search   index   by subject   by year   biographies   books  SF Activities  shop museum   contact

One of the Prominent Members of His Race Who Occupies a
Number of High Positions.

Photograph of AME Bishop B.W.
ArnettBethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at 1207 Powell street, was crowded to the doors last night on the occasion of a lecture by Bishop B.W. Arnett on the subject of “The Lessons of the Century.” Though the audience was composed mostly of members of the Bishop’s own race, there was a sprinkling of Caucasians. Bishop Arnett is one of the eloquent speakers of the country and his every word was listened to with rapt attention. Among the negroes of the country the Bishop holds a prominent place. Besides his high position in the Methodist church he is a member of the advisory board of the National Republican Committee and is a trustee of the United Society of Christian Endeavor.

The Bishop’s address last night, was, for the most part, an appeal to the negroes in the audience to take pride in their own race and to move forward in all the varied intellectual, social, moral and religious activities of the day. “Show by your daily conduct that you are not ashamed of your color,” was the keynote of his lecture. In part he said:

“You are probably not aware of the fact, but it is true, that the majority of mankind belongs to the darker races. It is no cause for shame that you are as God made you, and not white as some of your brothers. It is rather an honor. Why, in Manila they have an image of Jesus that is held to be sacred and it is made of black wood. The color is honored. Be proud of the fact that you belong to your race. Make the best use in all directions of your brain. Show by your actions in daily life that you have backbone.

“We have had great men in our race just the same as in every other race. Where can you find more illustrious or more notable men than Douglass, Robert Small or Bruce? And we can have more of the same kind of men. We must learn to work, however, and we must learn to fight. Sword in one hand and the oar in the other, we will help save the Nation for righteousness, for Christianity. The negro has always been ready when Providence called. In the war of humanity through which we recently passed the negro was at the front, and now he is making a place for himself in the Army.

“With the three books of power, the Bible, the spelling-book and the bankbook, we will press forward and take our rightful place in the history of the world. The spelling-book stands for knowledge, the Bible for the pearly gates of heaven, and the bankbook unlocks the heart of the white man.”

San Francisco Chronicle
September 12, 1900
Return to the top of the page.