27 November 1919
GrimkÃ©, Francis J. (Francis James) (1850-1937)
Title: The race problem, as it respects colored people and the Christian Church, in the light of the developments of the last year.
Signed on title page by C.G. Neall. Reverend Grimke, the son of a wealthy white planter and a slave, delivers a discourse at a Thanksgiving service held at the Plymouth Congregational Church in an unspecified city. Examines the unrest following World War I. Discusses African Americans' lack of civil rights, stating "we are here also, not only as American citizens, but as colored American citizens- as citizens, and yet not citizens- citizens with rights guaranteed to us in the Constitution, but with those rights but very imperfectly recognized" (p. 3). Argues that African Americans should recognize the "evidences of a growing sense, within the race, that it has rights under the Constitution, and of the value and importance of those rights in a republic like this. There was a time when there was a disposition even on the part of some of our leaders to pooh-pooh the idea of our rights; that, it was said, if we concerned ourselves about our duties, our rights would take care of themselves; that when we were worthy of them, they would come to us unsolicited. Thank God that time has passed. Nobody now with a particle of sense or self-respect talks such nonsense" (p. 3). Emphasizes the importance of self-respect: "A man who doesn't respect himself can hardly expect others to respect him" (p. 4). Declares "whatever may be said about patiently waiting for our oppressors of their own volition to give us our rights, the simple fact is, a fact confirmed by all experience, as long as we ourselves are [...] inactive in securing our rights [...] we will never get them" (p. 6). Explores the interaction between race issues and religion.