Black People : "12 Things The Negro Must Do For Himself" by Nannie Helen Burroughs(Circa Early 1900)

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Akilah, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Akilah

    Akilah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    1. The Negro Must Learn To Put First Things First. The First Things Are: Education; Development of Character Traits; A Trade and Home Ownership. The Negro puts too much of his earning in clothes, in food, in show and in having what he calls "a good time." The Dr. Kelly Miller said, "The Negro buys what he WANTS and begs for what he Needs."
    2. The Negro Must Stop Expecting God and White Folk To Do For Him What He Can Do For Himself. It is the "Divine Plan" that the strong shall help the weak, but even God does not do for man what man can do for himself. The Negro will have to do exactly what Jesus told the man (in John 5:8) to do--Carry his own load--"Take up your bed and walk."
    3. The Negro Must Keep Himself, His Children And His Home Clean And Make The Surroundings In Which He Lives Comfortable and Attractive. He must learn to "run his community up"--not down. We can segregate by law, we integrate only by living. Civilization is not a matter of race; it is a matter of standards. Believe it or not--some day, some race is going to outdo the Anglo-Saxon, completely. It can be the Negro race, if the Negro gets sense enough. Civilization goes up and down that way.
    4. The Negro Must Learn To Dress More Appropriately For Work And For Leisure. Knowing what to wear--how to wear it--when to wear it and where to wear it are earmarks of common sense, culture and also an index to character.
    5. The Negro Must Make His Religion An Everyday Practice And Not Just A Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Emotional Affair.
    6. The Negro Must Highly Resolve To Wipe Out Mass Ignorance. The leaders of the race must teach and inspire the masses to become eager and determined to improve mentally, morally and spiritually, and to meet the basic requirements of good citizenship. We should initiate an intensive literacy campaign in America, as well as in Africa. Ignorance-- satisfied ignorance --is a millstone about the neck of the race. It is democracy's greatest burden. Social integration is a relationship attained as a result of the cultivation of kindred social ideals, interests and standards. It is a blending process that requires time, understanding and kindred purposes to achieve. Likes alone and not laws can do it.
    7. The Negro Must Stop Charging His Failures Up To His "Color" And To White People's Attitude. The truth of the matter is that good service and conduct will make senseless race prejudice fade like mist before the rising sun. God never intended that a man's color shall be anything other than a badge of distinction. It is high time that all races were learning that fact. The Negro must first QUALIFY for whatever position he wants. Purpose, initiative, ingenuity and industry are the keys that all men use to get what they want. The Negro will have to do the same. He must make himself a workman who is too skilled not to be wanted, and too DEPENDABLE not to be on the job, according to promise or plan. He will never become a vital factor in industry until he learns to put into his work the vitalizing force of initiative, skill and dependability. He has gone "RIGHTS" mad and "DUTY" dumb.
    8. The Negro Must Overcome His Bad Job Habits. He must make a brand new reputation for himself in the world of labor. His bad job habits are absenteeism, funerals to attend, or a little business to look after. The Negro runs an off and on business. He also has a bad reputation for conduct on the job--such as petty quarrelling with other help, incessant loud talking about nothing; loafing, carelessness, due to lack of job pride; insolence, gum chewing and--too often--liquor drinking. Just plain bad job habits!
    9. He Must Improve His Conduct In Public Places. Taken as a whole, he is entirely too loud and too ill mannered. There is much talk about wiping out racial segregation and also much talk about achieving integration. Segregation is a physical arrangement by which people are separated in various services. It is definitely up to the Negro to wipe out the apparent justification or excuse for segregation. The only effective way to do it is to clean up and keep clean. By practice, cleanliness will become a habit and habit becomes character.
    10. The Negro Must Learn How To Operate Business For People--Not For Negro People, Only. To do business, he will have to remove all typical "earmarks," business principles; measure up to accepted standards and meet stimulating competition, graciously--in fact, he must learn to welcome competition.
    11. The Average So-Called Educated Negro Will Have To Come Down Out Of The Air. He Is Too Inflated Over Nothing. He Needs An Experience Similar To The One That Ezekiel Had--(Ezekiel 3:14-19). And He Must Do What Ezekiel did. Otherwise, through indifference, as to the plight of the masses, the Negro, who thinks that he has escaped, will lose his own soul. It will do all leaders good to read Hebrew 13:3, and the first Thirty-seven Chapters of Ezekiel. A race transformation itself through its own leaders and its sensible "common people." A race rises on its own wings, or is held down by its own weight. True leaders are never "things apart from the people." They are the masses. They simply got to the front ahead of them. Their only business at the front is to inspire to masses by hard work and noble example and challenge them to "Come on!" Dante stated a fact when he said, "Show the people the light and they will find the way!"
    There must arise within the Negro race a leadership that is not out hunting bargains for itself. A noble example is found in the men and women of the Negro race, who, in the early days, laid down their lives for the people. The “latter-day leaders” have not appraised their invaluable contributions. In many cases, their names would never be recorded, among the unsung heroes of the world, but for the fact that white friends have written them there.
    "Lord, God of Hosts, Be with us yet." The Negro of today does not realize that, but, for these exhibits A's, that certainly show the innate possibilities of members of their own race, white people would not have been moved to make such princely investments in lives and money, as they have made, for the establishment of schools and for the on-going of the race.
    12. The Negro Must Stop Forgetting His Friends. "Remember." Read Deuteronomy 24:18. Deuteronomy rings the big bell of gratitude. Why? Because an ingrate is an abomination in the sight of God. God is constantly telling us that "I the Lord thy God delivered you" --through human instrumentalities. The American Negro has had and still has friends--in the North and in the South. These friends not only pray, speak, write, influence others, but make unbelievable, unpublished sacrifices and contributions for the advancement of the race--for their brothers in bonds. The noblest thing that the Negro can do is to so live and labor that these benefactors will not have given in vain. The Negro must make his heart warm with gratitude, his lips sweet with thanks and his heart and mind resolute with purpose to justify the sacrifices and stand on his feet and go forward-- "God is no respecter of persons. In every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is" sure to win out. Get to work! That's the answer to everything that hurts us. We talk too much about nothing instead of redeeming the time by working.

    R-E-M-E-M-B-E-R

    In spite of race prejudice, America is brim full of opportunities. Go after them!

    http://afroamhistory.about.com/library/blphotos_nannieburroughs.htm

    http://www.loc.gov/loc/kidslc/sp-burroughs.html

    http://www.ncccusa.org/nmu/mce/womens_day.pdf
     
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  2. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Sister Akilah ... the quote above, made me think of a book that i recently ran across:

    Lies My Teacher Told Me:
    Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong


    The most common theme in American history textbooks is the idea that the United States is a land of opportunity, and that anyone, no matter how poor, can succeed through hard work – an idea that is pure hogwash. Authors conveniently omit the statistics showing that the United States has the world’s greatest disparity between rich and poor, and that opportunities for social mobility are far fewer here than in most other countries. Textbooks fail to chronicle how corporate influence over government has steadily increased since 1900. They ignore the fact that in order to aspire to our nation’s highest office – the presidency – one must be born white, male, and rich. But history textbooks are utterly unconcerned with such social issues. U.S. history as taught in textbooks is nothing more than blind patriotism, a flag-waving story of American achievement. For those of us who cannot wave such a flag, it is a history that rings false.


    While we probably could do better in the "taking advantage of opportunity" category, it is a fact that they are not as plentiful for us, as others. Race certainly plays an integral part, and i'm sure that was the case even more so, in 1900, when the information you shared above was penned.

    No matter though ... i appreciate you and the author's effort to encourage us all.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
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  3. sonnee01

    sonnee01 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    WOW.... I CONCUR.. I CONCUR... I CONCUR!!!!
     
  4. Akilah

    Akilah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Destee, although I agree w/ several of her statements,
    my ideals don't shadow those of ancestor Annie Helen Burrough.
    I just thought her essay would generate some interesting dialogue
    and discussion. The person who sent it to me added at the end :

    "The more things change...the more things stay the same !!!"

    What do ya'll think ? Does this peice surpass time in terms of relevancy ?
    Do you agree with her stance ? If so, in what way - if not, why not ?

    Thanks !

    Akilah :horse: *Giddy up !!!"
     
  5. Steve69

    Steve69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Good article and a lot still apply.
    And for the Author that said from the link above. “Authors conveniently omit the statistics showing that the United States has the world’s greatest disparity between rich and poor, and that opportunities for social mobility are far fewer here than in most other countries.

    Well he also forgot to add that his info was only from a few developed countries and that other countries including a number in Africa have a much greater disparity between rich and poor than the U.S.
    And that the U.S. has a very low poverty rate compared to the rest of the world. And in the U.S. we have a large number that we count as living in poverty that still have Air conditioning, TV’s, garbage disposals and other items.
     
  6. Akilah

    Akilah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Good points Steve69 ! Thank you for contributing to the discussion
    I had hoped would be generated by this thread; Much appreciated.
     
  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Even though this was composed 109 years ago, I do see comparisons to today.

    Sister Burroughs was speaking from her Christian perspective and social/political times she lived, but even if others remove the Christian scripture/doctrine, these 12 things still apply to Black America in 2009.

    Yet today, we talk about the power of "Black Dollars" and Black businesses and the attire of our youth and adults with the sagging and the "bling-bling" and the objectification of our women and feminization of our men and our portrayal in the media and adequate education for our children and homeownership and employment and urban renewal, etc....


    Yes, I'd say that Sister Burroughs was a sage for the ages.
     
  8. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Is it still "relevant" in 2010, 110 years later?

    Well, let's see...

    #1 - How many times have we, as a People, discussed OUT OF PLACE PRIORITIES amongst too many of our own?...family, friends, etc..?
    Our young men driving around in cars with RENTED rims...or rims so expensive, they are worth MORE than the car?...or our young women who spend money every week on hair/nails/clothes but have no money for their rent or light bill?

    #2 - Take out the Bible part and this sounds like some Pan-African talk to me!

    #3 - How many of us have family or neighbors, etc.. who don't take care of what they have?...house unkempt/yard unkempt/broke down cars in the yard/raggedy blinds in the windows/etc..

    #4 - For years, many of us have bemoaned the "Sagging Pants" fad amongst our young men...For years, we have lamented over how our young women dress so provocatively and like they are going to the club everywhere they go?

    #5 - Everybody aint Christian. So, this can be skipped.

    #6 - (delete the religion part and the Integration-ism)...But, self-improvement mentally and morally and a "literacy program" in America and Africa sounds good to me.

    #7 - Now, yes, we do know that racism IS real....But, how many times have any of us personally known that the "race card" was NOT the reason for job loss or other upward mobility denial against the one who played the card?

    #8 - This one relates to #7...You can't "play the race card" when your job performance, punctuality, attendance or workplace demeanor is POOR.

    #9 - Again, take out the integration talk.....and this item is what we have all seen and heard in our daily lives: on the street, on the train, the bus, the grocery store,...in every location our personal and professional worlds take us.

    #10 - This is sound business advice. All money is GREEN....and as for "measuring up to accepted standards," how many of us have complained about the poor service from some Black-owned businesses?...How many times have we been "burned" by our own when trying to patronize Black business?

    #11 - This one is indicative of the "Suburban Flight" so many of our neighborhoods have experienced....Many who start making some "middle-class" money leave their communities....and, unfortunately, having a "I got mine. You betta get yours" attitude rather than "Each One reach one."

    #12 - This one makes me think of that honoring gala Oprah had some years ago and Pearl Cleage who wrote the poem "We Speak Your Name" because NONE of us reached/attained where we are or what we have all by ourselves....We ALL stand on the shoulders of those before us, their stripes, and their sacrifices.....So what's so wrong with living our lives so that THEIR lives were not in vain?



     
  9. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Message to the Blackman

    Chapter 34

    The So-Called Negro Must Do Something For Himself




    1 In unity, we can accomplish much. Think of the 20 million of your and my kind putting one dollar a year aside for ourselves in a national treasury toward the day of want. Suppose we laid aside one dollar every month against the day of want. Look at the millions that we could build up for ourselves within a dew years. Suppose all of you who are wealthy would spend your wealth to build up a better and more economic system among your own people. It would do much to aid our people. Do not put your wealth in the taverns and gambling houses and on race horses and other sports. Then, you would not be so easy to push over when the day of want arrives.

    2 There is no need for us, millions through the country, spending our money for the joy and happiness of others. As a result, as soon as they throw us out of a job we are back at their doors begging for bread and soup. How many clothing shops do we operate in the country? Very few! Yet, all of us wear clothes. Who made our clothes for us? Who sold them to us? We have thousands of grocery stores, but what about our naked bodies? Should we not have more stores to sell our people clothes? Should we not sell our people everything they want or need? But no, we give all the money out of our pockets to the slave-master. We are satisfied in doing so. There are millions of us. We do not have enough factories to weave clothes for our people here in America. Think over that. Where is our shoe factory? Where are our cattle that we are skinning to make shoes for our people? These are small things, but we want equality with a nation that is doing these things.

    3 We boast that we should be recognized as equals. Let us make ourselves equals. We cannot be equal with the master until we own what the master owns. We cannot be equal with the master until we have the freedom the master enjoys. We cannot be equal with the master until we have the education the master has. Then, we can say "Master, recognize us as your equal".

    4 Today you are begging the master, the slave-masters' children for what? You are begging them for a job. You are begging for complete recognition as their equals. Let us be honest with ourselves. According to history, we cannot find where the master made his slave equal until the servant made himself worthy of equality.


    COMPLETE CHAPTER HERE: http://www.seventhfam.com/temple/books/black_man/blk34.htm
     
  10. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Nation of Islam has been doing that for over 50 years,
    but there was an orthodoxy and singular leadership, that many folks felt to be a cramp on their individuality, and feedom of expression

    So Malcolm inculcated all 12 in the Charter of the OAAU,
    with a unity without conformity,
    but just like Garveys use of all 12 in the UNIA died out,
    after his passing

    so did Malcolm's after his assination

    shortly there after the Afrocentric Movement
    tried also, with the Nguzo Saba

    but that was attacked into obscurity,
    by COINTELPRO

    now here we are 60 years later,
    and inspite of all our gadjets and SUVs, digital communicatons, 3D entertainment, andrelative end to Jim Crow, and other things inconceivable in the 1900s,
    .......................well...........:SuN021:
     
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