•colonizing scheme, unworthy as it is, of American statesman¬
ship and American honor, and though full of mischief to the
colored people, seems to have a strong hold on the public
mind and at times has shown much life and vigor
The bad thing about it is that it has now begun to be advo¬
cated by colored men of acknowledged ability and learning,
and t-very little while some white statesman becomes its advo¬
cate. Those gentlemen will doubtless have their opinion of
me; I certainly have mine of them. My opinion of them is
that if they are sensible, they are insincere, and if they are
•sincere they are not sensible They know, or they ought to
know, that it would take more money than the cost of the late
war, to transport even one-half of the colored people of the
United States to Africa. Whether intentionally or not they
are, as I think, simply trifling with an afflicted people. They
urge them to look for relief,where they ought to know that relief
is impossible. The only excuse they can make is that there is
no hope for the negro here and that the colored people in
America owe something to Africa.
This last sentimental idea makes colonization very fascina¬
ting to dreamers of both colors. But there is really for it no
They tell us that we owe something to our native land.
But when the fact is brought to view, which should never be
forgotten, that a man can only have one native land, and that
is the land in which he was born, the bottom falls entirely out
of this sentimental argument.
Africa, according to her advocates, is by no means modest
in her demand upon us. She calls upon us to send her only
our best men. She does not want our riff raff, but our best
men. But these are just the men we want at home. It is
true we have a few preachers and laymen with a missionary
turn of mind who might be easily spared. Some who would
possibly do as much good by going there as by staying
here. But this is not the only colonization idea. Its advocates
want not only the best, but millions of the best. They want
the money to be voted bv the United States Government to
send them there.
Now I hold that the American negro owes no more to the
negroes in Africa than he owes to the negroes in America.