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‘A Pure African’ Speaks: Alexander Crummell’s Dream of Africa

Alexander Crummell….But the enlightened sons of Africa in distant lands, are called to a far higher work than even this; a work which as much transcends mere civilization as the abiding interests of eternity outvie[1] the transient concerns of time. To wrest a continent from ruin; to bless and animate millions of torpid and benighted souls; to destroy the power of the devil in his strongholds, and to usher therein light, knowledge, blessedness, inspiring hope, holy faith, and abiding glory, is, without doubt, a work which not only commands the powers of the noblest men, but is worthy the presence and the zeal of angels. It is just this work which now claims and calls for the interest and the activity of the sons of Africa. Its plainest statement and its simplest aspect, are sufficient, it seems to me, to move these men in every quarter of the world to profound sensibility, to deep resolve, to burning ardor. Such a grand and awful necessity, covering a vast continent, touching the best hopes, and the endless destiny of millions of men, ought, I think, to stir the souls of many a self-sacrificing spirit, and quicken him to lofty purposes and noble deeds. And when one considers that never before in human history has such a grand and noble work

World map depicting Africa Esperanto: Mondmapo...

World map depicting Africa Esperanto: Mondmapo bildiganta Afrikon Español: Ubicación de África (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

been laid out in the Divine Providence, before the negro race, and that it rises up before them in its full magnitude now, at the very time when they are best fitted for its needs and requirements, it seems difficult to doubt that many a generous and godly soul will hasten to find his proper place in this great work of God and man, whether it be by the personal and painful endeavors of a laborer in the field of duty, or by the generous benefactions and the cheering incitements which serve to sustain and stimulate distant and tried workers in their toils and trials….

[1] “outvie”: to strive in competition, be a rival.

SOURCE: The Rev. Alex. Crummell, The Relations And Duties Of Free Colored Men In America To Africa. A Letter to Charles B. Dunbar, M.D., ESQ., Of New York City. Hartford: Press of Case, Lockwood And Company, 1861, pp. 53-54.

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