The Tragedy of Color”

October 6, 1906

Summary

Author H.G. Wells gives remarks on the lynching of three black men, saying that the “American public does think that fierce and cruel reprisals are a necessary part of the system of relationships between white and colored man.”

Transcription

“The Tragedy of Color”
Mr. H.G. Wells, one of the most brilliant writers in this world today, who is the author of “The War of the Worlds” has been contributing a series of articles to Harper’s Weekly. The title of his dissertation on the Negro question is “The Tragedy of Color.” We cited extracts from it in our issue of Sept. 23rd, 1906.
In continuing his remarks on the lynching of three innocent colored men at Springfield, Mo., he says:
It is true that in this latter case Governor Folk acted with vigor and justice, and that the better element of Springfield society was evidently shocked when it was found that quite innocent Negroes had been used in these instructive pyrotechnics; but the fact remains that a large and numerically important section of the American public does think that fierce and cruel reprisals are a necessary part of the system of relationships between white and colored man. In our dispersed British community we have almost exactly the same range between out better attitudes and our worse-- I’m making no claim of national superiority. In London, perhaps, we outdo Massachusetts in liberality; in the National Liberal Club or the Reform a black man meets all the courtesies of humanity-- as though there was no such thing as color. But on the other hand the Cape won’t bear looking into for a moment. The same conditions give the same results; a half-educated white populations of British or Dutch or German ingredients greedy for fain, ill controlled and feebly influenced in contact with a black population, is bound to reproduce the same brutal and stupid aggressions, the same half-honest prejudiced to justify those aggressions, the same ugly, mean excuses. “Things are better in Jamaica and Barbadoes,” said I, in a moment of patriotic weakness to Mr. Booker T. Washington…
About this article

Location on Page

Upper Left Quadrant

Contributed By

Emma Roberts

Citation

“The Tragedy of Color”,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed June 20, 2024, https://blackvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/763.