In addition to these characteristic reactions, the Negro has acquired certain other feelings and attitudes, especially during the last fifty years, that should be noted in considering the Negro mind in relation to American life. In the first place, there is a rising tide of race consciousness, the manifestation of a people becoming aware of its own intrinsic worth. Less than a generation ago the Negro physician in competition with white doctors had uphill work to secure patients. To-day the Negro doctor has almost an exclusive monopoly because his people prefer him. A few years ago the white agents of insurance companies boasted about the ease with which they handled Negro clients in competition with Negro companies and their agents. To-day, with three Negro insurance companies writing whole life policies and two score selling the small industrial policies, the Negro agent, if he chose, might boast of his advantage over his white competitor. A large Southern insurance company catering to Negroes so fully recognized this change in the situation that it is employing a Negro field executive, and he is building up a Negro agency force. Negro policemen are now recognized as a distinct asset in preserving law and order in Negro neighborhoods.
This race consciousness has further manifested itself in an increasing appreciation Negroes have of their productions, Negro music - folk-songs, other songs, anthems, and orchestral scores composed by Negroes are sung, played, and enjoyed by Negroes. They are praising and patronizing their players, playwrights, and poets, and are rehearsing the stories of their "unsung heroes" to their children. Negro scholars are now beginning to dig from the archives of history the records of Negro culture and civilization in Africa when Egypt was young and before Babylon was built. Out of all this are coming faith in themselves, visions of their possibilities, and efforts to cultivate their unique powers and gifts to produce what other people may some day gladly receive.
1L. M. Favrot, quoted in Fisk University News.
With the consciousness of racial worth comes the recognition of racial restrictions in the denial of the rights and opportunities accorded other Americans. This is producing resentment and the first signs of spreading vindictive feeling seen after nearly three hundred years under the yoke of American serfdom. This feeling has been showing itself in a belief among Negroes that they must fight and contend to secure citizenship rights. They recite many incidents leading to their belief when they discuss their experience. To what extent contention instead of cooperation is a necessary part of their struggle for increasing American opportunities is yet to be determined. It is evident, in any case, that they believe that they are being forced to fight and contend, and there is growing up in the minds of many a belief in the necessity and the efficacy of the methods of contention and fighting to attain the chances of free Americans. Here issues the call to those who believe in brotherly cooperation to reach out hands as did the Man of Galilee to even the lowliest and thus let them understand that the children of God are the peacemakers among the races.