Negroes, Get Guns!

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Negroes Get Guns!

New York Times: March 17, 1897


ATLANTA, Ga., March 16 – “Get guns, negroes,” is the advice which Henry M. Turner, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, gives to his people. The Bishop, in addition to his episcopal duties, is editor of the monthly organ of the Church, “The Missioners Voice,” and has as his associate editors Bishops Grant, Handy, Arnett, Derrick, and a number of prominent colored clergymen.

In the issue of that paper to-day Bishop Turner says editorially:

“The fiendish lynching of John Johnson and Archibald Jointry upon mere suspicion, in Louisiana, while the African Methodist Episcopal Bishops were meeting in New Orleans only a few miles from the scene of blood and death, was most damnable."

“Let every negro in this country with a spark of manhood in him supply his house with one, two, or three guns or with a seven or a sixteen shooter, and we advise him to keep them loaded and ready for immediate use, and when his domicile is invaded by bloody lynchers or any mob by day or by night, Sabbath or week day, turn loose your missiles of death and blow your fiendish invaders into a thousand jiblets."

“We have had it in our mind to say this for over seven years, but on account of our Episcopal status we hesitated to express ourselves thus, fearing it would meet the disapproval of the House of Bishops. But their approval or disapproval has done nothing to stop the fiendish murderers who stalk abroad and are exterminating my race, so we have now said it, and hereafter we shall speak it, preach it, tell it, and write it. Again we say, Get guns, negroes! get guns, and may God give you good aim when you shoot.”