Viewing page 4 of 33

216       THE CRISIS

[[Nevertheless]] less, despite this pogrom, engineered by Gompers and his Trade Unions, the demand for Negro labor continues and will continue. Negro labor continues to come North and ought to come North. It will find work at higher wages than the slave South ever paid and ever will pay, and, despite the Trade Unions and the murderers whom they cover and defend, economic freedom for the American Negro is written in the stars. East St. Louis, Chester and Youngstown are simply the pools of blood through which we must march, but march we will.


PICTURES.

THIS month we are publishing the first of an art series of six pictures which will be studies of the Negro types in the United States from life by Frank Walts. They will appear every other month for a year. If they are successful and our readers like them they shall then have more. We would be glad of criticism.

The October CRISIS will be Children's Number. As always, we want pictures of interesting babies. We do not want merely pretty babies or babies all dressed up, but we want real, living, moving children. Please see that the pictures arrive in our office on or before September 1. Hitherto we have undertaken to return pictures sent us but this year we cannot. Send us a copy that you can spare so that we can keep it and use it to the best advantage.


AWAKE AMERICA.

LET us enter this war for Liberty with clean hands. May no blood-smeared garments bind our feet when we rise to make the world safe for Democracy. The New Freedom cannot survive if it means Waco, Memphis and East St. Louis. We cannot lynch 2,867 untried black men and women in thirty-one years and pose successfully as leaders of civilization. Rather let us bow our shamed heads and in sack cloth and ashes declare that when in awful war we raise our weapons against the enemies of mankind, so, too, and in that same hour here at home we raise our hands to Heaven and pledge our sacred honor to make our own America a real land of the free:

To stop lynching and mob violence.

To stop disfranchisement for race and sex.

To abolish Jim Crow cars.

To resist the attempt to establish an American ghetto.

To stop race discrimination in Trade Unions, in Civil Service, in places of public accommodation, and in the Public School.

To secure Justice for all men in the courts.

To insist that individual desert and ability shall be the test of real American manhood and not adventitious differences of race or color or descent.

Awake! Put on they strength, America - put on thy beautiful robes. Become not a bye word and jest among the nations by the hypocrisy of your word and contradiction of your deeds. Russia has abolished the ghetto - shall we restore it? India is overthrowing caste - shall we up-build it? China is establishing democracy - shall we strengthen our Southern oligarchy?

In five wars and now the sixth we black men have fought for your freedom and honor. Wherever the American flag floats today, black hands have helped to plant it. American Religion, American Industry, American Literature, American Music and American Art are as much the gift of the American Negro as of the American white man. This is as much our country as yours, and as much the world's as ours. We



EDITORIAL     217

Americans, black and white, are the servants of all mankind and ministering to a greater, fairer heaven. Let us be true to our mission. No land that loves to lynch "niggers" can lead the hosts of Almighty God.


THE BLACK BASTILLE.

THERE is in Paris a place where once a notorious prison stood - the Bastille. For many years from the beginning of its erection in 1369, it lowered, a stronghold of cruelty and despotism. But on one marvelous fourteenth of July, 1789, it was stormed by a furious and desperate populace, and not a stone is left to indicate what once had been. Instead, now on that spot, a lofty column, the Column of July, rears skyward its slender, beautiful length, a carven oriflamme of that liberty, fraternity and equality which is in verity the pride of France.

And so the Bastille perished. Moreover the key was brought to America and tendered by Lafayette to General Washington in gracious recognition by one democracy of another. But here the similarity between the two countries ceases. For since the fall of the French stronghold there has been building in this democracy a tower, a fortress fully as iniquitous in its purpose as the ill-famed Bastille of old. Throughout the length and breadth of this land, yes, in the Nation's very capital, are men bent on putting the crowning touch of infamy to this new and monstrous superstructure - the Black Bastille of Prejudice. How many victims have been thrust into its pitiless confines! Into have gone the ideals of the Pilgrim Fathers, the dreams of the Abolitionists and President Lincoln, and during the week before the fourteenth of July - the very anniversary of the fall of its stone and mortar prototype - the democracy of a nation! The shadow of the Black Bastille lies always across the path of us Americans. Turn where we will we cannot escape its gloom. In those old unhappy, far-off days the French populace demolished their Bastille's frowning reality with every conceivable weapon, stones, maces, pickaxes, halberds and their poor naked hands. America's course must be as theirs. We have no choice but to bring to the annihilation of this structure - so insubstantial and yet so real our all - determination, effort - grim, unceasing - money, time, tears, our naked bleeding hearts.


A PLAN FOR THE SOUTHERN MIGRANT.

THE prevailing drift of the migrating Negroes is toward cities where probably it will be easiest for them to start in, but where segregation is most pronounced, competition fiercest, houses most unsanitary and exorbitantly expensive, allurements to every sort of wrong-doing most vicious, and the chances for healthy progress toward a competence and ultimate independence the smallest.

Your survey indicates that a large proportion of these migrants are from the rural parts of the South. Why should they not seek homes in the rural parts of the North? They are needed there. All good tillers of the soil are needed on northern farm lands as they never have been needed before in the history of the country. They are needed to help raise food crops, not only for this country, but for half a dozen other great countries on the brink of starvation. Crops command high prices and it seems about as certain as anything can be that such high prices, probably higher, are going to prevail for at least five years, till there shall be a readjustment of economic conditions throughout the world to restore the
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.