The Negro Problem: February 12, 1893

The Negro Problem
New York Times: February 12, 1893

Atlanta, Ga. Feb. 11. – Bishop Henry M. Turner of the African Methodist Church, who is about to start on his visitation of the missions in Africa, makes a strong appeal for the return of the colored race to the African continent. He says:

“The Negro cannot remain here as a permanent factor and occupy his present ‘ignoble status.’ The Negro problem has only one solution, and that is for the Negro to return to Africa in sufficient numbers to build up a civilized country of his own, develop the resources of that continent, establish commerce with the civilized nations of the world, and impart his civilization and Christianity to his brethren in heathen Africa, and thus answer the ends for which God tolerated his temporary enslavement and contact with this giant white race.

“That is the only solution of the Negro problem; anything else is humbug and nonsense. All the Negro wants is a line of steamers between the South and Africa, and he will solve his own problem and at the same time enrich the South beyond the conception of imagination. No injustice, oppression, railroad discrimination, denial of the ballot, the ruling of the jury, or species of lynch law will ever solve the negro problem. A line of African steamships alone can do it, and until that line is established the self-reliant and manly Negro, as well as the mean and vicious black man, will be a thorn in the flesh of the country.

“You may send Negroes to the pen until half of them are convicts, but it will do no good. They will still be a menace to the country. God has a purpose to serve in the Negro, and the white man must help him to serve it, and any subterfuge is simply bosh. Europe can keep a hundred and seventy odd ships, nearly all steamers, hugging the shores of Africa the year round, and this country can keep but two little old sailing schooners, going once in six months, except a whisky craft, which goes out of Boston occasionally laden down with hundreds of gallons of the most deadly drug, commonly called whisky – a stuff that never saw the stillhouse, and as destructive to life as is possible.”