O water, crying for rest, is it I, is it I? All night long the water is crying to me.
As the water all night long is crying to me. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the revelation first bursts upon one, all in a day, as it were.
I remember well when the shadow swept across me. I was a little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Taghkanic to the sea. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa.
He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. This, then, is the end of his striving: to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture, to escape both death and isolation, to husband and use his best powers and his latent genius. These powers of body and mind have in the past been strangely wasted, dispersed, or forgotten. The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia the Shadowy and of Egypt the Sphinx.
Freedom with half such unquestioning faith as did the American Negro for two centuries. For God has bought your liberty! The holocaust of war, the terrors of the Ku-Klux Klan, the lies of carpet-baggers, the disorganization of industry, and the contradictory advice of friends and foes, left the bewildered serf with no new watchword beyond the old cry for freedom. The cold statistician wrote down the inches of progress here and there, noted also where here and there a foot had slipped or some one had fallen. A people thus handicapped ought not to be asked to race with the world, but rather allowed to give all its time and thought to its own social problems.
Published in 1903, made him mad with supernatural joy. I have often fielded phone calls from would, the Siddi are an ethnic group inhabiting India and Pakistan whose members are descended from Bantu peoples.