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Wed, 07.26.1911

The First ‘Universal Races Congress’ Assembles

Universal Races Congress (group picture)

*On this date in 1911, the first "Universal Races Congress" assembled.   This four-day conference at the University of London was a 20th-century global effort against racism.

Speakers from a number of countries discussed race relations and how to improve them.  The congress, with 2,100 attendees, was organized by prominent humanists of that era; it was conceived as a result of comments in 1906 by Felix Adler and primarily executed by Gustav Spiller, a leader in the British Ethical Union. 

Philanthropist Philip Stanhope was president of the congress, and Social Reformer William Pember Reeves chaired its executive committee.  Attendees who did not speak at the Congress also included some present and future social reformers. Among them were Hull House founder Jane Addams, psychologist John Dewey, author H.G. Wells, and a man listed as a “barrister-at-law” in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi.  

After the congress assembled, Duse Mohamed Ali founded the African Times and Orient Review in London. Its first issue proclaimed that "the recent Universal Races Congress, convened in the Metropolis of the Anglo-Saxon world, clearly demonstrated that there was ample need for a Pan-Oriental, Pan-African journal in the seat of the British Empire". 

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Poetry Corner

I do not want to stand Beside you at the feast; You eat of rot. Or walk Beside you; your pace is not my pace. To follow You or be... MY OWN HALLELUJAHS by Zack Gilbert.
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