark Continent.
"All the inhumanities of slavery have not made him
cruel, sullen or revengeful. He has all tite qualities that
fit him to be a good citizen of any country; he does not
worry his soul with the fear of next Aveek, or next year.
He has feelings and convictions, and he loA'es to show
them. He sees no reason AAiiy he should hide them. His
Avill be a great natural expression,if he dares express the
beauty, the harmony, the color of God's Avorld as he sees
it with the Xegro's eyes.
"What the black man needs most is confidence in him¬
self and his race. He is a dependent man at present. He
is not sure of himself, a self-respecting man. Xot all men
can be distinguished, but assuredly some distinct expres¬
sion of genius Avill come out of any considerable number
of colored people who believe in themselves; who con¬
demn and despise the man of their blood who apes white
men and their ways; avIio are proud to be a Xegro; who
Avill bear themselves according to their own ideas of col¬
ored men; who will encourage their Avomen to dress them-
seh'es by their own tastes, to select the rich colors they
love; to follow out their natural bent, and not to adopt
other people's stupid and shop-made fashions. The Xegro
women have the best artistic eye for color of all women
"Xo race or nation is great or illustrious except by one
test—the breeding of great men.
"The Xegro will never take his stand beside the white
man till he has given the world proof of the truth and
beauty of heroism and power that are in his soul."