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America's inner struggles

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Messenger: the rock Sent: 12/27/2003 2:29:32 PM

plan ...

The biggest gap between North and South, however, was ideological. In the North, slavery was abolished and a small but articulate group of abolitionists developed. In the South, white spokesmen, from politicians to ministers, newspaper editors, and authors, rallied around slavery as the bedrock of Southern society. Defenders of slavery developed a wide range of arguments to defend their cause, from those based on race to those that stressed economic necessity. They made heavy use of religious themes, portraying slavery as part of God’s plan for civilizing a primitive, heathen people.

Escaped Slaves with Harriet Tubman. Tubman was one of the most famous leaders of the Underground Railroad, a system of people who helped slaves to freedom.Tubman herself escaped slavery in Maryland in 1849 via the Underground Railroad. Once free, she vowed to return to help other slaves escape.THE BETTMANN ARCHIVE

Increasingly, however, Southern spokesmen based their case for slavery on social arguments. They contrasted the harmonious, orderly, religious, and conservative society that supposedly existed in the South with the tumultuous, heretical, and mercenary ways of a North torn apart by radical reform, individualism, class conflict, and, worst of all, abolitionism. This defense represented the mirror image of the so-called free-labor argument increasingly prevalent in the North: to the assertion that slavery kept the South backward, poor, inefficient, and degraded, proslavery advocates responded that only slavery could save the South from the evils of modernity run wild.

From the mid-1840s, the struggle over slavery became central to American politics. Northerners who were committed to free soil, the idea that new, western territories should be reserved exclusively for free white settlers, clashed repeatedly with Southerners who insisted that any limitation on slavery’s expansion was unconstitutional meddling with the Southern order and a grave affront to Southern honor. In 1860 the election of Abraham Lincoln as president on a free-soil platform set off a major political and constitutional crisis, as seven states in the Deep South seceded from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. The start of the Civil War between the United States and the Confederacy in April 1861 led to the additional secession of four states in the upper South. Four other slave states—Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri—remained in the Union, as did the new state of West Virginia, which split off from Virginia.
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2003.

All trees have thier root, the people that came to America were colonizers, much like slaves, but not quite, their burdens were different. Then the Colonizers went to war against their own monarchi and its vicious oppression on its own people. Now the colonizers are Americans. Slave trade, not just blacks but from around the world even the indians that live on the land. The very rederic that they used to enslave and to keep slaved is what they were enslaved by. This is the irony that every great Babylonian society faces from being oppressed to being the oppressors. In Psalms it says Ethiopians (meaning Africa) were suppose to be innocent because we burnt our idols. My definition of an Idol is anything that is put above God, the Natural, eternal knowledge that has brought man even back to this perverbial tower of babylon. Before one goes to the nieghbors house he should clean his own.
Selah brothers and sisters
the rock

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 12/27/2003 5:27:05 PM


The roots of the colonizers are the same as the roots of the people that oppressed them. The only difference is the colonizers didn't have as much power as the monarchy. But if they did have more power, then they would have been the oppressors in Europe.

So since they couldn't oppress the stronger monarchy, they went to a different land and oppressed the people there.

It is the same in these times. I have spoken to some people about the wickedness that the rich were doing to oppress the poor people. This man I spoke to was one of the poor people, but he didn't find anything wrong with the behaviour of the rich. He said that he would do the same thing if he was able to. He also would like to reap where he didn't sow, and take from others, but he didn't have the power to do so. He said, "if I knew how to take from others like the rich do, I would do it too"

He felt that this way of the world is the way it was supposed to be. This is part of the reason why Babylon must fall completely for I and I to be safe. Babylon must be destroyed in every single one of us. Because if only the people in power fall, then some of the weaker people will fight to take their place, and will do the same wickedness, or may even do more wickedness.

So I and I need to spread the word of Love and Oneness to the people. Because only those Ones will be saved, because only those will live in righteousness. I and I can't just overthrow the people in power, I and I have to overcome the mentality that causes people to do such things.

I and I have a great work ahead of us.

So don't give up the fight,

Ark I
Haile Selassie I

Messenger: Nesta sista Sent: 12/27/2003 8:40:00 PM

My dear brother and possible soul mate--when they lynched him, they sold all of black North America into slavery again--my dear Michael--please everyone pray daily for his freedom as you would wish the same for yourself. Jah know Michael Jackson is innocent!

Same olde story here- white supremacy enslaving black America!

Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Robert Nesta Marley: all connected spiritually.

"some of us have entertained angels-unawares!"

Nesta sista

Messenger: the rock Sent: 12/28/2003 8:33:55 AM

Atlantic Slave Trade

Atlantic Slave Trade, the forced transportation of at least 10 million enslaved Africans from their homelands in Africa to destinations in Europe and the Americas during the 15th through 19th centuries. European and North American slave traders transported most of these slaves to areas in tropical and subtropical America, where the vast majority worked as laborers on large agricultural plantations. See Slavery.

Between 1440 and 1880 Europeans and North Americans exchanged merchandise for slaves along 5600 km (3500 miles) of Africa’s western and west central Atlantic coasts. These slaves were then transported to other locations around the Atlantic Ocean. The vast majority went to Brazil, the Caribbean, and Spanish-speaking regions of South America and Central America. Smaller numbers were taken to Atlantic islands, continental Europe, and English-speaking areas of the North American mainland. Approximately 12 million slaves left Africa via the Atlantic trade, and more than 10 million arrived. The Atlantic slave trade involved the largest intercontinental migration of people in world history prior to the 20th century. This transfer of so many people, over such a long time, had enormous consequences for every continent bordering the Atlantic. It profoundly changed the racial, social, economic, and cultural makeup in many of the American nations that imported slaves. It also left a legacy of racism that many of those nations are still struggling to overcome.


Slavery was not unique to African societies. Various forms of human bondage existed from early times. Sumerians in Mesopotamia relied on slave labor before 3000 bc, as did the ancient Egyptians. China had slavery during the Han dynasty (206 bc-ad 220), and the societies of classical Greece and Rome made heavy use of slave labor from the 6th century bc through the 5th century ad.

Most societies in sub-Saharan Africa also used captives and dependents for labor. African slavery typically differed from others, however. Land in Africa tended to be plentiful, owned communally, and parceled out to families according to their needs based on the number of laborers they could marshal. To increase production, families had to invest in more workers. The quickest way was to buy slaves. Thus, in much of Africa, those interested in increasing their wealth through production purchased slaves. Usually, second- or third-generation slaves became recognized members of the household, no longer liable for sale. Slaves of royal families could even serve in offices of state. But no matter how integrated their situation or important their role, in the kinship-based societies of sub-Saharan Africa, slaves remained outsiders, or at least other than full-fledged kin.

As in most places where slavery existed, Africans obtained slaves by more or less violent means. Warfare was the most common method. Even in wars not fought to gain slaves, prisoners were usually enslaved and sold or put to work. People were also enslaved as punishment for crimes or religious offenses. As the slave trade grew, slavery probably became a more common punishment. And, finally, a few became slaves voluntarily because they could not feed or care for themselves or their families.

African societies that practiced slavery usually traded slaves. Export of slaves from black Africa had roots that preceded the Atlantic slave trade. Peoples in western Africa had been selling slaves across the Sahara to North Africa before ad 700, a trade that continued to the beginning of the 20th century. Between 8 and 10 million slaves crossed the desert in this trans-Saharan trade. Central Africans sold slaves eastward to the Indian Ocean for the same length of time.

When the Atlantic slave trade began, institutions already were in place to provide slaves in exchange for commodities. Only the European shippers and the American destination were different in the beginning. What proved novel about the Atlantic slave trade was its scale: No other exporting of slaves matched the massive, involuntary movement of people out of western and west central Africa between 1440 and 1880. Although the trans-Saharan trade transported nearly as many slaves, the Atlantic slave trade took place over a much shorter period and on average moved much larger numbers of slaves per year.


The Atlantic slave trade began because a great demand for labor developed on plantations spread about the Atlantic, especially in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. Most of the plantations produced sugarcane for Europe, but planters eventually grew such other products as coffee, cocoa, rice, indigo, tobacco, and cotton. The Atlantic slave trade became an integral part of an international trading system.

A Spread of the Plantation System

Europeans craved cane sugar as soon as they encountered it in the 11th century during the early Crusades in the Middle East. Planting, harvesting, and processing sugar cane for export required a sizeable workforce. Because labor in the sugar fields was a strenuous and exhausting task, plantation owners used slave labor. Planters could work slaves in inhuman ways, dawn to dusk, to bring in the cane before it rotted in the fields. Planters could not make similar demands on typical workers of the time. Most of these workers were feudal serfs who were legally bound to work on the land owned by their landlords (see Serfdom). Sugar plantations and a related slave trade developed around the eastern Mediterranean in response to the growing demand for sugar. Among the earliest slaves on these plantations were Slavic peoples—the source of the words for slave in several European languages. As demand for sugar grew, the plantations spread westward, reaching Spain and Portugal by the 14th century.

Portuguese sailors who ventured into the Atlantic in the 15th century enabled plantation agriculture to spread to such tropical Atlantic islands as Madeira, the Canary Islands, and Sao Tome, all of which emerged as major sugar producers. The nearest labor force for these plantations was Africa’s western coast. Eventually plantation agriculture spread to the Americas: After 1550, northeast Brazil became the leading sugar-producing area, and after 1640 the leading position passed to the Caribbean. Eventually, the British colonies of mainland North America imported slaves to grow tobacco, rice, and indigo. Extensive cotton production based on slave labor did not begin in the southern United States until the beginning of the 19th century.

B Africans as the Labor Source

New World plantation owners sought labor that was abundant and inexpensive. Native Americans were the obvious choice, but they died rapidly from such diseases as smallpox, mumps, and measles, which the Europeans introduced into the region and to which the Native Americans lacked immunity. They also could run away with ease: Their homes were usually close by, they were familiar with the land, and they knew how to survive on indigenous plants and animals. European indentured servants—criminals sentenced to labor or men obligated to work for a set time in exchange for ocean passage—also fell victim to diseases, mostly tropical malaria and yellow fever. They could also escape and easily blend in as members of the colony’s white ruling class.

But Africans were different: They came from an environment where those who survived into adolescence acquired some immunity to such “Old World” diseases as smallpox, mumps, and measles, as well as to such tropical maladies as malaria and yellow fever. This meant they lived three to five times longer than white laborers under the difficult conditions on plantations, and longer still than Native Americans. Also, when Africans ran away they could neither go home nor be mistaken for members of the planters’ society. Through most of the years of the Atlantic trade, prices for Africans remained favorable in relation to the price of the crops they produced. They were, thus, the best economic solution for plantation owners seeking inexpensive labor.

The Atlantic slave trade began as a trickle in the 1440s and grew slowly through the 17th century. By 1700, 25,000 slaves, on average, were crossing the Atlantic every year. After 1700 the trade grew much more rapidly to a peak in the 1780s, when an average year saw 80,000 African slaves arrive on American shores. Then the trade fell off more slowly and after 1850 quickly declined.

Most of the slaves transported in the Atlantic slave trade were adult men. About twice as many African men as women crossed the Atlantic, and only one in ten slaves traded to a European was under age ten. Africans tended to retain women slaves, whom they valued as agricultural workers and bearers of offspring. Children were less economical to trade: They cost as much to enslave and transport, yet brought lower prices.

Nearly all persons transported across the Atlantic in the slave trade came from the coast and interior of west and west central Africa, between the Sénégal River in the north and southern Angola in the south. A smaller number came from the Mozambique coast or the island of Madagascar along the southeastern side of Africa. Some areas supplied especially large numbers: Perhaps one-third of all slaves came from 800 km (500 mi) on either side of the Congo River and another one-third from the area that today is Benin and Nigeria.


The first Europeans to sail down Africa’s west coast in the mid-15th century attempted to steal Africans from their homes. Several violent confrontations showed Africans’ strength, however, and African boycotts proved how dependent Europeans were for such necessities as food and water. It became evident that the only practical way to obtain slaves or other commodities was to bring items the residents wanted in exchange. Within a short time, Europeans and Africans established a systematic way of trading that changed little over several centuries.

A basic tenet of the slave trade was that Europeans were the shippers only. They were not welcome inland and were generally forbidden to become involved in African politics. Consequently Europeans established outposts on islands or coastal ports where they dealt with neighboring African merchants and rulers.

Inland, Africans developed various commercial networks for supplying slaves and moving them to the coast. Across the interior of West Africa, Muslim families organized slave caravans and moved them from the interior to the coast. Along the Gold and Slave coasts (an area now comprising the nations of Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria) the rulers of large states such as Ashanti, Dahomey, and Oyo obtained slaves through tribute, which was provided by the rulers of less powerful states in exchange for protection or as a symbol of allegiance. East of the Niger Delta, African commercial associations (known as trading houses) controlled slave procurement and delivery. Along the Angolan coast, officials of the Portuguese crown first organized inland slaving, but by the 18th century private Portuguese, mulatto (individuals of mixed African and European descent), and African traders were taking trade goods to interior markets and returning with slaves.

At various points along the coast, buyers and sellers met and struck deals. Europeans examined slaves; Africans looked over merchandise; and then the parties haggled to set the values of each. The assortment of the Europeans’ trade goods was always an important factor. Any notion that Africans were duped into accepting trinkets of little value is incorrect. Most knew what they wanted and could hold out for good terms. Typical commodities exchanged for slaves included cloth, metals and metalware, firearms and gunpowder, spirits, cutlery, coins, decorative wear, horses, salt, cowrie shells, and paper. The prices Europeans paid for slaves rose steadily through the years. An English buyer could obtain a healthy slave for 5.5 pounds worth of commodities in 1690 and 14 pounds worth in 1760. The same slave sold in Virginia for 15 pounds in 1690 and 45 pounds in 1760.

Slaves were not distributed evenly around the Atlantic. Roughly 40 percent of the total went to the Caribbean islands; another 38 percent went to Brazil; and Spanish America accounted for 17 percent. Only about 6 percent entered what would become the United States. Mortality factors affected the various populations’ abilities to reproduce, however, so the geographical distribution of African slaves does not correspond to today’s population of African descent in the western hemisphere. Slaves working on Caribbean and South American sugar plantations faced higher mortality rates as a result of harsh labor conditions and exposure to tropical diseases. As a result, slave populations in many sugar-producing areas grew steadily only because planters imported a continuous supply of new slaves from Africa. Slaves in what were the British North American colonies tended to live longer, healthier lives due to less brutal working conditions and a climate less hospitable to tropical diseases. As a result, slave populations in those areas continued to grow even after Britain and the United States abolished the importation of slaves in the early 1800s.

The Portuguese transported the greatest number of slaves in the early years of the slave trade, exercising a near monopoly well into the 17th century. Portugal had several advantages because of its early expansion into Africa and the ease of transporting slaves over the relatively short distance from Africa to the Portuguese colony of Brazil. The annexation of Portugal by Spain, from 1580 to 1640, tightened the Portuguese hold over the slave trade. Phillip II of Spain granted Portuguese merchants a monopoly on the importation of slaves to Spain’s colonies in America.

Portuguese influence declined after it gained independence from Spain in 1640. This coincided with the establishment of sugar plantations in the West Indies by the British, French, and Dutch. These nations began to claim larger parts of the slave trade during the 1640s, and by the 18th century the British were the dominant slave traders.

The Atlantic slave trade became part of a prosperous trading cycle known as the triangular trade. In the first leg of the triangle, European merchants purchased African slaves with commodities manufactured in Europe or imported from European colonies in Asia. They then sold the slaves in the Caribbean and purchased such easily transportable commodities as sugar, cotton, and tobacco. Finally the merchants would sell these goods in Europe and North America. They would use the profits from these sales to purchase more goods to trade in Africa, continuing the trading cycle.


The voyage from the African coast to the Americas was called the Middle Passage. For the human cargo of slaves, it was among the most difficult sea passages ever undertaken. On average, 16 percent of the men, women, and children involved perished in transit.

The typical ocean crossing might last from 25 to 60 days, depending on origin, destination, and winds. Slaves were kept below at night on decks four or five feet high. They had less than half the space allotted convicts or soldiers transported by ship at the same time. Captains kept slaves above deck through as much of the day as weather permitted. Men remained shackled; women and children were freer; crews encouraged movement and activity. Two meals per day were the norm. The food varied according to purchases at departure: corn and rice from the less-forested regions on the northern and southern extremes; yams from the Niger delta to the Zaire River. Sometimes dried beans from Europe were standard fare. Each person received about a pint of water with a meal.

Shipboard hygiene was primitive. Captains made reasonable efforts to guard food and water from contamination and to isolate the sickest slaves, but sanitary facilities were inadequate and slave ships harbored a wealth of diseases. Dysentery was the biggest killer. Mortality rates declined after the mid-18th century. By that time ships had become faster (meaning less time for contamination of food and water and spreading of diseases), and captains had learned how to prevent scurvy with citrus fruits and how to produce fresh water by boiling and evaporating salt water.


Dangers were not over with landfall in the Americas. Africans were entering new disease environments, eating new foods, drinking different water. Mortality rates through an assimilation period were high—10 percent on British islands in the Caribbean, for instance.

Slaves faced a variety of experiences in the Americas, but nearly all involved heavy physical labor, poor housing, and insufficient medical care. Sugar plantations were the norm from northeastern Brazil through the Caribbean islands and plantation conditions brought the highest mortality rates. For example, British planters imported about 264,000 slaves into the Caribbean between 1640 and 1700, but high mortality rates reduced the number of slaves on the islands to about 100,000 by the time of the 1700 census. In the French colony of Saint Domingue, about 860,000 slaves arrived between 1680 and 1791, but the black population was only 480,000 in 1791. Slaves also worked mines in Peru or Mexico and labored to produce tobacco, indigo, rice, or cotton on the British North American mainland. In the few places where plantation agriculture was not profitable, they did a variety of tasks for their masters, from working as house servants to practicing a trade.


Ending the Atlantic slave trade was a long process that involved changing economic circumstances and rising humanitarian concerns. In the late 18th century, European economies began to shift from agriculture to industry. Plantations remained profitable, but Europeans had promising new areas for investment. The slave-operated American plantations had to compete for capital and preferential laws with textile mills and other industries that hired free laborers. Also, the need for the slave trade lessened as American slave societies approached the point where they could reproduce enough offspring to meet labor needs.

But the humanitarian motive was strong, too. Antislavery sentiments began to appear in Europe in the 18th century with roots in Christian religious principles and in the egalitarian philosophy that emerged during the Age of Enlightenment. By 1750 abolitionists were devoting money and time toward ending the slave trade and slavery itself. Their efforts were aided by the egalitarian ideals of the American Revolution (1775-1783) and the French Revolution (1789-1799) and by such bloody slave rebellions as the Haitian Slave Revolt on the French island of St. Domingue in 1791.

Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807, as did the United States in 1808. The Netherlands followed in 1814, France in 1815, Spain in 1820. It remained for the British, who controlled the world’s most powerful fleet, to enforce antislave trade laws, and that was difficult. The Atlantic slave trade continued, with declining numbers, through most of the 19th century. The movement of African slaves across the Atlantic did not end until slavery was outlawed everywhere in the Americas. Cuba was the last to outlaw slavery, in 1888.


The consequences of the slave trade for African societies are being debated. The slave trade’s harshest critics point out that removal of millions of young men and women led to depopulation that stifled African creativity and production. They argue, too, that slaving and slave trading stimulated warfare, corrupted laws (making more crimes punishable by enslavement), stifled technological advancement, and created a class of elite rulers and traders. Some argue that the slave trade was the beginning of a dependency relationship with Europe. This relationship was based on the exchange of Africa’s valuable primary products for European manufactured goods, which continued after the slave trade ended, through a colonial period and beyond. In this sense, the slave trade was the first step toward modern Africa’s current status as a region where technological development has yet to match that of more industrialized nations.

Those who argue that the effects were less dramatic believe that serious depopulation occurred only in specific locations and only in the 18th century, when the trade was at its height. Some suggest that warfare caused slave trading rather than vice versa or that African production of such items as cloth and metals grew rather than declined through the slave-trade years. Some argue that African societies were likely to become dependent on Europe’s industrial economy, as others did in the 19th and 20th centuries, without regard to its history of slave trading.

One might think that ending the slave trade would be beneficial for all Africans, but such was not the case. Many coastal groups had been exchanging humans for merchandise for centuries. Their economies were geared to slave exporting, and they were dependent on the commodities they obtained for slaves. Stopping the slave trade caused economic hardship, especially for groups who had no products to substitute for slave exports. Some nearer the Sahara or Africa’s eastern coast continued the trade in a different direction; others were able to make the transition to legitimate commerce, such as growing peanuts or extracting palm oil. Still others found additional uses for slaves in their own societies. But many had little economic alternative to the slave trade, and for them the 19th century brought hard economic times.


Although the Atlantic slave trade was an economic phenomenon, the millions of Africans who crossed the Atlantic had enormous demographic, social, cultural, and intellectual effects on the Americas. For over three and one-half centuries more Africans crossed the Atlantic than Europeans. Today, people of African descent are the dominant elements of populations throughout the Caribbean and are significant parts of the population in North and South America. African culture mixed with European and Native American ways to define life in the multicultural American setting. African elements are identifiable today in American religions. The Vodun religion of Haiti and the Candomblé religion of Brazil are two examples. More subtle elements, such as call-and-response singing, appear in churches in North America. African influence is also apparent in music (the African roots of blues and jazz are well documented), dance, language (the Gullah dialect of coastal South Carolina retains much African vocabulary), family practices, architecture, foods, dress, and more.

The fact that nearly all people of African descent in the Americas were slaves has been an important factor in the growth and persistence of racism in the Western world. Europeans based judgments of people on physical appearance before the Atlantic slave trade, but once dark skin alone became associated with slave status, racism leapt forward. Moreover, forcing slaves to work inhumanly hard and behave in prescribed ways required punishing them beyond civilized norms and the limits of the law. To justify such punishment, people classified slaves as different, even subhuman. Race became the obvious marker of such differences. The resulting negative perceptions of persons of African descent have been difficult to eradicate over the years since the Atlantic trade, and New World slavery, have ended.

Contributed By:
Donald R. Wright

Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Messenger: the rock Sent: 12/28/2003 3:17:51 PM


Attired in sheets and wearing masks with pointed hoods, Klansmen terrorized public officials and blacks...

The Klansmen regarded the Reconstruction governments as hostile and oppressive. They also generally believed in the innate inferiority of blacks and therefore mistrusted and resented the rise of former slaves to a status of civil equality and often to positions of political power. Thus, the Klan became an illegal organization committed to destroying the Reconstruction governments from the Carolinas to Arkansas. Attired in robes or sheets and wearing masks topped with pointed hoods, the Klansmen terrorized public officials in efforts to drive them from office and blacks in general to prevent them from voting, holding office, and otherwise exercising their newly acquired political rights. When such tactics failed to produce the desired effect, their victims might be flogged, mutilated, or murdered. These activities were justified by the Klan as necessary measures in defense of white supremacy and the inviolability of white womanhood.

A secret convention of Klansmen, held in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1867, adopted a declaration of principles expressing loyalty to the United States Constitution and its government and declaring the determination of the Klan to “protect the weak, the innocent and the defenseless ...; to relieve the injured and oppressed; [and] to succor the suffering ....” The convention designated the Klan as an Invisible Empire and provided for a supreme official, called Grand Wizard of the Empire, who wielded virtually autocratic power and who was assisted by ten Genii. Other principal officials of the Klan were the Grand Dragon of the Realm, who was assisted by eight Hydras; the Grand Titan of the Dominion, assisted by six Furies; and the Grand Cyclops of the Den, assisted by two Nighthawks.

From 1868 to 1870, while federal occupation troops were being withdrawn from the southern states and radical regimes replaced with Democratic administrations, the Klan was increasingly dominated by the rougher elements in the population. The local organizations, called klaverns, became so uncontrollable and violent that the Grand Wizard, former Confederate general Nathan B. Forrest, officially disbanded the Klan in 1869. Klaverns, however, continued to operate on their own. In 1871, Congress passed the Force Bill to implement the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the rights of all citizens. In the same year President Ulysses S. Grant issued a proclamation calling on members of illegal organizations to disarm and disband; thereafter hundreds of Klansmen were arrested. The remaining klaverns gradually faded as the political and social subordination of blacks was reestablished.

Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) grew. The KKK used violence or threats against anyone who was suspected of favoring desegregation or black civil rights. Klan terror, including intimidation and murder, was widespread in the South in the 1950s and 1960s, though Klan activities were not always reported in the media. One terrorist act that did receive national attention was the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy slain in Mississippi by whites who believed he had flirted with a white woman. The trial and acquittal of the men accused of Till's murder were covered in the national media, demonstrating the continuing racial bigotry of Southern whites.

Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2003.
amercian terrorist

Messenger: the rock Sent: 12/30/2003 10:35:24 AM

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), regional defense alliance created by the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO's purpose is to enhance the stability, well-being, and freedom of its members through a system of collective security. Members of the alliance agree to defend one another from attack by other nations or by terrorist groups. NATO has its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed on April 4, 1949, at the beginning of the Cold War. The original purpose of NATO was to defend Western Europe against possible attack by Communist nations, led by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The original signatories (signers of treaty) were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Greece and Turkey were admitted to the alliance in 1952, West Germany in 1955, and Spain in 1982. In 1990 the newly unified Germany replaced West Germany as a NATO member.

After the formal end of the Cold War in 1991, NATO reached out to former members of the Warsaw Pact, the Communist military alliance created in 1955 by the USSR to counter NATO. In 1999 former Warsaw Pact members Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic became members of NATO, bringing the total membership to 19 nations. In 2002 Russia, once the USSR’s largest republic, became a limited partner in NATO as a member of the NATO-Russia Council. The same year NATO invited the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, formerly part of the USSR, to join, along with Slovenia, formerly part of Communist Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia, once part of Czechoslovakia. These countries were expected to become members of NATO in 2004. Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania were all former Warsaw Pact members.

Over the years the existence of NATO has led to closer ties among its members and to a growing community of interests. The treaty itself has provided a model for other collective security agreements. NATO activities are no longer confined only to Europe. In 2003, for the first time in its history, NATO took up peacekeeping activities outside of Europe by deploying troops in Afghanistan.


In the years after World War II (1939-1945), many Western leaders believed the policies of the USSR threatened international stability and peace. The forcible installation of Communist governments throughout Eastern Europe, territorial demands by the Soviets, and their support of guerrilla war in Greece and regional separatism in Iran appeared to many as the first steps of World War III. Such events prompted the signing of the Dunkirk Treaty in 1947 between Britain and France, which pledged a common defense against aggression. Subsequent events, including the rejection by Eastern European nations of the European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan) and the creation of Cominform, a European Communist organization, in 1947, led to the Brussels Treaty signed by most Western European countries in 1948. Among the goals of that pact was the collective defense of its members. The Berlin blockade that began in March 1948 led to negotiations between Western Europe, Canada, and the United States that resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.


The North Atlantic Treaty consists of a preamble and 14 articles. The preamble states the purpose of the treaty: to promote the common values of its members and to “unite their efforts for collective defense.” Article 1 calls for peaceful resolution of disputes. Article 2 pledges the parties to economic and political cooperation. Article 3 calls for development of the capacity for defense. Article 4 provides for joint consultations when a member is threatened. Article 5 promises the use of the members' armed forces for “collective self-defense.” Article 6 defines the areas covered by the treaty. Article 7 affirms the precedence of members' obligations under the United Nations Charter. Article 8 safeguards against conflict with any other treaties of the signatories. Article 9 creates a council to oversee implementation of the treaty. Article 10 describes admission procedures for other nations. Article 11 states the ratification procedure. Article 12 allows for reconsideration of the treaty. Article 13 outlines withdrawal procedures. Article 14 calls for the deposition of the official copies of the treaty in the U.S. Archives.


The highest authority within NATO is the North Atlantic Council, composed of permanent delegates from all members, headed by a secretary general. It is responsible for general policy, budgetary outlines, and administrative actions, and is the decision-making body of NATO. The Secretariat, various temporary committees, and the Military Committee are among the committees that report to the North Atlantic Council. The secretary general runs the Secretariat, which handles all the nonmilitary functions of the alliance. The temporary committees deal with specific assignments of the council. The Military Committee consists of the chiefs of staff of the various armed forces; it meets twice a year. Between such meetings the Military Committee, in permanent session with representatives of the members, defines military policies. Below the Military Committee are the various geographical commands: Allied Command Europe, Allied Command Atlantic, and the Canada-U.S. Regional Planning Group. These commands are in charge of deploying armed forces in their areas.

A Early Years

Until 1950 NATO consisted primarily of a pledge by the United States to defend other members of the alliance under the terms of Article 5 of the treaty. However, there was no effective military or administrative structure to implement this pledge. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 convinced the allies that the Soviets might act against a divided Germany. The result was not only the creation of a military command system, but also the expansion of the organization. In 1952 Greece and Turkey joined the alliance, and in 1955 West Germany was accepted under a complicated arrangement whereby Germany would not be allowed to manufacture nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. In its first decade NATO was mainly a military organization dependent on U.S. power for security and for the revival of Europe's economy and national governments.

B The Cold War Era

NATO’s importance grew with the worsening of relations between the Soviet Union and Western powers. As the Soviet Union achieved parity in nuclear weaponry with Western powers, some European nations feared that the United States would not honor its pledge to defend other members of the alliance. The 1960s were characterized by two consequent developments in NATO: the withdrawal of France, under President Charles de Gaulle, from the organization but not from the alliance in 1966; and the rising influence of the smaller nations, which sought to use NATO as an instrument of détente as well as defense.

The crisis in Czechoslovakia in 1968 was a turning point for NATO; thereafter it was viewed as a source of security for Europe. America's involvement in the Vietnam War (1957-1975) further diminished U.S. authority and contributed to dissatisfaction within NATO. Although the 1970s began with some agreements as a result of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), the decade ended in disillusionment as the Soviets rapidly built up their military arsenal. NATO resolved this problem with the dual-track program of 1979, in which new defense efforts were accompanied by new efforts at détente. The 1980s opened with a deepening crisis between the East and West. In 1983 the USSR failed to prevent the deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, designed to cope with Soviet weapons targeted on European cities. The signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987 presaged the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact (see Arms Control). The decade ended with the apparent success of NATO in surmounting the challenge of the Communist bloc.

C End of the Cold War

In the late 1980s Communist governments began to crumble throughout Eastern Europe. West Germany absorbed East Germany to form the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990, and the Warsaw Pact dissolved in early 1991. The Soviet Union broke apart later that year, drastically reducing the military threat to NATO. Nevertheless, many Western observers saw NATO in the post-Cold War era as an umbrella of security in a Europe buffeted by the nationalist passions unleashed in Eastern Europe and the former USSR.

Following the dissolution of the USSR, NATO sought to strengthen relations with the newly independent nations that had formerly made up the USSR and with other Central Eastern European countries that belonged to the Warsaw Pact. The North Atlantic Cooperation Council, established in November 1991, provides a forum for consultations between NATO members, Eastern European nations, and the former Soviet republics. In 1993 NATO members endorsed a proposal to offer former Warsaw Pact members limited associations with NATO. Under the plan, known as Partnership for Peace (PFP), nonmembers could be invited to participate in information sharing, joint exercises, and peacekeeping operations. The Partnership for Peace was a step toward providing security and cooperation throughout all of Europe. Many former Soviet satellites were eager to join. Although Russia opposed their membership and threatened to abstain from the Partnership for Peace, it did join eventually. Members of PFP may eventually attain full membership in NATO if other membership requirements, such as a trained army to join NATO troops, are met.

In 1995, after a 30-year boycott, France returned to NATO, accepting a seat on the military committee after U.S. president Bill Clinton accelerated plans for NATO's expansion. Also at this time, the United States and NATO began serious efforts to bring to an end the continuing war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which threatened European stability. Leaders of the NATO alliance authorized a campaign of air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions to force the Bosnian Serbs to negotiate a peace settlement. After weeks of air attacks, the Bosnian Serb leaders agreed to be represented at a peace conference near Dayton, Ohio, and in December 1995 the warring parties signed a peace accord that ended the war (see Dayton Peace Accord). The following month, as part of the Dayton agreement, NATO deployed a multinational force of tens of thousands of troops, known as the Implementation Force (IFOR), to monitor and enforce the cease-fire in Bosnia. A year later NATO replaced this force with a smaller Stabilization Force (SFOR). Its mission was extended indefinitely to ensure stability in the region.

D Recent Developments

In March 1999 three former members of the Warsaw Pact—Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic—joined the alliance. The same month, NATO forces began a campaign of air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY, now the republic of Serbia and Montenegro). The NATO strikes were launched after Yugoslav president Slobodan Miloðeviã refused to accept an international peace plan that would have granted a period of autonomy for the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. The province was populated mainly by ethnic Albanians, many of whom were fighting for autonomy or independence for Kosovo. Western leaders hoped the NATO attacks would bring Miloðeviã back to the bargaining table. They also hoped to end the ongoing repression of the minority ethnic Albanians by the FRY's ethnic Serbian majority.

The first NATO attacks were limited to a few dozen military targets, but the alliance dramatically expanded the air campaign against the FRY after reports of widespread atrocities by Serb forces against Kosovo's ethnic Albanian civilian population. By April 1999 more than 1,000 warplanes under NATO command were involved in strikes throughout the republic. It was the largest military operation ever undertaken by NATO.

Instead of persuading Yugoslav leaders to accept a negotiated peace, the air strikes appeared to deepen Serbian resolve to oppose NATO demands and intensified the violence directed at ethnic Albanians. Serbian army and police forces destroyed villages, killed civilians in Kosovo, and forced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians to flee the province. The flight of refugees was the largest mass migration in Europe since World War II. Critics charged that NATO failed to anticipate the refugee crisis.

International opposition to the NATO assault came swiftly. Russia, China, and India accused NATO of violating international law by not seeking the approval of the United Nations (UN) before striking Yugoslavia. Russia broke off all diplomatic ties with NATO and introduced a resolution to the UN Security Council that called for an end to the bombardment. The resolution was rejected decisively. (Russia and NATO did not formally resume contact until early 2000.)

NATO was further criticized after warplanes under its command bombed civilian structures and convoys of ethnic Albanians trying to flee Kosovo. NATO leadership apologized for the attacks, which it maintained were accidental, but insisted that Miloðeviã was responsible for the continuing conflict. After NATO warplanes bombed China's embassy in Belgrade by mistake, Chinese officials called on NATO to end the air campaign.

In June 1999, after 11 weeks of NATO bombing had incapacitated or destroyed much of Yugoslavia's infrastructure, the FRY consented to most of the alliance's demands. FRY leaders signed an agreement that ended the bombing and placed Kosovo under international control. As part of the agreement, a NATO-led multinational force of thousands of troops occupied Kosovo to help ensure the safe return of ethnic Albanian refugees. The Kosovo peacekeeping force, known as KFOR, saw its mission extended indefinitely to protect public safety, demilitarize Kosovo, and provide humanitarian assistance. The agreement also mandated the disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a guerrilla army organized prior to the NATO campaign that had attempted to drive Serb troops and police forces from the province.

The campaign against the FRY revealed the difficulty of sustaining military action that requires the consensus of the entire 19-country NATO alliance, and it exposed differences of opinion in the expanded organization. During the conflict, British leaders advocated attacking the FRY with ground forces, while other members of the alliance publicly opposed plans to invade Kosovo. Despite these disagreements, the core members of the alliance continued to support the air campaign.

NATO's involvement in Kosovo also indicated the expanded role of the alliance in European and world affairs. Prior to the hostilities, military forces under NATO command served primarily to deter would-be attackers. During the Kosovo operation, NATO attempted to use its military might to advance humanitarian goals, to force compliance with the alliance's wishes, and to prevent the possibility of a wider conflict in Europe. NATO intervened in Kosovo despite the fact that none of the alliance's members were directly attacked by the FRY.

In 2002 Russia became a limited partner in NATO as part of the NATO-Russia Council. The creation of the council gave Russia the opportunity to take part in discussions about NATO decisions but without having a binding vote. Most key decisions, such as NATO’s expansion, remained exclusive to the 19-member council of ministers.

Also in 2002, NATO invited seven other countries—Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia—to become members of the organization. All seven were expected to be admitted in 2004, bringing NATO’s total membership to 26.

In 2003 NATO expanded its mission beyond Europe for the first time in its history by assuming control of peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. NATO officials said the move reflected a new mission to protect its members from terrorism and other security threats. Under the Taliban regime, Afghanistan harbored the leadership of al-Qaeda, the terrorist group believed responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The United States responded by invading Afghanistan and overthrowing the Taliban regime. The new NATO force was confined to Kâbul, the capital. United States-led military forces remained responsible for patrolling the rest of the country and engaging the remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces that continued to resist the invasion.
Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
were was help for asiatic man?

Messenger: jessep86 Sent: 12/4/2021 11:08:53 PM

"The Sorrow Songs," from The Souls of Black Folk
by W.E.B. Du Bois

THEY that walked in darkness sang songs in the olden days–Sorrow Songs–for they were weary at heart. And so before each thought that I have written in this book I have set a phrase, a haunting echo of these weird old songs in which the soul of the black slave spoke to men. Ever since I was a child these songs have stirred me strangely. They came out of the South unknown to me, one by one, and yet at once I knew them as of me and of mine. Then in after years when I came to Nashville I saw the great temple builded of these songs towering over the pale city. To me Jubilee Hall seemed ever made of the songs themselves, and its bricks were red with the blood and dust of toil. Out of them rose for me morning, noon, and night, bursts of wonderful melody, full of the voices of my brothers and sisters, full of the voices of the past.

Little of beauty has America given the world save the rude grandeur God himself stamped on her bosom; the human spirit in this new world has expressed itself in vigor and ingenuity rather than in beauty. And so by fateful chance the Negro folk-song–the rhythmic cry of the slave–stands to-day not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side the seas. It has been neglected, it has been, and is, half despised, and above all it has been persistently mistaken and misunderstood; but notwithstanding, it still remains as the singular spiritual heritage of the nation and the greatest gift of the Negro people.

Away back in the thirties the melody of these slave songs stirred the nation, but the songs were soon half forgotten. Some, like “Near the lake where drooped the willow,” passed into current airs and their source was forgotten; others were caricatured on the “minstrel” stage and their memory died away. Then in war-time came the singular Port Royal experiment after the capture of Hilton Head, and perhaps for the first time the North met the Southern slave face to face and heart to heart with no third witness. The Sea Islands of the Carolinas, where they met, were filled with a black folk of primitive type, touched and moulded less by the world about them than any others outside the Black Belt. Their appearance was uncouth, their language funny, but their hearts were human and their singing stirred men with a mighty power. Thomas Wentworth Higginson hastened to tell of these songs, and Miss McKim and others urged upon the world their rare beauty. But the world listened only half credulously until the Fisk Jubilee Singers sang the slave songs so deeply into the world’s heart that it can never wholly forget them again.

There was once a blacksmith’s son born at Cadiz, New York, who in the changes of time taught school in Ohio and helped defend Cincinnati from Kirby Smith. Then he fought at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and finally served in the Freedman’s Bureau at Nashville. Here he formed a Sunday-school class of black children in 1866, and sang with them and taught them to sing. And then they taught him to sing, and when once the glory of the Jubilee songs passed into the soul of George L. White, he knew his life-work was to let those Negroes sing to the world as they had sung to him. So in 1871 the pilgrimage of the Fisk Jubilee Singers began. North to Cincinnati they rode,–four half-clothed black boys and five girl-women,–led by a man with a cause and a purpose. They stopped at Wilberforce, the oldest of Negro schools, where a black bishop blessed them. Then they went, fighting cold and starvation, shut out of hotels, and cheerfully sneered at, ever northward; and ever the magic of their song kept thrilling hearts, until a burst of applause in the Congregational Council at Oberlin revealed them to the world. They came to New York and Henry Ward Beecher dared to welcome them, even though the metropolitan dailies sneered at his “Nigger Minstrels.” So their songs conquered till they sang across the land and across the sea, before Queen and Kaiser, in Scotland and Ireland, Holland and Switzerland. Seven years they sang, and brought back a hundred and fifty thousand dollars to found Fisk University.

Since their day they have been imitated–sometimes well, by the singers of Hampton and Atlanta, sometimes ill, by straggling quartettes. Caricature has sought again to spoil the quaint beauty of the music, and has filled the air with many debased melodies which vulgar ears scarce know from the real. But the true Negro folk-song still lives in the hearts of those who have heard them truly sung and in the hearts of the Negro people.

What are these songs, and what do they mean? I know little of music and can say nothing in technical phrase, but I know something of men, and knowing them, I know that these songs are the articulate message of the slave to the world. They tell us in these eager days that life was joyous to the black slave, careless and happy. I can easily believe this of some, of many. But not all the past South, though it rose from the dead, can gainsay the heart-touching witness of these songs. They are the music of an unhappy people, of the children of disappointment; they tell of death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world, of misty wanderings and hidden ways.

The songs are indeed the siftings of centuries; the music is far more ancient than the words, and in it we can trace here and there signs of development. My grandfather’s grandmother was seized by an evil Dutch trader two centuries ago; and coming to the valleys of the Hudson and Housatonic, black, little, and lithe, she shivered and shrank in the harsh north winds, looked longingly at the hills, and often crooned a heathen melody to the child between her knees, thus:

Do ba – na co – ba, ge – ne me, ge – ne me!
Do ba – na co – ba, ge – ne me, ge – ne me!
Ben d– nu – li, nu – li, nu – li, nu – li, ben d– le.

The child sang it to his children and they to their children’s children, and so two hundred years it has travelled down to us and we sing it to our children, knowing as little as our fathers what its words may mean, but knowing well the meaning of its music.

This was primitive African music; it may be seen in larger form in the strange chant which heralds “The Coming of John”:

“You may bury me in the East,
You may bury me in the West,
But I ’ll hear the trumpet sound in that morning,”

–the voice of exile.

Ten master songs, more or less, one may pluck from this forest of melody–songs of undoubted Negro origin and wide popular currency, and songs peculiarly characteristic of the slave. One of these I have just mentioned. Another whose strains begin this book is “Nobody knows the trouble I ’ve seen.” When, struck with a sudden poverty, the United States refused to fulfil its promises of land to the freedmen, a brigadier-general went down to the Sea Islands to carry the news. An old woman on the outskirts of the throng began singing this song; all the mass joined with her, swaying. And the soldier wept.

The third song is the cradle-song of death which all men know,–“Swing low, sweet chariot,”–whose bars begin the life story of “Alexander Crummell.” Then there is the song of many waters, “Roll, Jordan, roll,” a mighty chorus with minor cadences. There were many songs of the fugitive like that which opens “The Wings of Atalanta,” and the more familiar “Been a-listening.” The seventh is the song of the End and the Beginning–“My Lord, what a mourning! when the stars begin to fall”; a strain of this is placed before “The Dawn of Freedom.” The song of groping–“My way ’s cloudy”–begins “The Meaning of Progress”; the ninth is the song of this chapter–“Wrestlin– Jacob, the day is a-breaking,”–a pæan of hopeful strife. The last master song is the song of songs–“Steal away,”–sprung from “The Faith of the Fathers.”

There are many others of the Negro folk-songs as striking and characteristic as these, as, for instance, the three strains in the third, eighth, and ninth chapters; and others I am sure could easily make a selection on more scientific principles. There are, too, songs that seem to me a step removed from the more primitive types: there is the maze-like medley, “Bright sparkles,” one phrase of which heads “The Black Belt”; the Easter carol, “Dust, dust and ashes”; the dirge, “My mother ’s took her flight and gone home”; and that burst of melody hovering over “The Passing of the First-Born”–“I hope my mother will be there in that beautiful world on high.”

These represent a third step in the development of the slave song, of which “You may bury me in the East” is the first, and songs like “March on” (chapter six) and “Steal away” are the second. The first is African music, the second Afro-American, while the third is a blending of Negro music with the music heard in the foster land. The result is still distinctively Negro and the method of blending original, but the elements are both Negro and Caucasian. One might go further and find a fourth step in this development, where the songs of white America have been distinctively influenced by the slave songs or have incorporated whole phrases of Negro melody, as “Swanee River” and “Old Black Joe.” Side by side, too, with the growth has gone the debasements and imitations–the Negro “minstrel” songs, many of the “gospel” hymns, and some of the contemporary “coon” songs,–a mass of music in which the novice may easily lose himself and never find the real Negro melodies.

In these songs, I have said, the slave spoke to the world. Such a message is naturally veiled and half articulate. Words and music have lost each other and new and cant phrases of a dimly understood theology have displaced the older sentiment. Once in a while we catch a strange word of an unknown tongue, as the “Mighty Myo,” which figures as a river of death; more often slight words or mere doggerel are joined to music of singular sweetness. Purely secular songs are few in number, partly because many of them were turned into hymns by a change of words, partly because the frolics were seldom heard by the stranger, and the music less often caught. Of nearly all the songs, however, the music is distinctly sorrowful. The ten master songs I have mentioned tell in word and music of trouble and exile, of strife and hiding; they grope toward some unseen power and sigh for rest in the End.

The words that are left to us are not without interest, and, cleared of evident dross, they conceal much of real poetry and meaning beneath conventional theology and unmeaning rhapsody. Like all primitive folk, the slave stood near to Nature’s heart. Life was a “rough and rolling sea” like the brown Atlantic of the Sea Islands; the “Wilderness” was the home of God, and the “lonesome valley” led to the way of life. “Winter ’ll soon be over,” was the picture of life and death to a tropical imagination. The sudden wild thunderstorms of the South awed and impressed the Negroes,–at times the rumbling seemed to them “mournful,” at times imperious:

“My Lord calls me,
He calls me by the thunder,
The trumpet sounds it in my soul.”

The monotonous toil and exposure is painted in many words. One sees the ploughmen in the hot, moist furrow, singing:

“Dere ’s no rain to wet you,
Dere ’s no sun to burn you,
Oh, push along, believer,
I want to go home.”

The bowed and bent old man cries, with thrice-repeated wail:

“O Lord, keep me from sinking down,”

and he rebukes the devil of doubt who can whisper:

“Jesus is dead and God ’s gone away.”

Yet the soul-hunger is there, the restlessness of the savage, the wail of the wanderer, and the plaint is put in one little phrase:

My soul wants some thing that’s new, that’s new

Over the inner thoughts of the slaves and their relations one with another the shadow of fear ever hung, so that we get but glimpses here and there, and also with them, eloquent omissions and silences. Mother and child are sung, but seldom father; fugitive and weary wanderer call for pity and affection, but there is little of wooing and wedding; the rocks and the mountains are well known, but home is unknown. Strange blending of love and helplessness sings through the refrain:

“Yonder ’s my ole mudder,
Been waggin’ at de hill so long;
’Bout time she cross over,
Git home bime-by.”
Elsewhere comes the cry of the “motherless” and the “Farewell, farewell, my only child.”

Love-songs are scarce and fall into two categories–the frivolous and light, and the sad. Of deep successful love there is ominous silence, and in one of the oldest of these songs there is a depth of history and meaning:

Poor Ro – sy, poor gal; Poor Ro – sy,
poor gal; Ro – sy break my poor heart.
Heav’n shall – a – be my home.

A black woman said of the song, “It can’t be sung without a heart and a troubled sperrit.” The same voice sings here that sings in the German folk-song:

“Jetz Geh i’ an’s brunele, trink’ aber net.”

Of death the Negro showed little fear, but talked of it familiarly and even fondly as simply a crossing of the waters, perhaps–who knows?–back to his ancient forests again. Later days transfigured his fatalism, and amid the dust and dirt the toiler sang:

“Dust, dust and ashes, fly over my grave,
But the Lord shall bear my spirit home.”

The things evidently borrowed from the surrounding world undergo characteristic change when they enter the mouth of the slave. Especially is this true of Bible phrases. “Weep, O captive daughter of Zion,” is quaintly turned into “Zion, weep-a-low,” and the wheels of Ezekiel are turned every way in the mystic dreaming of the slave, till he says:

“There ’s a little wheel a-turnin’ in-a-my heart.”

As in olden time, the words of these hymns were improvised by some leading minstrel of the religious band. The circumstances of the gathering, however, the rhythm of the songs, and the limitations of allowable thought, confined the poetry for the most part to single or double lines, and they seldom were expanded to quatrains or longer tales, although there are some few examples of sustained efforts, chiefly paraphrases of the Bible. Three short series of verses have always attracted me,–the one that heads this chapter, of one line of which Thomas Wentworth Higginson has fittingly said, “Never, it seems to me, since man first lived and suffered was his infinite longing for peace uttered more plaintively.” The second and third are descriptions of the Last Judgment,–the one a late improvisation, with some traces of outside influence:

“Oh, the stars in the elements are falling,
And the moon drips away into blood,
And the ransomed of the Lord are returning unto God,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

And the other earlier and homelier picture from the low coast lands:

“Michael, haul the boat ashore,
Then you ’ll hear the horn they blow,
Then you ’ll hear the trumpet sound,
Trumpet sound the world around,
Trumpet sound for rich and poor,
Trumpet sound the Jubilee,
Trumpet sound for you and me.”

Through all the sorrow of the Sorrow Songs there breathes a hope–a faith in the ultimate justice of things. The minor cadences of despair change often to triumph and calm confidence. Sometimes it is faith in life, sometimes a faith in death, sometimes assurance of boundless justice in some fair world beyond. But whichever it is, the meaning is always clear: that sometime, somewhere, men will judge men by their souls and not by their skins. Is such a hope justified? Do the Sorrow Songs sing true?

The silently growing assumption of this age is that the probation of races is past, and that the backward races of to-day are of proven inefficiency and not worth the saving. Such an assumption is the arrogance of peoples irreverent toward Time and ignorant of the deeds of men. A thousand years ago such an assumption, easily possible, would have made it difficult for the Teuton to prove his right to life. Two thousand years ago such dogmatism, readily welcome, would have scouted the idea of blond races ever leading civilization. So wofully unorganized is sociological knowledge that the meaning of progress, the meaning of “swift” and “slow” in human doing, and the limits of human perfectability, are veiled, unanswered sphinxes on the shores of science. Why should Æschylus have sung two thousand years before Shakespeare was born? Why has civilization flourished in Europe, and flickered, flamed, and died in Africa? So long as the world stands meekly dumb before such questions, shall this nation proclaim its ignorance and unhallowed prejudices by denying freedom of opportunity to those who brought the Sorrow Songs to the Seats of the Mighty?

Your country? How came it yours? Before the Pilgrims landed we were here. Here we have brought our three gifts and mingled them with yours: a gift of story and song–soft, stirring melody in an ill-harmonized and unmelodious land; the gift of sweat and brawn to beat back the wilderness, conquer the soil, and lay the foundations of this vast economic empire two hundred years earlier than your weak hands could have done it; the third, a gift of the Spirit. Around us the history of the land has centred 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 sorrow, 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 the 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 whirl 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 windows of mine, free as yonder fresh young voices welling up to me from the caverns of brick and mortar below–swelling with song, instinct with life, tremulous treble and darkening bass. My children, my little children, are singing to the sunshine, and thus they sing:

Let us cheer the wea – ry trav – el – ler,
Cheer the wea – ry trav – el – ler, Let us
cheer the wea – ry trav – el – ler A –
– long the heav – en – ly way,

And the traveller girds himself, and sets his face toward the Morning, and goes his way.

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