passing as east indian

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passing as east indian - PROCESS OF CHANGING ODE'S RACE. Drnvea of...
PROCESS OF CHANGING ODE'S RACE. Drnvea of Afro-Americana Afro-Americana Afro-Americana Driven "Acrona the Llae" Every Tear by Prcaaure of 1'rejudlc Iluiuoroua and Dlaagreenble Aapecta of Ihe Tranalatlon "ICant Indian" a Mod la southern While Society. Mrs. Mary Church Terrell In the Chicago Sunday Tribune. At first blush it would seem that a camel with a hump could literally pass through a cambric needle's eye easier than an individual tainted with even a drop of the fatal African tincture could pahu himself off aa a bona fide white man in the United States. And yet colored people are doing this thing in droves every year. It requires neither voluminous voluminous .knowledge nor great profundity to comprehend why some colored people are tempted to pursue such a questionable course. Let us take a colored man, for instance, instance, who is fairly well educated and la ambitious to moke his way in the world. There are comparatively few trades open to colored people. These are generally overcrowded, which means poor pay. The officials of the labor organizations are not lying wake nights devising ways and means of adding Negro workmen to their ranks, to say the least. Our colored friend determines to be honorable, whatever, whatever, ho does. Several times he has on-swored on-swored on-swored advertisements and has been virtually virtually employed. After the matter of wages aud duties has been settled be ha stated frankly that be is colored. Then bis services were quietly but quickly dispensed dispensed with. For a long time he knocks first at one door and then another, which he discovers can be opened only by a white man's hand. He becomes discouraged. discouraged. - "What a curse it is to be a Negro in this country." he mutters. Suddenly be looks' into the mirror. He has a fair skin and straight hair. Something asserts asserts itself. There are those who say it is his white blood. "What's the use of trying to row against the tide?" he asks himself. "Nobody but a giant can accomplish accomplish the impossible, and I em not a giant.1 The long, lingering look in the mirror occurred, let us say, Tuesday evening at 8 o'clock. Wednesday morning, at precisely the same hour, he is a white man, made so by virtue of last night's decision and nature's gifts. He isolates himself completely. Ho scrapes up acquaintances acquaintances with nice people, who do not-suspect not-suspect not-suspect he has the fatal drop. Finally, he gets a job which pays him well and which it would be possible for him neither to have nor to hold if his employer knew the truth. Nonsense, says one. If an employer secures the services of a competent competent man he is not going to stand, in his own light by casting him adrift simply simply because he is slightly connected with the Negro race. But the facts are against such a supposition. I am personally acqnointed with three colored women, two of tbem young and one middle aged, who are all competent and beautiful, and who were discharged from excellent positions simply because the employer discovered that they were colored. Curiously enough, two secured positions positions in department store l in the cities ir which they were living at the time. Knch one lived with her own family and asso ciated with her colored friends, though the latter did not make themselves especially especially conspicuous at the respective stores in which the colored clerks were employed. The middle aged woman was at the head of the cloak department in a large store in New York city. She held this responsible position for several years before the secret leaked out. When it percolated percolated to her employer she was promptly promptly discharged. This woman is ns beautiful is a picture, and looks like a Madonna. One of the young women went first to New York to win her spurs. Armed with n most complimentary recommendation recommendation from the large firm which employed her in New York, she came to her home in Washington to seek a similar position. The proprietor of a large establishment in the capital of the Nation was only to glad to secure the services of so competent a young woman, and she, too. was placed in the cloak department. She was suddenly discharged one day. At her request 1 went to intercede with the proprietor in her behalf. He was perfectly perfectly honest and frank about the matter.' He admitted without hesitation that she was one of the best saleswomen in the store. He regretted deeply, he said, tha.t he had been obliged to discharge her. "But are you not master of your own store?" I ventured to inquire. "There was no other course to pursue," he insisted. insisted. "For a long time," said he, "the salesgirls complained because I had placed a 'nigger' in the. store. I denied that she was colored at first. I did not know she was myself, until I had investigated investigated the matter. They themselves brought me indisputable proof of the fact. 'Well, if you don't care to work In the store with Miss Jones,' said I, "you may leave.' Then they told my customers about it. Delegation after delegation of white women came down to protest against my employing a 'nigger saleswoman saleswoman in the store. They threatened to boycott me, and made things so hot for me that I was forced to dismiss Miss Jone in self-defense. self-defense. self-defense. Now. if my busi ness had been in New York, I should have kept her anyhow." But I thought of the fate of the beautiful ond competent competent forewoman who hnd been discharged in the New York department store because because she was remotely connected with the despised race. The last of the three cases which came under my observation wag similar to the first two. A young colored woman in Washington, who did not show the slightest slightest trace of her African ancestry, was made forewoman in a fashionable tailor establishment for ladies. -Her -Her employer discharged her. also, when he learned that the fatal dron was coursing somewhere in her veins. Perhaps no one of these colored colored women woqld have received her walking papers if the employer had been unable to fill her place. But it is difficult difficult to find a trade or a vocation in which the workmen are so few that a place cannot be satisfactory filled. These cases will fhow whv some colored people are tempted to become white. Even though there is absolute certainty that the chances of success are greater for a colored person who forswears his race than for the same individual if he remains loyal to it. the vast majority do not. yield to the temptation of passinir for white. No better proof of this could be cited than the case of n yonng woman with whom T am personally acquainted. She is the daughter of one of the most courageous and prominent colored men whom this country has nroduced. Though she is not ns fair as n lily, she might easily easily pn for white, if tdie cliooi'e to do so. She hs an ei-qnisife ei-qnisife ei-qnisife complexion, modeled after the Spanish or French. Her hair and eyes are ns black ns midnight. midnight. She has n suncrh musical education. education. She married a voting nhysician. who can also pass for while. They went to an Knstem citv. wliere the doctor has A large and lucrative nraetice. He" decided decided that he would fhnke off the body of the dusky death, so to speak, and cast his lot with the dominant race. When I I

Clipped from The New York Age23 Nov 1905, ThuPage 2

The New York Age (New York, New York)23 Nov 1905, ThuPage 2
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