Slavery (1922)

Slavery (1922)

Slavery still exists in the United States. In the courts of Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, human beings are daily sold into slavery to men like the murderer Williams of Jasper County, Georgia.

Throughout the South—but especially in the Mississippi and Red River bottoms, from Memphis south; in middle and south Georgia and Ala­bama; and in the Brazos bottoms of Texas—Negroes are held today in as complete and awful and soul destroying slavery as they were in 1860. Their overseers ride with guns and whips; their women are prostitutes to white owners and drivers; their children are trained in ignorance, im­morality and crime.

Every Southerner knows this. The States know it. The Government knows it. Distinguished Southerners are getting wealthy on the system; the Southern White Church is sending missionaries to Africa on its proceeds; lovely young white ladies are being finished in exclusive schools on its dirty blood profits; and yet it goes on and on and on, and it will go on until one day its red upheaval will shake the civilized world.

But there comes a ray of hope. Georgia is to be congratulated on the conviction of Williams for murder, and for the fine spirit of press and people that stand behind it. The Atlanta Committee on Church Cooperation calls the conviction “Georgia’s message to the Negro and to the world that this Christian State, whatever may have been conditions in the past in sore spots within her borders, will in the future do justice to the Negro”; and the Atlanta Georgian adds “Georgia has renewed her sacred pledge to civilization.”

Amen! And the Negro stands ready to recognize and appreciate every act of Justice done by the white South.

Citation: Du Bois, W.E.B. 1922. “Slavery.” The Crisis. 24(1):6.