Bugs me too! Here's a bit more of wt "history"!!!
This other side of the seeming racial harmony of the Watchtower can be traced back to their early history. Although the Watchtower claims to believe that all races are biological brothers, all descendants of Adam and Eve, they have for decades officially taught the doctrine of biological inferiority of the black race (Bergman, 1984). Formal segregation of blacks was once rigidly enforced in their organization, both during the rule of their first president, C.T. Russell (1852-1916) and their second, Joseph F. Rutherford (1869-1942) and even until the late 1950's:
Recognizing that it meant either the success or the failure of the...[Photo] Drama as respects the whites, we have been compelled to assign the colored friends to the gallery... Some were offended at this arrangement. We have received numerous letters from the colored friends, some claiming that it is not right to make a difference, others indignantly and bitterly denouncing [us] as enemies of the colored people. Some ... told us that they believe it would be duty to stand up for equal rights and always to help the oppressed.... We again suggested that if a suitable place could be found in which the Drama could be presented for the benefit of the colored people alone, we would be glad to make such arrangements, or to cooperate with any others in doing so (Watchtower, April 1,1914:110).
The administration then concluded that the Watchtower interests were to be put ahead of efforts to achieve racial justice and human rights, a policy that continues today. Specifically the Watchtower reasoned that:
Our explanations were ... it is a question of putting either the interests of God's cause first, or else the interests of the race first. We believed it our duty to put God first and the truth first--at any cost to others or to ourself! We explained that we thought that all the colored brethren should know... that we love to serve them in any way possible and to give them the very best we have to give of the Gospel message; and that it is only a question of whether our giving to them in one way would entirely deprive us of giving the truth to others (Watchtower, April 1, 1914:110).
Being viewed as inferior supposedly made a person a better servant the Watchtower then taught, and consequently the official Watchtower publication The Golden Age magazine (now called Awake!) commented that:
...the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, "Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren," he pictured the future of the Colored race. They have been and are a race of servants, but now in the dawn of the twentieth century, we are all coming to see this matter of service in its true light and to find that the only real joy in life is inserving others; not bossing them. There is no servant in the world as good as a good Colored servant, and the joy that he gets from rendering faithful service is one of the purest joys there is in the world (The Golden Age, July 24, 1929: 702).
As recent as 1952, the Watchtower extolled the "servant" and "teachable" qualities of blacks in their publications, a teaching that all members must accept as God's teachings under pain of total excommunication:
...our colored brothers have a great cause for rejoicing. Their race is meek and teachable, and from it comes a high percentage of the theocratic increase (The Watchtower, Feb. 1, 1952: 95).
As Russell explained in the late 1800s, he confidently believed that the end of the world and the start of the millennial kingdom will occur very soon, bringing humankind into an earthly paradise and a rapid restoration of the whole earth to the perfect garden of Eden state. Russell acknowledged that the conditions for Afro-Americans were poor in the present system, but he argued that this will work for their advantage during the millennium because they will have learned humility from their inferior position. The current conditions, he taught, were important to help them develop the needed "strength of character", but only if they remained humble and did not challenge the status quo:
If nature favors the colored brethren and sisters in the exercise of humility it is that much to their advantage, if they are rightly exercised by it. A little while, and [their]... humility will work out for [their]... good... those who have been faithful... will be granted new bodies, spiritual, beyond the veil, where color and sex distinctions will be no more. (Watchtower, April 1, 1914:110).
Russell taught that those privileged to live in the "new world" which is just upon us would also be physically returned to humankind's original bodily state, including our "original" skin color and language, which the Watchtower taught was white and Hebrew:
A little while, and the Millennial kingdom will be inaugurated, which will bring restitution to all mankind--restitution to the perfection of mind and body, feature and color, to the grand original standard, which God declared "very good," and which was lost for a time through sin, but which is soon to be restored by the powerful kingdom of the Messiah (Watchtower, April 1, 1914:110).
This teaching is discussed in more detail in the Watchtower's answer to the question "Can The Ethiopian Change His skin color?"
Such a nice religion