Monday, September 7, 2009

12 Things The Negro Must Do For Himself

Saw this on a couple of other sites and wanted to share and get opinions on it. After reading this I was anxious to learn more about the author. Click her name for some info via Wikipedia on her; I'm still looking up more.

by Nannie Helen Burroughs

(Circa Early 1900's)

1. The Negro Must Learn To Put First Things First. The First Things Are:
Education; Development of Character Traits; A Trade and Home Ownership.

The Negro puts too much of his earning in clothes, in food, in show
and in having what he calls 'a good time.' The Dr. Kelly Miller said, 'The
Negro buys what he WANTS and begs for what he needs.'

2. The Negro Must Stop Expecting God and White Folk To Do For Him What He
Can Do For Himself.

It is the 'Divine Plan' that the strong shall help the weak, but
even God does not do for man what man can do for himself. The Negro will
have to do exactly what Jesus told the man (in John 5:8) to do--Carry his
own load--'Take up your bed and walk.'

3. The Negro Must Keep Himself, His Children And His Home Clean And Make
The Surroundings In Which He Lives Comfortable and Attractive.

He must learn to 'run his community up'--not down. We can segregate
by law, we integrate only by living. Civilization is not a matter of race,
it is a matter of standards. Believe it or not--some day, some race is going
to outdo the Anglo-Saxon, completely. It can be the Negro race, if the Negro
gets sense enough. Civilization goes up and down that way.

4. The Negro Must Learn To Dress More Appropriately For Work And For

Knowing what to wear--how to wear it--when to wear it and where to
wear it, are earmarks of common sense, culture and also an index to

5. The Negro Must Make His Religion An Everyday Practice And Not Just A
Sunday-Go-To Meeting Emotional Affair.

6. The Negro Must Highly Resolve To Wipe Out Mass Ignorance.

The leaders of the race must teach and inspire the masses to
become eager and determined to improve mentally, morally and spiritually,
and to meet the basic requirements of good citizenship. We should initiate
an intensive literacy campaign in America , as well as in Africa .
Ignorance--is a millstone about the neck of the race. It is democracy's
greatest burden. Social integration is a relationship attained as a result
of the cultivation of kindred social ideals, interests and standards. It is
a blending process that requires time, understanding and kindred purposes to
achieve.. Likes alone and not laws can do it.

7. The Negro Must Stop Charging His Failures Up To His 'Color' And To
White People's Attitude.

The truth of the matter is that good service and conduct will make senseless
race prejudice fade like mist before the rising sun. God never intended
that a man's color shall be anything other than a badge of distinction. It
is high time that all races were earning that fact. The Negro must first
QUALIFY for whatever position he wants. Purpose, initiative, ingenuity and
industry are the keys that all men use to get what they want. The Negro
will have to do the same. He must make himself a workman who is too skilled
not to be wanted, and too DEPENDABLE not to be on the job, according to
promise or plan. He will never become a vital factor in industry until he
learns to put into his work the vitalizing force of initiative, skill and
dependability. He has gone 'RIGHTS' mad and 'DUTY' dumb.

8. The Negro Must Overcome His Bad Job Habits.

He must make a brand new reputation for himself in the world of
labor. His bad job habits are absenteeism, funerals to attend, or a little
business to look after. The Negro runs an off and on business. He also has a
bad reputation for co nduct on the job--such as petty quarreling with other
help, incessant loud talking about nothing; loafing, carelessness, due to
lack of job pride; insolence, gum chewing and--too often--liquor drinking.
Just plain bad job habits!

9. He Must Improve His Conduct In Public Places.

Taken as a whole, he is entirely too loud and too ill-mannered. There is
much talk about wiping out racial segregation and also much talk about
achieving integration. Segregation is a physical arrangement by which people
are separated in various services. It is definitely up to the Negro to wipe
out the apparent justification or excuse for segregation. The only effective
way to do it is to clean up and keep clean. By practice, cleanliness will
become a habit and habit becomes character.

10. The Negro Must Learn How To Operate Business For People--Not For Negro
People, Only.

To do business, he will have to remove all typical 'earmarks,'
business principles; measure up to accepted standards and meet stimulating
competition, graciously--in fact, he must learn to welcome competition.

11. The Average So-Called Educated Negro Will Have To Come Down Out Of The
Air. He Is Too Inflated Over Nothing. He Needs An Experience Simila r To
The One That Ezekiel Had--(Ezekiel 3:14-19). And He Must Do What Ezekiel

Otherwise, through indifference, as to the plight of the masses, the Negro,
who thinks that he has escaped, will lose his own soul. It will do all
leaders good to read Hebrews 13:3, and the first Thirty-seven Chapters of
Ezekiel. A race transformation itself through its own leaders and its
sensible 'common people.' A race rises on its own wings, or is held down by
its own weight. True leaders are never 'things apart from the people.' They
are the masses. They simply got to the front ahead of them. Their only
business at the front is to inspire to masses by hard work and noble example
and challenge them to 'Come on!' Dante stated a fact when he said, 'Show the
people the light and they will find the way!' There must arise within the
Negro race a leadership that is not out hunting bargains for itself. A noble
example is found in the men and women of the Negro race, who, in the early
days, laid down their lives for the people. Their invaluable contributions
have not been appraised by the 'latter-day leaders.' In many cases, their
names would never be recorded, among the unsung heroes of the world, but for
the fact that white friends have written them there.

'Lord, God of Hosts, Be with us yet.'

The Negro of today does not realize that, but, for these exhibits
A's, that certainly show the innate possibilities of members of their own
race, white people would not have been moved to make such princely
investments in lives and money, as they have made, for the establishment of
schools and for the on-going of the race.

12. The Negro Must Stop Forgetting His Friends. 'Remember.'

Read Deuteronomy 24:18. Deuteronomy rings the big bell of gratitude.
Why? Because an ingrate is an abomination in the sight of God. God is
constantly telling us that 'I the Lord thy God delivered you'--through human
instrumentalities. The American Negro has had and still has friends--in the
North and in the South. These friends not only pray, speak, write, influence
others, but make unbelievable, unpublished sacrifices and contributions for
the advancement of the race--for their brothers in bonds. The noblest thing
that the Negro can do is to so live and labor that these benefactors will
not have given in vain. The Negro must make his heart warm with gratitude,
his lips sweet with thanks and his heart and mind resolute with purpose to
justify the sacrifices and stand on his feet and go forward--'God is no
respector of persons. In every nation, he that feareth him and worketh
righteousness is' sure to win out. Get to work! That's the answer to
everything that hu rts us. We talk to o much about nothing instead of
redeeming the time by working.


In spite of race prejudice, America is brim full of opportunities. Go after

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