Booming The Crisis (1914)

Booming The Crisis (1914)

The Washington Bee, a weekly colored periodical has been stirred to its vitals by the fear that the money collected in Washington and elsewhere for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is going to be used for the support of The Crisis We assure the editor that not a single cent of such moneys goes to the support of The Crisis. The Crisis supports itself, and has from the beginning, with the single exception that the association provides an editor for it.

Even this, however, does not apparently suit the nimble Bee. “But the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ignores the splendid, vitalizing work of the race newspapers already established, and established and financed by their editors, while concentrating its efforts and giving of its funds exclusively to make The Crisis a very late comer, the real and only organ of the race.” Here again the editor is mistaken. Far from displacing the colored weekly newspapers, The Crisis is giving them all possible publicity and full and careful credit for everything which it reprints.

The Crisis regrets, however, that the amount of matter published in the Bee and in many other papers, which is worth, reprinting or even reading, is not nearly as large as it ought to be. Moreover, The Crisis is convinced that more careful attention to some of the very things which this editor denounces would bring larger success to the colored weekly papers.

First: Facts. Of the newspapers mentioned only one, the Afro-American Ledger, makes a careful and valuable attempt to present the facts concerning the Negro. The others present some of the facts, but in a partial and incomplete way.

Second: English. Some of the best of colored papers are so wretchedly careless in their use of the English language and sense of the value of words that when they see English they are apt to mistake it for something which the Bee mysteriously characterizes as “Oscar Wilde atomized sentences,” whatever that may be.

But third and most important: Few of the colored weekly papers have stood staunch for principle. Outside the Guardian and the Cleveland Gazette there have not been more than one or two colored papers from whom the Negro people could expect year in and year out strong, staunch advocacy of the fundamental principles of freedom and justice. Small wonder that they welcome a periodical which (whatever its many faults may-be) at least tries to give the facts, talk English and stand as an unpurchasablc advocate of justice and right.

Citation: Du Bois, W.E.B. 1914. “Booming The Crisis.” The Crisis. 7(5):239–240.