|How a Southerner Overcame his Racist Past (Coronet Magazine, 1948)|
The attached is an historic article that explains the lesson that so many white Americans had to learn in order that America become one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
This long anticipated confession is only three pages long, but it took centuries to write and its author, who described himself as just a "Southern [white], reared in the common tradition" lucidly explains the steps that had to be made in order that he earn his "initiation into human decency".
There can be no doubt that many ragged, dog-eared copies of this middle class magazine must have been passed from seat to seat in the backs of many buses; perhaps one of the readers was a nineteen year-old divinity student named Martin Luther King?
The Answer to the 'Negro Problem' (Coronet Magazine, 1949)
Like the article posted above, this essay serves as further evidence that the immediate post-war years in America were ones in which the foundations for the civil rights movement were established; foundations on which the civil rights leaders of the Sixties and Seventies would rely upon to keep the social structures in place.
The attached article pertains to the necessary work that was being done by the National Urban League.
Upon reading this piece, we're sure you'll recognize that the author knew full well that the article should have been titled, "The Answer to the White Problem".
The Twilight of Segregated Baseball...(People Today Magazine, 1951)
An anonymous scribe at PEOPLE TODAY wrote this well-illustrated piece to mark the occasion that heralded the end of the Negro Baseball League: integration:
"By sheer ability, Negro players have broken down the color line: this season 14 are playing on five major league teams and at least seven others are having a chance to prove themselves with the minors."
Click here to read a 1945 profile of Jackie Robinson.
Click here to read a 1954 article about Willie Mays.
The Red Caps (Ken Magazine, 1938)
The history of the African American baggage handlers called Red Caps is a sad story in American social history. The Red Caps had been around since the 1890s and they were assigned the task of carrying luggage to and from trains and taxis; this article points out that in the Thirties, one of every three of them had a college degree:
"Red Caps did not go to college to learn how to be Red Caps. Their problem is a racial one. To the white, a job toting luggage is a poor way to eke out an existence. To the black, red capping is one of the 'big' fields open. The white man who works as a porter can do nothing else, as a rule; the Negro almost invariably can do something else but can't get it to do."
Dorie Miller was an African-American hero during the Second World War, click here if you would like to read about him.
The Negro's Contribution to American Arts (Literary Digest, 1917)
The attached piece is an abstract of an article that first appeared in THE NEW YORK EVENING POST in 1917. The original article was penned by NAACP secretary James Weldon Johnson (1871 – 1938), who was also a respected writer, anthologist, educator and diplomat; in this piece he listed all the various artistic contributions that the African-American community had made to the world of dance and music. Johnson was quick to point out that American popular culture was enjoyed the world-over and these dance steps and catchy tunes were not simply the product of the Anglo-Saxon majority:
"I believe the Negro possesses a valuable and much-needed gift that he will contribute to the future American democracy. I have tried to point out that the Negro is here not merely to be a beneficiary of American democracy, not merely to receive. He is here to give something to American democracy. Out of his wealth of artistic and emotional endowment he is going to give something that is wanting, something that is needed, something that no other element in all the nation has to give."
What the Negro Means to America (Atlantic Monthly, 1929)
In the attached article Count Hermann Alexander Keyserling (1880 – 1946), German philosopher and social critic, wrote about those uncommon cultural elements within the African-American culture that renders American blacks as an unprecedented, unique cultural force in the world:
"There has never been anything like the American Negro in Africa, nor is there anything like him in the West Indies or in South America."