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Cayton's weekly. (Seattle, Wash.) 1916-1921, April 19, 1919, Image 3

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093353/1919-04-19/ed-1/seq-3/

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"I don't know why it is," complained the
exasperated nurse, "but you colored men
give us more trouble than all the rest put
together."
"Yassum," the patient agreed, "dats jes
what de Germans is a'sayin' about us."
In France the offensive "nigger" was
not used in addressing the dough-boys,
and the French, who followed this example,
had no word signifying "mulatto."
"Some of us," explained Private Bill For
shay, "was described as 'beaucoup de cho
eolat,' an' de other wuz 'cafe au lait.' "
"What would you do if a pack of
Germans suddenly came right down on
top of us?" asked a sergeant.
"Dey ain't gwine to know whar I is," re
plied the private.
"How's that, Sam?"
"Well, you see, dey might know whar
I wuz, but not whar I is."
A Negro dough-boy was clad in white
pajamas one night when the camp was sur
prized by German bombers. Everybody
headed for his own dugout and Sam had
some distance to travel.
"What did you do?" he was asked the
next morning.
"Easy," he replied. "De good Lawd has
gimme de bes' cammyfladge in the world.
I dropt dem pajamies right whar I stood
an' made de res' o' de trip in my birfday
clo'es."
On the night of armistice day a Negro
trooper met some hilarious Frenchmen.
Next morning he was before his captain
charged with intoxication.
"Young man," scowled the Captain,
"you've got a mighty good record and
I'm sorry. Have you any excuse to offer
for this outbreak?"
"I ain't got no 'xcuse, please, Cap'n,"
said the culprit, "but Ice done got a good
reason."
"A reason," exclaimed the captain.
"What is it?"
"Well, Cap'n, I dunno de English fo'
it, but de bunch I met las' night called
it 'encore."
A colored veteran just back from the
other side when questioned about an iron
cross he was wearing-, explained:
"Boss, it was a extra decoration. De
Kaiser hisself sent it to me by a special
messenger what dropped daid jus' befo' he
give it to me."
There is just enough truth in the above
bunch of stories to rob them of the intended
humiliation of the colored people in gen
eral. Whether educated or otherwise almost
a majority of the colored men of the
United States are inclined to say cute
thing's, which sometimes are so clever that
they are actually witty. For an exam
ple, a Negro and an Irishman were en
gaged in a friendly bout of joking—
each other, when the Irishman asked of the
Negro: "If you and I were walking down
the road and met the devil, which one of
us would he take?" "Me, of course,"
quickly replied the Negro. "And why
you?" further asked Pat. "Because he is
certain to get you and he has doubts about
getting me." AVhereupon Pat immediately
began discussing the League of Nations.
The colored man seems to possess a lot of
corn field philosophy that is not only amus
ing and entertaining, but profoundly logi
cal, of which he seems to have little or
no knowledge. The old colored man who
coined the expression, "the old coon for
cunning, but the young one for running,"
had no idea that he had said something
that would live as long as the United
States. The American English language is
almost a dialect in comparison to the Eng
lish spoken and written in Great Britain
largely because the former contains so many
quaint and odd expressions of the planta
tion Negro. The mannerisms of the Negroes
of this country have-inveigled themselves not
only into the literature of the land, but in
to the music, dancing, and even manner of
speech. But all this is a digression from
the original thought herein. The repro
duced stories are very clever and when
carefully considered verges dangerously
close to witicisms.
THE PAN-AFRICAN CONGRESS.
(By W. E. BURGHARDT DU BOIS.)
The Pan-African Congress is an estab
lished fact. It was held February 19, 20,
21, 1919, at the Grand Hotel, Boulevard dcs
Capucines, Paris. The Executive Commit
tee consisted of M. Blaise Diagne, President;
Dr. W. E. Burghardt Dußois, Secretary;
Mrs. Ida Gibbs Hunt, Assistant Secretary,
and M. E. F. Fredericks. The Congress
maintained an office at the Hotel de Malte,
63 Rue Richelieu, with office hours from
10 a. m. to 6 p. m.
Fifty-seven delegates, including a number
of native Africans educated abroad, were
present at the Congress. In all, fifteen
countries were represented, as follows:
United States of America 16
French West Indies 13
Haiti 7
France 7
Liberia 3
Spanish Colonies 2
Portuguese Colonies 1
San Domingo 1
England 1
British Africa 1
French Africa 1
Algeria 1
Egypt 1
Belgian Congo 1
Abyssinia 1
Total 57
France was represented by the Chairman
of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the
Fench Chamber; Belgium, by M. Van Over
gergh, of the Belgian Peace Commission;
Portugal, by M. Preire d' Andrade, former
Minister of Foreign Affairs. William Eng
lish Walling and Charles Edward Russell
were in attendance from the United States
of America.
At the first meeting held Wednesday
afternoon, February 19, M. Diagne, Deputy
from Senegal to the French Chamber open
ed the Congress with words of praise for
French colonial rule. He expressed the
hope that the ideal of racial unity would
inspire all of African descent throughout
the entire world.
Many interesting speeches followed, all
of which struck a characteristic note. M.
Candace, Deputy from Guadeloupe, insist
ed with much eloquence and frankness that
color should not be considered in the main
tenance of human rights. That the rights
of black Americans met with so little re
spect in the United States was, he declared,
a matter for special deprecation.
Two other deputies from the French
West Indies, M. Boisenuf and M. Lagrosil
liere, spoke with equal eloquence and ex
pressed their inability to understand how
American could fail to treat as equals
those who in common with themselves were
giving their lives for democracy and justice.
Mr. King, delegate from Liberia to the
Peace Conference, gave an interesting ex
position of Liberia's aims and accomplish
ments and expressed the hope that people
of African descent everywhere would take
pride in that little independent black Repub
lic and in every way possible aid in her fu
ture development. "Let us," he concluded,
"be considered a home for the darker races
in Africa. It is your duty to help. We are
asking for rights, but let us not, therefore,
forget our duties, for remember wherever
there are rights, there are also duties and
responsibilities."
The Chairman of Foreign Affairs for
France emphasized the fact that the senti
ment of France on equality and liberty, ir
respective of color, was shown by the fact
that she had six colored representatives in
the French Chamber, one of whom was the
distinguished Chairman of the Congress. M.
Dia»ne, who served on his Committee. Even
before the Revolution France had pursued
the same policy.
M. Overgergh spoke of the reforms in the
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Belgian colony and of an International Ge
ographical Society which he represented.
M. d' Andrade talked of the opportunities
and liberties given the natives in the Por
tugues colonies.
William English Walling said that while
he had to blush when America was being
arraigned, he felt that changes were al
ready going on in the United States and
that in time Americans, whether willingly
or not, would have to submit to the opinion
of the world and accord to her colored con
tingent full justice and equality. She must
yield or go down before the darker races of
the world. If France has six colored repre
sentatives in Parliament, he said, the United
States of America, considering her black
population, should have at least ten col
ored representatives in her legislative body.
Charles Edward Russell's address stir
red and inspired all. He said the old no
tion that one race is inferior to another is
false, and this war has helped to kill that
idea. This Congress, he felt, was a splendid
step forward. Africa should press her
claims here and now. "It is a great oppor
tunity and yours is the duty to fulfill it,"
he said. "It is a duty for Africa and for
world democracy, for black and white
alike. Insist upon your rights!"
At the second session, Mr. Archer, ex-
Mayor of Battersea, London, England, spoke
of the importance of demanding- one's rights,
of the value of unity of purpose and effort
in ameliorating the condition of people of
color throughout the world, starting with
the United States and England. He said
that while England accords many rights
to her citizens of color, she does not give
them as much representation as France.
"We must fight for our just rights at all
times," he concluded.
Dr. George Jackson, an American, spoke
of his experiences in the Belgian Congo, and
explained why the natives had come to hate
German Kultur. As a colored American he
also had often had cause to blush for Amer
ica.
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