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148  The Crisis

have acquitted themselves well at all points. When the request is made, as it was at a mass meeting in Tremont Temple the other night, that the reorganized army of the United States should have in it one division of colored troops, completely officered by colored men no valid reason can be produced for not granting it.   Indeed, the nation should be more than pleased to note the spirit of loyalty and patriotism which prompts Americans of African descent to ask a place in the new military establishment.  

During the war, one division, the 92d, was organized entirely of colored troops.  It comprised two full regiments of the old National Guard,the 15th of New York and the 8th of Illinois, and other soldiers, mostly selective service men, from all over the country.  The line officers of the division were colored as were some of the commissioned officers, including lieutenants, captains, several majors and a lieutenant-colonel.

Drilling and fighting shoulder to shoulder in the same units, colored men of all sections have been brought to know and respect one another.   A solidarity of the race in America has begun to grow up in consequence. 

* * *
But the Traveller does not feel that mere praise is enough for the colored soldier.   More than ever he has proved his fitness to possess the rights of American citizenship.

With new ties of friendship and heightened regard for the mutual obligations imposed by common race and history, the colored people of America may be expected to make a firmer and more united stand than heretofore against the oppression to which members of their race are subjected in some parts of the country.  Particularly difficult will it be for those Southern States which have evaded the 15th Amendment of the Constitution by denying the suffrage to large portions of their Negro citizens to keep on with such discrimination.  Colored men who are able to fight for America will justly feel that they are entitled to vote in any state of America.   When the colored men of the South demand their rights under the Constitution and in the name of justice they will know that their brothers in the North are solidly with them.  But the white men of the South, recognizing the services of their colored fighters, may be disposed to place a revised estimate upon the value and character of their colored residents, and to treat them with greater fairness. 

The African race in America, only two generations away from slavery, has shown splendid capacity, not only in military ways but in every other field of endeavor.  Any added recognition of its achievements spells encouragement to a developing people and redounds to the betterment of the nation.  

For Pioneers

H. E. Aughinbaugh points out business opportunities for the colored American in the West Indies.   He writes in the New York Commercial:

In the Dutch, French and British West Indies by far the largest proportion of the inhabitants are pure Negroes, or partially so.  In Curacao, which belongs to Holland, in Martinique and Guadeloupe, French possessions, in Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbadoes, St. Lucia and Dominica, British colonies are to be found many prominent business men, estate owners and managers, all full blooded Negroes, and I must say that they are highly intelligent, courteous and hospitable, and as a rule, very responsible tradesmen.

I am certain that less social and commercial prejudice exists toward those of mixed or full Negro blood in the West Indies and Latin America than any other place in the world in which I have been.  There is practically no so-called "color line."  Indeed I recall that in one Latin American capital of over 100,000 population where I formerly lived it was reported that only six of the native families who resided there were of pure white blood, the remainder being of Negro and white, Negro and Indian, or white and Indian extraction.

* * *

Of course, it would be necessary for the American emigrating to the West Indies to become proficient in Spanish certainly and possible French.  This would open up many points of contact with European culture, Mr. Aughinbaugh continues:

I am quite positive that an American Negro, with a college education, and familiar with Spanish, has an exceptionally good chance to establish himself in business in many of the Latin American republics and I particular recommend that he should try either Haiti or Santo Domingo.  In the event of his locating in Haiti, he should study French, for this is the language of the natives. 

Not only would an American Negro have an opportunity to enjoy commercial or professional prosperity, but he would act as a center of infection for American ideals and in many other obvious ways increase American prestige among his neighbors and at the same time elevate their standards of living. 

I sincerely trust that some of our commercial concerns now prospecting Latin American fields will at least make an effort to give employment to colored men who show themselves adapted for such work, for I am certain that they would prove business getters in every sense of the word. 

In this connection it seems to me that many of these Latin American nations offer exceptionally advantageous opportunities to colored professional men, especially dentists and doctors. 

Rosalee Bell,
Knoxville

Callie T. McDonald,
State A. & M., Normal,Ala

Naomi Welters,
A. & M., Tallahassee

Lucy A. Jones,
Shorter

Jennie J. Bowman,
Clark

Annie D. Cogdell, 
Shaw


Philip G. Wiltz,
Straight

R. E. Isles,
Wiley

Chalmers Hairston,
Meharry 

Benjamin M. Gilmore,
Biddle

Edward Carter,
Arkansas Baptist

John L. Bolden,
A. & T., Greensboro

149

Transcription Notes:
missing cedilla under c in "Curacao" - in "For Pioneers" 2nd para, 3rd line - can't find out how to do this on my English keyboard.

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