By Edward Wilmot Blyden
Blyden bargains an early African-centered viewpoint on race, faith, and the advance of Africa.
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The Danes, assembling every nine years in their capital, Lederun, sacrificed to their gods, 99 horses, 99 dogs, 99 cocks, 99 hawks, and 99 men. The Prussians, previous to an engagement, offered through their high priest (Criwe) an enemy to their gods, Pikollos and Potrimpos. The Goths thought victory impossible unless they had before offered a human sacrifice. The Saxons, after their war with Charlemagne, killed on the holy Harz-mountain all the Frankish prisoners in honour of their god Wodan. 22 And what shall we say of those human hecatombs offered during a period of three hundred years by Christians to the god of the slave trade?
He studied and reduced to writing two of the leading languages of the country. In the record of his African experiences, he says:— Looking at the African race as we have done, in their native country, we have seen no obstacles to their elevation which would not apply equally to all other uncultivated races of men. We do not expect Africans, under any circumstances, to possess the energy, the enterprise, or the inventive powers of the white man. But there are other traits, quite as commendable as these, in which, if properly trained, he will greatly excel his white compeer.
And, perhaps, as Bishop Heber has remarked, the “hair and features” of the Negro, “far more than his colour,” are responsible for these erroneous conceptions. We entertain no resentment at such feelings on the part of Europeans; but as the object of missionary labour is undoubtedly success, we may venture to suggest that such views, cherished by missionaries, and allowed in a marked manner to influence their demeanour on mission ground, may possibly interfere with the wholesome results at which they aim.