The Conservation of Races

The Conservation of Races
The American Negro Academy Occasional Papers, No. 2

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The Conservation of Races by W. E. B. Du Bois

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1892

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The Conservation of Races
The American Negro Academy Occasional Papers, No. 2

By

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Book Excerpt

bligation to assert my nationality than German, or Irish or Italian blood would?

It is such incessant self-questioning and the hesitation that arises from it, that is making the present period a time of vacillation and contradiction for the American Negro; combined race action is stifled, race responsibility is shirked, race enterprises languish, and the best blood, the best talent, the best energy of the Negro people cannot be marshalled to do the bidding of the race. They stand back to make room for every rascal and demagogue who chooses to cloak his selfish deviltry under the veil of race pride.

Is this right? Is it rational? Is it good policy? Have we in America a distinct mission as a racea distinct sphere of action and an opportunity for race development, or is self- obliteration the highest end to which Negro blood dare aspire?

If we carefully consider what race prejudice really is, we find it, historically, to be nothing but the friction between different groups of people; it is the diffe

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