Newspapers by Colored People in the United States

Very lately, quite a number of newspapers under the management of colored men, have come into existence, in the United States. In addition to these we have noticed, the Elevator has been resuscitated by some Philadelphians, and the A.M.E. Recorder is circulating semi-monthly. This simultaneous introduction of ‘instruments’ to promote the elevation of colored citizens, must mean something. Men would hardly risk the difficulties necessarily attending the establishment of such enterprises, unless hopeful of final success.

We dare not attribute such movements to personal motives, in the absence of facts to justify such a thought, but must concede to them, the very greatest desire for the welfare of their people – yet, in view of the plans proposed by them, so far as we have seen, we fear that little will be done towards accomplishing the end in view.

They are, without exception, we believe, advocates of the old, long tried, and long condemned policy of remaining in the United States, at all hazards, almost to a man, to make the white American give to them equal political and social privileges, in the face of the contrary policy with respect to whites, so long tried by their opponents, and with such admirable results.

If there is any thing they should appropriate to themselves from proximity with the Yankees, it is the philosophy of their progress, made up as they are in part of oppressed people, who have emigrated from other despotisms, and the absolute utility of emigration, as declared encouraged, and promoted, by their wisest men. True, the emigration of Europeans has been made to act as a check upon the aspirations of the free colored man – the emigrant has been elevated, meanwhile, but not to the extent possible, had not the popular colorophobia been made to influence him.

The opinion prevalent among colored men, that the success of the white emigrant is mainly to be attributed to his degradation, is not true in fact – the emigrant would have had a more secure position had prejudice against the colored man not existed at all – but being looked upon in the light of a necessary substitute for an obnoxious class, when the necessity is done away with by growth of population, or other cause, then against him as against the colored man, political and other influences are brought to bear to crowd him out; but withal, he contends for Emigration, and so frustrates, in a measure, their opposition.

The colored man, on the other hand, rejects Emigration, through speeches, and through the press, the most powerful means, and has the satisfaction of moving in a circle without any good results. They will yet be obliged, from outward signs, already multiplying, to “cut a different figure,” else we are mistaken. Young colored America will move away of itself, by force of inherent and cultivated energy, at no distant day, and their journals will be obliged to follow suit. Already we hear of the “better class” of foreigners leaving for Canada, and in our Western country, the better class of colored “natives” are coming also.

Collection: African American Newspapers
Publication: Provincial Freeman
Date: June 23, 1855
Title: Newspapers by Colored People in the United States
Location: Toronto, Canada West

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