What the Black Man Wants!!!!!!!

“What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!

If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot- box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone,–your interference is doing him a positive injury…Let him fall if he cannot stand alone!

If the Negro cannot live by the line of eternal justice…the fault will not be yours, it will be his…Let him live or die by that. If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live. He will work as readily for himself as the white man.

If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot- box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone,–your interference is doing him a positive injury…Let him fall if he cannot stand alone! If the Negro cannot live by the line of eternal justice…the fault will not be yours, it will be his…Let him live or die by that. If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live. He will work as readily for himself as the white man.

A great many delusions have been swept away by this war. One was, that the Negro would not work; he has proved his ability to work. Another was, that the Negro would not fight; that he possessed only the most sheepish attributes of humanity; was a perfect lamb, or an “Uncle Tom;” disposed to take off his coat whenever required, fold his hands, and be whipped by anybody who wanted to whip him. But the war has proved that there is a great deal of human nature in the Negro, and that “he will fight.”

Frederick Douglass (1865)

Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Anti Slavery Society in Boston on April 1865.

4 thoughts on “What the Black Man Wants!!!!!!!”

  1. We are still here! Making progress inspite of our deficiencies! We are the image of God, therefore we will always rise about our adversaries. There is no question of what we will do in order to achieve success in this country and around the world! The “African American” is the crown jewel in Gods’ creation! Keep pressing on “my brother” in 2017!

  2. Hello Dr. Jones. I hadn’t gotten any feed my way or was way to displaced…sorry about that sincerely. No slight on you, just my bad. Plus I’ve been out of the loop and now venturing back some. So good to find rocks still in place like you, Professor and of course Misty. I like your post…what does the black man want! I was wondering if you’d take a look at this brother’s 2016 piece. And see how it coincides, maybe as another point of view or bookend to your piece. Ibram X. Kendi’s: Stamped From The Beginning. I’m hoping this is a missing piece for us to ponder or expand on…like you I’m still searching for what can change us. Thanks Dr. Jones.

  3. I do agree with Douglas let someone live there life and if fail at it let them be the only reason they didnt succeed from it .it shouldn’t be in your hands

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