The following was shared with me:
Many people wonder why some are so hard on President Obama. Did Frederick Douglass predict the answer many years ago?
“Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements.
In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress.
If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he s hall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence.
In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.”
September 25, 1883
After 1877, following the withdrawal of Union troops from South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, Reconstruction officially ended. In theory, African Americans were free, but, in practice, their status was far from equal. The intent of the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Amendment with regard to African Americans was being whittled away by state legislation in the South and Supreme Court decisions. African American participation in all phases of American life was qualified by prejudice; most avenues of social and economic improvement remained closed. Frederick Douglass, the best-known and most influential African American spokesman of his time, considered these facts and offered a solution in the following speech of September 24, 1883. (Read more)