Shadrach Livingstone James Lectures the Missionaries

In April 1929, Shadrach Livingston James was invited to address the Australian National Missionary Council. The delicious inversion of the expected roles seems to have attracted attention of journalists. And his comments were reported in Sun on 12 April 1929.

In his talk, he makes a brutal statement about white mistreatment of Aborigines. His talk seems to begin with characteristic humility.

“I can only express myself in crude and unpolished phrases,” said Shadrach James.

“This massacre of my people has been going on for years and years. “What have the whites done to help us in the past 80 years? There has never been a vigorous or decisive effort made to help us. Whatever efforts have been made to help us have been by the missionaries. They are the only people who have attempted to lift us to citizenship.

“What do you propose to do with us in the future? Do you propose to keep us in a servile state until we disappear as a people? If you believe in the God you have taught us, as I know you do, you will help us.

“Some people say the blacks have no intelligence, and, are incapable of keeping any religious impression. I have seen many of my own people live and die in the faith.

“In the history of my people I only know of one instance where a person who has killed some of us. has been punished.

Food Not Everything

“I do not believe in police protection for my people. What have the police done to help, uplift or teach us? They consider that rations and clothes are sufficient return for the -inestimable benefits that white civilisation is gaining from the land we have lost.”


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One Response to “Shadrach Livingstone James Lectures the Missionaries”

  1. Leon James October 16, 2015 at 6:48 am #

    This is one of the reasons why l am so proud of my grandfather and my great grandfather, because he educated us to be able to communicate on the same level as non Aboriginal peoples. This was conducted from a very articulate and educated level in the early 1900′s

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