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The Political Outlook For Africa


EDWARD WILMOT BLYDEN, one of the greatest scholars of the race; native
of St. Thomas, West Indies. Secretary of State of the Republic of
Liberia; sent on diplomatic missions to the interior of Africa, and
reported proceedings before Royal Geographical Society; Minister
Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Liberia at the Court of St. James;
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Ambassador to France from
Liberia; Fellow of the American Philological Association; Honorary
Member Athaneum Club. Presented with medal by the Sultan of Turkey in
recognition of his services as Mohammedan Commissioner of Education.

[Note 32: Extracts from a speech made at a banquet given in his
honor by native Africans at Holborn, England, August 15, 1903.]

...Now as to our political relations, the gift of the African does not
lie in the direction of political aggrandizement. His sphere is the
church, the school, the farm, the workshop. With us, the tools are the
proper instruments of the man. This is why our country has been
partitioned among the political agencies of the world--the Japhetic
powers, for they can best do the work to be done in the interest of the
temporal as a basis for the spiritual advancement of humanity. The
African and the Jew are the spiritual races, and to them political
ascendence among the nations of the earth is not promised. It was M.
Renan, the great French agnostic, who said: "The fate of the Jewish
people was not to form a separate nationality; it is a race which always
cherishes a dream of something that transcends nations."

This truth will stand, though we cannot help sympathizing with the
intense and glowing patriotism of Mr. Zangwill as described in the
Daily News the other day. Then as Africans we must sympathize with and
assist the powers that be, as ordained by God, whom He will hold to a
strict account for their proceedings. We cannot alter this arrangement,
whatever our opinion as to the rudeness and ruggedness of the methods by
which the human instruments have arrived at it.

It is a fact. Let us then, to the best of our ability, assist those to
whom has been committed rule over our country. Their task is not an easy
one. They are giving direction to a state of things that must largely
influence the future. As conscientious men, they are often in
perplexity. The actual rulers of British West African Colonies are
to-day an exceptional class of men. And in keeping with the spirit of
the times, and in the critical circumstances in which they labor, they
are doing their best under the guidance of a chief in this country of
large sympathies and a comprehensive grasp of situations.

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