|Share page||Visit Us On FB|
hundred years earlier than your weak hands could have done it; the thirds a gift of the Spirit. Around us the history of the land has centered for thrice a hundred years; out of the nation's heart we have called all that was best to throttle and subdue all that was worst; fire and blood, prayer and sacrifice, have billowed over this people, and they have found peace only in the altars-of the God of Right. Nor has our gift of the Spirit been merely passive. Actively we have woven ourselves with the very warp and woof of this nation-—we fought their battles, shared their sorrows, mingled our blood with theirs, and generation after generation have pleaded with a headstrong, careless people to despise not Justice, Mercy and Truth, lest the nation be smitten' with a curse. Our song, our toil, our cheer and warning have been given to this nation in blood brotherhood. Are not these gifts worth giving? Is not this work and striving? Would America have been America without her negro people?
Even so is the hope that sang in the songs of my fathers well sung. If somewhere in this swirl and chaos of things there dwells Eternal Good, pitiful yet masterful, then anon in. His good time America shall rend the veil and the prisoned shall go free—free, free as the sunshine trickling down the morning into these high windowsof mine; free as yonder fresh voices welling up to me' from the caverns of brick and mortar below—swelling with song, instinct with life, tremulous treble and darkening bass'
Greatly as it pains me, I should be sorry if one should' ask me to strike that passage out of "American" prose writing.
[ 28 ]