I know of my own personal knowledge that he had very often to walk sixteen miles on Sundays and preach twice, getting back home at 11 or 12 o'clock at night to be enabled to make recitations on Monday. Nevertheless, he struggled on and graduated at the head of his class in 1887.
He was ordained deacon in Bethel A. M. E. Church, Columbia, S. C., March, 1883, by Bishop Dickerson, and ordained elder by Bishop James A. Shorter at Greenville, S. C., in 1885. He graduated from Allen University in 1887, in a class with six other young men—four preachers and two lawyers. In 1887 he was elected a delegate to the General Conference which met in Indianapolis, Ind., and he has been elected to each successive General Conference ever since. He served eight years as a pastor, holding three appointments, and ten years as a presiding elder. He was appointed to the Manning District in 1889, and after serving there four years he was appointed, by Bishop Salter, to the Orangeburg District, the largest district in the State, and served there five years. Bishop A. Grant appointed him to the Sumter District in 1898, which district he served until the General Conference met in Columbus, Ohio, 1900, where he was elected Corresponding Secretary and Editor of the Sunday School periodicals of the A. M. E. Church.
Dr. Chappelle also served two years as President of Allen University, his alma mater, being elected just ten years after his graduation from that institution.
He has had a successful career as teacher, as preacher and, now, as business manager and editor. He ranks, also, as one of the leaders of his race, as a scholar and writer of no mean ability. He is an able debater, having few superiors as an extemporaneous speaker. Acute in thought and incisive in speech, he is a fluent talker.
Unlike most men of a literary turn of mind, he combines fine business acumen with his intellectual ability, and has accumulated property, real and personal, to the amount of ten thousand dollars, situated in Columbia, S. C., and Nashville, Tenn.
The subject above assigned me is a momentous one and involves an issue which is not settled, nor will it be settled until the relation which now exists between the two races is based upon that moral "ought" growing out of the ethical rule given by God for the government of man. For it must be conceded that all friendly relations are based upon ethical treatment. A relation upon any other basis is forced, and, therefore, not genuine. The so-called Negro problem which is being agitated by the public press is forced upon us by fictitious sentiment, conceived in prejudice, and watered by opportunity, and a disregard for law, and truthfulness of statements made concerning the Negro as a citizen.
When a relation is fixed by such undue advantages, that relation is NOT, for it is ex-parte, and the party having the public ear creates the sentiment, and thus forces the party which is not heard to terms, whether those terms be satisfactory or not. Then, it can be plainly seen that such relations are not real, for they are not based upon that law under which all men are created and governed.
Now, I lay down the following as a general proposition which I think will stand the test of critics, whether they be of the North or South. It is the rule of international law to have a friendly relation between nations, states and individuals, and that relation is made by representatives of all the parties concerned. The agreement must be mutual and that mutuality must be based upon righteousness—that righteousness which makes sacred the rights of all the contending parties.
If the friendly relationship existing between the two races in the South is mutual, then the development of the Negro will fasten and rivet such a relation. But if it is not mutual, and undue advantages have been taken of him, his development will make it impossible for such relations to be strengthened and maintained.
To perpetuate a relationship, it must first be based upon the principles of right, guaranteed by the force of all competent power, that power being common to all parties concerned. This is the sum maximum of all ethical science and is complete. To add to it, or take from it, would change the rule. Then, the solution to all ills must be measured by that sense of conscience unimpaired, emanating from that innate rule of human duty based upon moral obligation.
Now, there must be a standard of righteousness, not fixed by man, but by a superior power; for it is not man's will which he must obey, but the will of his Maker. This will can be shown in two ways only. First, by revelation, and, second, by example, both of which have been verified and demonstrated in the sacrifice made by Christ for the world of mankind. This relationship can and will be sustained, because Christ sought to know the nature and power of the second party. He enters into a covenant fixing that relationship forever, between the two. Now, if the so-called superior race, with the boasted power of all the heavy centuries of the past, has given to the inferior race in its undeveloped condition, that consideration which is necessary to sustain and maintain the relationship which now exists, then, the relationship is real and the education and development of the Negro along economic and commercial lines will but make this relationship stronger. And the future of the two races in the South, under such conditions, must be bright and glorious.
But, I fear we have been hasty in our conclusions when we measure the relationship which now exists in the South, by constitutional rights and enactments. The Constitution of these United States makes the people a compact, and therefore equals in immunities, privileges and rights, with a common flag as the symbol of our common protection. Every citizen, then, of these United States—let him be of any race variety—owes to that flag its protection, and, in return, that flag is to protect him. So that the relationship of all the citizens of the United States to the flag is the same; being the same to the flag, they are the same to each other from a civic point of view.
I agree that there is such a thing as "State rights," but such rights must be local and subsidiary and must in no case conflict with, or counteract, the rights of a citizen growing out of a common Constitution whose jurisdiction holds the sisterhood of states together. To sustain and maintain such a sisterhood the compilers of the Constitution gave the general government the right to summons such states to protect her in the discharge of her duty. So that it is seen that the government is exercising a power that was given it by the sovereign people, acknowledging equal rights to all and special privileges to none. Among these are life, liberty and the peaceful pursuit of happiness. These are the rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution.
Now, an agreement entered into by the people of any part of these United States which does not conform to the stipulated rights mentioned above, is not a contract and can not be considered binding under the law. Therefore, a relationship based upon privileges of one and the denied rights of the other, cannot be friendly and must, sooner or later, be dissolved. I, for one, cannot concede that the relationship between the races in the South is friendly. It is, for the most part, peaceful, but that peace grows out of a fear of the law in the hands of an unfriendly and prejudiced people who feel that the Negro race has no rights which they are bound to respect. Accepting this position, the Negro quietly moves on, trying to make for himself and family a living, but he feels keenly the class legislation which proscribes him to the "Jim Crow" cars, to the rear seats in street cars, behind the doors in public restaurants, and a hundred other indignities heaped upon him. He is also denied the right to vote, which is the greatest evil done him and the only protection that the Constitution gives him.
Now, I ask, "Can there be friendly relations with such environments, and, if they are friendly, can they be sustained and maintained?" I assert that the infringement of any right is an unfriendly act, whether the one whose rights are infringed upon is conscious of the unfriendly act or not. If he is unconscious of it, it is all the more unfriendly. I assert further, that whenever existing conditions make it necessary for one race to suppress another, the suppression affects both races alike. The stronger race ceases to develop that strength which is necessary for the growth of a nation, and to prepare it to meet the great problems which are indispensable in the fostering of a government such as ours. And the weaker race is deprived of the opportunities which are necessary to cultivate those innate powers which are intended by God to be developed in the rounding out of good citizenship. In fact, the denial of freedom to any race, along any of the walks of life, has a tendency to teach that race irresponsibility; for responsibility must rest with the volition of the human family.
"The Nashville American," in a recent issue, admits that the Southern white people have made no progress in the great world of thought, because they had everything their way. The solid South practically destroyed its opportunities to develop thinkers in the political world, and the prejudice they entertain and foster by mere sentiment was not conducive to the production of strong men, or the development of great thinkers or leaders of distinguished constructive ability. In some sense the South has for some time lived in an eddy. There has not been that broad sweep of the current of thought which once made it strong and powerful. And the reason for this is assigned in their surroundings, their highest ambition being to suppress the Negro in the civil walks of life.
Now, we are confronted with a condition—call it a relation, if you please—in which the interest of the entire Southland is involved, and we, as the Negro race, are called upon to express ourselves as to the basis of this relationship and the perpetuity of the same. The facts above stated make it extremely difficult for one to conscientiously concede, first that the relations are friendly; and, second, that they can be sustained and maintained. As a matter of fact, the subject assigned me can be easily answered by saying that the friendly relations which now exist can be sustained and maintained by destroying the system of public instruction; by making no protest against the encroachments upon our liberty; by destroying the medium of the Christian religion, pulling down our altars, demolishing our churches and hanging crape on the door-knobs of all places of public instruction. This we are unwilling to do, and, as God gives us strength and light to see our plain duty, we shall work, watch and wait for that surrounding which shall be congenial to a healthful development of a Christian manhood, when the sphinx of this age shall have passed into the oblivious past; and mankind, transformed from brutish prejudice to that lordly prince, divested of all racial prejudice, shall stand upon that plain of reason where all are equals. We must see that our rights under the Constitution are one thing and the enjoyment of those rights quite another thing.
Now, then, shall we, because these rights are denied us, fail to teach our children that these rights are ours? And can it not be seen that for us to concede that the relationship, now existing between the two races in the South, is friendly, is an admission of the righteousness upon which such relation is based? And even this very book will be brought in evidence against us.
A friendly relation grows out of real friendship, so that it is necessary here to explain friendship. Mr. Webster gives the meaning of friendship as a state of being friends; a friendly relation or attachment, to a person, or between persons; affection arising from mutual esteem and good will; friendliness; amity; good will.
"There is little friendship in the world," says Bacon. There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.
Dryden says, "Aptness to unite; conformity; affinity; harmony and correspondence are the signs of friendship." These grow out of that soil and are the forerunners of that friendship out of which a relation must be had to be called friendly.
Now let us analyze this term "friendship." "Amity"—from the Latin, amare to love, or friendship in a general way between individuals, societies or nations. "Goodwill"—I wish you well, peace and prosperity. "Integrity"—moral soundness; completeness; honesty; rectitude.
We have given some of the terms which Mr. Webster used in the explanation of the word friendship. Our purpose for so doing is to see if it is possible to base the relationship which now exists between the two races in the South, upon all the synonyms or any one of them. I confess with candor that I cannot see (nor can any lover of liberty who holds sacred the rights of the human family, regardless of race, color or previous condition of servitude) even a semblance of amity in the treatment which the Negro gets at the hands of the dominant race, in fact, it is just the opposite, the relationship is forced and also one sided.
The seemingly friendly relation is forced from the Negro; that is, he must show up friendly or be lynched by the first angry mob who becomes thirsty for Negro blood.
If we sustain a friendly relation based upon the integrity of the Southern whites, there could be no lynching; the friendship of the white man would cause it to cease at once.
Would to God that they would interpret our actions in the light in which they are rendered and not make us suffer for what somebody else has done, simply because we are weak and unable to protect ourselves against the insanity of the prejudice.
The Southern white people, in their haste, are making an unenviable history at which they will blush in the years to come.
Three innocent people in the State of Mississippi have just been taken from the officers and lynched, two of whom were women. Can a race of people said to be friendly towards another race reach such hasty conclusions? Would not friendship suggest an investigation in order that the facts in the case may be had? But we are living in the midst of a people whose civilization is christianized, thus having in it that friendship which characterised Christ in taking the sins of mankind upon himself. "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (Bible). This text makes friendship conditional and reciprocal; that is, there can be no friendship without mutuality; so that the relation which now exists is not based upon friendship, for the relation which is made to exist is not in accordance with that moral rule given for the government of man, therefore things are not what they seem to be in the Southland.
I tell you that the Negro is not satisfied with his condition and the more he learns of the common rights of the human family, the more he sees the great wrongs "perpetrated" upon him and the reasons for the same. You cannot educate a people and crush them, history does not narrate an instance.
HOW CAN THE FRIENDLY RELATIONS NOW EXISTING BETWEEN THE TWO RACES IN THE SOUTH BE STRENGTHENED AND MAINTAINED?
BY REV. S. N. BROWN.
REV. STERLING N. BROWN, A. M., B. D.
Rev. Sterling N. Brown was born in Roane County, East Tennessee, November 21, 1857. He attended the first free school ever taught in his county. He entered Fisk University (Nashville, Tenn.) in 1875, and for some years, during his terms of vacation, taught school to provide the means with which to pursue his studies. He was converted when quite a boy and has been able since, almost continuously, to lead men to Christ. He began to preach early after his conversion, and many revivals have followed his ministry. The first great awakening where, under God, he was the instrument, was at Kingston, Tenn., where every child in school, of over one hundred in number, became Christians, and when the whole town was stirred as never before. Many hardened sinners were brought to Christ in the meeting. Several of the converts are now actively engaged in the ministry. Mr. Brown's acceptance as a preacher made it possible for him to spend the entire vacations of his last years at college in supplying the pulpits of his denomination in different parts of the South.
He graduated from the college course of Fisk University in 1885, and took the degree of A. M. in 1891. He is also a graduate from the Oberlin Theological Seminary with the degree of B. D. He was called, June 1, 1885, to the Mount Zion Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio, and was by that Church ordained to the gospel ministry. This church was composed of a few faithful but discouraged members. They worshipped in a small frame chapel without either attraction or convenience.
Soon the membership was increased, the church took new courage and a great ingathering came, the old building was torn away and in its place a beautiful and convenient house of worship was erected. Mr. Brown served Mt. Zion for nearly four years when he accepted a call from the Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington, D. C., April 1, 1889. This church, under his pastorate for eight years, had a steady and most healthful growth. In January, 1897, he gathered about him a few leading men and women of the race and organized a church in Northwest Washington, in the midst of a large unchurched population. Park Temple, the name of the new church, at once took an important place in the community and its influence for good was felt far and near. For five years the work grew and throbbed with life. Its lines of work, so practical and successful, awakened such interest in an older sister church nearby that overtures were made for a union, and so, October 1, 1901, the Lincoln Church and Park Temple were merged into a new organization to be known as Lincoln Temple, with the Rev. Mr. Brown as pastor. The new Institutional Church with a large main building and a branch work gives promise of an unusual church movement. The pastor of this church is one of the hardest worked men in the city. He was for three years a most active and influential member of the Washington Board of Education, and has been for seven years and is yet Professor in the Theological Department of Howard University. He is an able minister, a good pastor, and a practical man of affairs. His long public life in the city has added to his influence and in every best sense, he is still a growing man. He is full of sympathy and helpfulness, and so is continually drawn upon by all classes and conditions of people. He is regarded highly by public men of both races for his conservative views, good judgment and genuine public spirit.
Mr. Brown is a tireless worker, and one who looks always upon the bright side of things. He has an ear to hear man, but keeps also an ear attentive to the voice from the clouds. When he has settled upon a plan no discouragement can change him. Once convinced of the righteousness of his course he pushes ahead with no wavering. Many a time in his works he seemed headed for a stone wall, insurmountable and impassable, but he went up to the wall with as much courage and faith, as if there lay before him a beautiful green sward, inviting to his sandal. Thus through the years of school life and the years of his active ministry he has gone forward.
Any superficial or narrow view of the present conditions existing between the Blacks and Whites of this country will surely be discouraging. It is a time for an unbiased, comprehensive, and discriminate study of the situation. This, I think, will point to a basis of a coming final adjustment.
No people have ever achieved lasting distinction or greatness without hardships. God's way of development seems to be through trial. The Negro has not been, and will not be, excepted in this regard. The tests of life have been well borne by him and he has clearly demonstrated certain essential elementary characteristics. From slavery is learned his amiability, vitality and patient endurance, and from freedom, the spirit of hope, forgiveness, and his ability for the highest improvement.
At this time, when the race problem is demanding renewed consideration, we note with interest the extreme as well as conservative views. The unfriendly discuss the Negro in the light of his savagery, his bondage and his mistakes. They read history "with their prejudices and not with their eyes."
Just as white men candidly and otherwise hold their individual viewpoint of the subject, so do colored men differ as to their opinions. We, too, have extremists and conservatives among ourselves and friends. This is what ought to be expected. Why should an intelligent colored man be different in his thoughts and conclusions from his white brother of equal intelligence? What the American school and spirit do for the one may be expected for the other. There are certainly strong grounds for extreme views and for even more extreme measures. But who can rationally deny the wisdom of moderation and sensible counsel? Personally I cannot bring myself to accord with either one of these views. The extremist spits fire, swears vengeance and talks loudly. He might offer his life as a sacrifice, and yet he reckons without his host. The conservative builds without hope, is easily cast down, and thoroughly pessimistic. There is a middle ground that can and must be taken.
Were it not that we have unshaken faith in the great heart of our American government, we might, like the captive Jews, hang our harps upon the willows, and, as if in a strange land, find no song to sing.
The fact that the very warp and woof of American institutions are the eternal principles of right and justice encourages the hope that the incident of color, race or previous condition can not always be a bar to preferment. An equal chance and fair play to all the citizens are absolute essentials to the continued life of a republic such as ours is to be. It is in this self-evident truth that is found a sure ground of confidence. Upon this bed-rock of America's boasted pride for interest in her humblest citizen may be built the superstructure of the future of the race.
I do not share in any disparaging view of the ultimate outcome of conditions. The white man's attitude North and South towards the Negro is now well defined. There is to be no more special legislation in his direct interest; he will be expected more than ever "to weed his own row," and by self-endeavor continue to prove his right to be.
It would be amusing, if it were not so serious, to find the varied, strange theories for the black man's future well-being. Deportation, colonization, and a voluntary political self-effacement have all been advocated.
There is much said and written that would imply the need of some special kind of training suited alone for the Negro. If he has any special need whatsoever above his brother in white it is due to mistreatment and not to natural conditions. His phenomenal development along all lines indicates what is in him and what may be possible for him.
The race numbers from eight to ten millions, pays taxes upon property to the amount of nearly $300,000,000. They have graduated from universities, colleges, high, normal and professional schools about forty thousand. There are in all grades from the common school up about one and a half million pupils.
Men of the race own and control about three hundred newspapers, journals and periodicals. This is substantial progress for only thirty-six years, and yet this is no day for boasting or fine-spun flattery. As long as the great bulk of the race are in abject poverty and ignorance, and while more than a million of colored children of school age are not attending school for want of accommodation, and the number increasing more rapidly than facilities for education, and so long as the unsettled race question seriously agitates the American mind we do well to be deeply concerned. But it is unreasonable and not helpful to be over alarmed. It is time for the race to be sober and thoughtful, and if present conditions bring this about a sure blessing will result.
Among the mistakes of our years of freedom have been the surface view of life, and an ever present dependence upon politics and by-gone friends. The present shock from eliminating certain manhood rights in the Southland necessarily creates a sensation, but is also sure to quicken for us new life, purpose and hope.
The Negro question is only one aspect of America's larger problem. Can it be truthfully said that every worthy citizen shall have an equally fair opportunity in the race of life? It seems to me clear that racial adjustment at the South may be reasonably hoped for when the parties most interested unite upon the spirit of the golden rule. This and this alone will insure friendly relationship. The white man must make up in his mind to be fair, and just, and to recognize the fact that the Negro deserves a chance for the highest, broadest and best possible life. Will the Southern white man ever willingly accord this common right? Yes, I think so. But the alienation is not all on one side. For thirty-six years the fact has been specially emphasized that the Southern white man is the black man's enemy. The result is a natural one. Antagonism and race friction have enlarged rather than lessened. The time has fully come when the colored pulpit, press and leadership throughout the country and specially in the South should seek to make friends of these people with whom the blacks must necessarily live. We can not over-estimate the value of education and the getting hold of homesteads in the progress of the race, but these alone are not sufficient.
Our churches must mean more for right living. The sacredness of the home, of the married life, of honesty, of integrity, of uprightness and of right character must more than ever be impressed. The churches must be more practical and less sentimental. Instead of encouraging late hours—thus opening the evil way to our young—and spending long seasons in mere shouts and gesticulations, let there be training classes, mothers' and children's meetings, and those within reasonable hours. Let our pulpits and press rebuke crime among us as well as away from us. Let us organize and encourage good citizenship committees in all our churches and in every community. Let us draw the line between the idle and industrious among us. Let us urge vagrant laws upon that set of men who will not work but form the criminal class in all our cities. Let us more than ever show ourselves ready to help rid the community of objectionable persons and places. Let us not say less—if well said—for right public sentiment must be made, but let us do more. There must be a studied use of "Yankee" common sense. It is not to be expected that the Southern man's training, relative to the Negro, can be readily displayed. But having been born and reared under Southern skies and for parts of ten successive years taught there is one country, and having former slaveholders among some of my warmest friends, I am prepared to believe that there is no innate hindrance to a life of peace between the races.
I can not think that the best people of the South will long endure the savage methods of avenging their madness. They must have a better second thought and will ultimately welcome the spirit of maintaining law and order.
With all, there is but one way to settle the race question. It must be squarely and justly met upon the uncompromising basis of right. The Negro is a human being with clearly demonstrated capabilities, and it can not be that the world's foremost nation will need to further climb the ladder of fame by keeping the foot of the strong upon the neck of the weak.
When men are possessed and led by the Gospel of Jesus Christ then will there be peace and harmony and good will among all the people. "They shall" then "neither hurt nor destroy in all" His "holy mountain;" "for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." God hasten that better day! Amen.
SHOULD THE NEGRO BE GIVEN AN EDUCATION DIFFERENT FROM THAT GIVEN TO THE WHITES?
BY JAMES W. JOHNSON.
J. W. JOHNSON, A. B.
J. W. Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and after finishing the public schools of his native city he went to Atlanta University, from which institution he graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1894. The same year he was appointed principal of the Central Colored Grammar School, which position he now holds. In 1895 he edited and published the "Daily American," an afternoon paper. The publishing of this paper was one of the greatest and most creditable efforts in journalism ever made by any member of the race. In 1898 he was admitted to the bar, and in 1899 to the Supreme Court of Florida. In 1901 he was elected President of the Florida State Teachers' Association.
Mr. Johnson is a man of varied talents. He has a reputation as a pleasing speaker and fluent writer. He has devoted much of his time to literature, and is a contributor to the leading magazines. Mr. Johnson is a poet of more than ordinary talent and ability, and is widely known as the writer of the words of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a national hymn for the Colored people of America. He is also the author of many songs and ballads, and also of the lyrics of two comic operas.
In answering the question involved in the above subject it becomes necessary to define the word "education"; for the term, "education given to the whites," is too loose and broad to be easily or logically handled. If the word is used in its ordinary sense, then it embraces every known form of education, from instruction in the elementary English branches on up through to instruction in the most abstruse sciences; and I can see no reason why the blacks should not receive the same instruction as the corresponding class among the whites. Mark you, I say, as the corresponding class among the whites.
If by the term, "education given to the whites," is meant higher education as opposed to industrial training, the question can not be answered in the form in which it is stated; for there is no "the Negroes" in the unit sense. Since its freedom the colored race has classified itself into almost as many grades, as regards ability and capacity, as there are to be found among the whites; it is, therefore, no longer possible to speak of "the Negroes," meaning that they are all upon the same mental and moral plain. It is as absurd to say that every Negro should be made to receive an industrial training as it is to say that every Negro should be given a college education.
The question of higher education or industrial training is one that depends entirely upon the individual; and there should be no limit placed upon the individual's right of development. I think it a great folly to educate a colored man beyond his capacity; I think it an equally great folly to so educate a white man.
It is needless, and not within the limits of the subject, for me to make any defense of higher education for Negroes; but, I do say that every man, be he black or white, should be allowed to make the most of all of his powers, his possibilities, and his opportunities. I recognize the fact that the great majority of Negroes must, and, I hope, will be engaged in agriculture and the trades; that is true of every race; but there is, and ought to be, no power to say that this or that individual in any grade of society shall not break through his environments, and rise above his conditions. And I think it safe to say that the proportion of colored men and women who have been given an education beyond their capacity for receiving and using, is very little larger than the same among the whites; and, in the years to come, as the race shall more and more fit itself to the grinding process which it takes to turn out a people, that proportion will become less and less, and each individual will settle to his level, or rise triumphant over obstacles and circumstances to the place for which his ability and aspirations fit him.
But let us consider our subject in a deeper sense; if by education is meant that training, those influences by which the habits, the character, the thoughts, and the ideals of a people are formed and developed, then, the answer hinges upon the answer to another question: Is the Negro to remain in this country a separate and distinct race, or is he to become one of the elements in the future composite American?
If, as some claim, the Negro is to remain in this country a separate and distinct race, then, in this deeper sense of the word, he should receive an education different from that given to the whites.
Because the Negro and the white race, although they have the same inherent powers, possess widely different characteristics. There are some things which the white race can do better than the Negro, and there are some things which the Negro can do better than the white race. This is no disparagement to either. It is no fault of the Negro that he has not that daring and restless spirit, that desire for founding new empires, that craving for power over weaker races, which makes the white race a pioneer; neither is it the fault of the white race that it has not that buoyancy of spirit, that cheerful patience, that music in the soul, that faith in a Higher Power, which supports the Negro under hardships that would crush or make pessimists of almost any other race on earth.
There have been given to each race certain talents, and for them each will be held accountable, and rewarded accordingly as they shall use them. Two boys in the same family may be gifted differently, one with an artistic, the other with a scientific, turn of mind; both cannot become artists, nor both scientists, yet they may each become equally great in their respective spheres. It is for the Negro to find out his own best and strongest powers, and make the most of them. He cannot by merely imitating the white man arrive at his fullest and truest racial development. He cannot and will not, as an absolutely distinct race, evolve, along the same lines, the identical civilization of the white race, but who shall say that along his own lines he may not evolve one equally as glorious and grand?
It is true, situated as he is among the most advanced people of the world in the very height of their power, with almost all of the ideals before him belonging to that people, the American Negro is greatly handicapped in distinct racial development; but the task is, perhaps, not an impossible one. Some of the most accessible means have not yet been fully employed; for instance, the race has never been made entirely familiar with the deeds and thoughts of the few men of mark it has already produced. In this deeper sense of education the knowing of one Crispus Attucks is worth more to the race than the knowing of one George Washington; and the knowing of one Dunbar is worth more than the knowing of all the Longfellows that America will ever produce.
If the Negro is to remain in this country a separate and distinct race, and is, as such, to reach the highest development of his powers, he ought to be given an education different from that given to the whites; in that, in addition to whatever other instruction he may receive, those virtuous traits and characteristics which are peculiarly his should be developed to the highest degree possible.
If, on the other hand, he is to become, in time, one of the elements in the future American race—and this seems the more plausible answer to the question—his education ought to be purely American and not in any special way Negro.
History affords no precedent of two races, distinct yet equally powerful, living together in harmony; one has always reduced to a secondary position or destroyed the other, or the two have united. So it will be a question, if the Negro succeeds in making himself the equal of the white man in intellectual attainment, wealth, and power, whether or not what is now antipathy between the two races will develop into outright antagonism; and if we are to judge from human experience through all the past we must say that it will. If the Negro shall succeed in making a new record in history so well and so good; but if he is to follow the precedents of the past, it will be a far nobler destiny for him to become an integral part of the future American type than to drop into an acknowledged and permanent secondary position.
And may it not be in the great plan of Providence that the Negro shall supply in the future American race the very elements that it shall lack and require to make it the most perfect race the world shall have seen?
If the Negro is to become an inseparable part of the great American nation his education should be in every way the same as that of other American citizens.
SHOULD THE NEGRO BE GIVEN AN EDUCATION DIFFERENT FROM THAT GIVEN TO THE WHITES?
BY PROF. JAMES STORUM, OF WASHINGTON, D. C.
PROF. JAMES STORUM.
Prof. James Storum was born in the city of Buffalo, New York, March 31, 1847. His mother, Mary Cannady, was a native of Sussex County, Virginia, where she lived for twelve years, when her father sold his farm and moved to Ohio and located with his wife and eight children near Urbana. His mother was a woman of strong character, deep religious convictions, and piety, and full of energy and enterprise, a counterpart of which is seen in her worthy son.
His grandfather, Charles Storum, of Duchess County, New York, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and did valiant service for the independence of this Republic. He died in 1843 at the age of one hundred years. Prof. Storum began his school life in the public schools of his native city. He was admired by his associates for his manly qualities and good fellowship, and was held in high esteem by his teachers for his studious habit and exemplary deportment. At the age of thirteen he embraced religion and united with the Michigan Street Baptist Church, where both his parents were useful and active members.
He frequently heard his parents express their purpose to send him to college, and as he grew older and better able to appreciate the value of education, the desire grew very strong within him to fit himself for a larger field of usefulness. In due time he entered Oberlin College, and after spending eighteen months in the preparatory department he entered the college proper, and graduated with the class of 1870.
Immediately after his graduation, Prof. Storum came to the city of Washington to teach in Wayland Seminary, one of the schools fostered by the Baptist Home Mission Society. He taught at Wayland thirteen years. Here, as in every walk in life, he exerted a most wholesome influence over the young men and women attending the seminary, whose graduates are found in all parts of this country. They delight to speak of the inspiration and high incentive they received from Prof. Storum while under his instruction.
After leaving Wayland, Prof. Storum taught in the public schools of Washington one year, whence he was called to the city of Petersburg, Virginia, to organize the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, provided for by the Legislature of the "Old Dominion." He remained here three years and endeared himself to the pupils of the new school and to the citizens of Petersburg, irrespective of race, political bias or denominational creeds. He then returned to Washington and from that time until the present he has been teaching in the public high school.
Prof. Storum has ever been interested in and connected with the various enterprises whose aim has been the improvement and elevation of the Colored people. For five years he was secretary of the Capital Savings Bank of Washington and a member of the Board of Directors of the Industrial Building and Savings Company. For three consecutive years Prof. Storum was president of the Bethel Literary and Historical Society, the most prominent association of its kind in the country. Through his influence and by his energy the library and reading room were established and are now the most interesting and prominent features of the society.
In addition to his many and exacting duties, Prof. Storum has written and lectured on a great variety of subjects, religious, political, educational and financial.
He was happily married in 1872 to Mrs. Carrie Garrett Browne, a teacher in the public schools of Washington. There are three surviving children. Their domestic life has had its sunshine and its shadow. The darkest cloud that has overhung their household was the death of their oldest son, who died eight years ago at the age of eighteen, and who had given promise of being an unusually brilliant and useful man.
The excuse for presenting this article is the oft repeated declaration that there should be one kind of education for the more favored class and another kind of education for the less favored class of our citizens. This declaration was never mooted until these latter years. The following incident will serve to illustrate the position taken by the advocates of this subject: A young man of more than ordinary ability, having a fine mind, and exceedingly apt and ambitious to learn, came to one of the schools in the South supported by Northern friends. He had had some advantages and had proved his capabilities to learn. He was giving great satisfaction to his teachers. He was prepared to take up one of the advanced studies, and did so and wrote to his friend telling him of the studies he was pursuing and the progress he was making. His friend, a would-be philanthropist, replied that he would not assist him if he pursued such studies. "You only need to learn to read, write, and cipher a little to teach your people." Yet this same man thought it necessary to take the common school course, a college course, and a professional course to teach his people. What class of people will have confidence in or give their support to a teacher, preacher, lawyer, or physician who knows only the A, B, C's of his profession? It is an historical as well as a scientific fact that no people have ever risen to influence and power without a strong intellectual and moral class permeating and leavening the entire mass. From the very beginning of our educational system the idea that the system and method of education should be different for the different classes of our people never entered the mind or thoughts of our educators nor any part of the body politic.
In the Southern part of our land the ruling class denied educational facilities to the colored people, and quite generally throughout the South it was made a penal offence to teach a colored man, woman, or child to read. The reason for this was well understood. Education produces intelligence and unfolds to one his powers and capabilities, and an intelligent people cannot be enslaved.
After the close of the war of the rebellion, schools were opened for the colored people. The newly-emancipated were not entirely oblivious to some of the advantages and benefits that follow from education, for they were constantly in touch with the master-class, so that when the opportunity was offered the colored people flocked to the schools in numbers far beyond the accommodations given. The colored people showed such avidity for learning and made such surprising progress that it seemed almost miraculous. Dr. Mayo says: "No people in human history have made such progress as the colored people of the United States." I can see no reason why the colored people should be differently educated from mankind generally; nor can I understand why persons should urge a different education unless they are hostile to and bitterly opposed to the progress of the colored people.
The aim or purpose of education is, always has been, and will ever be, preparation for complete living, that is, to be useful in one's day and generation and to live happily. "To secure this requires the acquisition of knowledge found in two fields of human endeavor. First, man and his experience and achievements and external nature; second, training to intelligent and productive activity in the use of this knowledge and the proper enjoyment of it."
What the education of the youth of a nation shall be depends upon the aim, purpose, and character of the government.
The history of the education of a people is the history of its civilization. Its civilization is not to be found in its material success, nor in its achievements in arms; but its civilization is manifest in its intellectual, moral, and esthetic development. It follows, then, that the education of a nation is to be found in the characteristics of its civilization; this includes religion, politics, justice, art, and mode of thought. The history of education fully attests this fact.
The government of Egypt was monarchical in form. The ruling classes were educated; the lower classes were not; yet while they were the beasts of burden and forced to toil under the most exacting taskmasters they were of a mild and kind disposition, the result of their religious training.
The government of the Jews was Theocratic; their civilization was distinctively religious; their education was along religious lines. Their poets sing of the love, the power, the majesty, and the everlasting dominion of "I AM THAT I AM." Through the Jews indeed are all the nations of the earth blessed, in that they have preserved and transmitted through the ages the religion of their King and His Anointed.
Greece had two distinct ideas of government. The Dorian, as exemplified by the laws of Sparta, whose fundamental principle was that the individual existed for the state and must obey the behests of the state. The Ionian, as we find it in the constitution of Athens, whose basic principle was that the state existed for the individual and the individual was a freeman. The educational system of Sparta was entirely military, in keeping with the aim and purpose of the state. The boys at the tender age of seven years were taken from their homes and placed in state schools to be taught the art of war, and how to endure all of its hardships and privations. The educational system at Athens reflected the aim and purpose of the Athenian State; it was humanistic. The intellectual, ethical, and physical powers of the child were developed. In that little peninsula of Southern Europe there were two distinct civilizations having very little in common and always antagonistic. Sparta developed human machines, men of great physical force, but contributed nothing to the civilization of the world, nothing for the betterment of mankind. Liberty, patriotism, love of home and kindred, are the characteristics of the Athenian civilization. The contributions of Athens for the civilization of the world and the elevation of mankind are beyond human conception. The mind of man cannot conceive of the innumerable blessings that have flowed from Athenian civilization, the great reservoir of thought and perfected art. The profoundest thoughts of philosophy, the most electrifying words of statesmen and orators; the grand, sublime and patriotic strains of the muses, the illimitable beauty and symmetry of her art have been bequeathed to the world by Athens, "THE EYE OF GREECE." But above and beyond these is the principle of personal liberty and popular government that has come down to us from the Athenian Commonwealth. The aim and purpose of the Athenian Republic in its educational system was to train the children to become useful citizens, capable of aiding in the management of the state. Aristotle says: "Education should be regulated by the state for the ends of the state; * * * as the end purposed to the State, as the whole, is one, it is clear that the education of all the citizens must be one and the same and the superintendence of it a public affair rather than in private hands."
The aim and purpose of the Roman government was to bequeath to humanity moral energy and jurisprudence, the latter of which is the basis of all modern law. A strong and an abiding faith subsisted between the Roman State and each of her citizens. "I am a Roman citizen," was the proudest allusion a man could make to himself, for he knew that the great Roman power was behind him to protect him in his rights. The children of the Romans were educated to be of use to the state. Cicero says: "The fatherland has produced us and brought us up that we may devote to its use the finest capabilities of our minds, talents, and understanding. Therefore, we must learn those arts whereby we may be of greatest service to the state, for that I hold to be the highest wisdom and virtue."
The aim and purpose of our government is to maintain and perpetuate the idea of constitutional liberty and to develop a popular government in which each inhabitant shall feel a personal interest in all that pertains to the government, and the government in turn shall feel itself obligated to protect and defend the interests of the humblest citizen within its dominion. Our government is "of the people, for the people, and by the people."
In this country there must be but one system of education welding all the people in one aim and purpose. Unity of thought, unity of action, and sympathy, unity in American life and duty, is and must ever be maintained in the stratification of American society. The government must be unique and homogeneous in its aim, purpose, and sympathy. The entire question of American citizenship is especially important in harmonizing the elements. Herbert Spencer says: "The education of the child must accord, both in mode and arrangement, with the education of mankind as considered historically; or, in other words, the genesis of knowledge in the individual must follow the same course as the genesis of knowledge in the race. * * * It follows that if there be an order in which the human race has mastered its various kinds of knowledge, there will arise in every child an aptitude to acquire these kinds of knowledge by the same order. As the mind of humanity placed in the midst of phenomena and striving to comprehend them, has, after endless comparisons, speculations, experiments and theories reached its present knowledge by a specific route, it may rationally be inferred that the relationship between mind and phenomena, is such as to prevent this knowledge from being reached by any other route; and that as each child's mind stands in this same relationship to phenomena they can be accessible to it only through the same route."
Man is a trinity in his nature, consisting of mind, soul and body; these must be developed and the same means must be employed to bring it about. Intellectual, moral and physical training must characterize our system of education. The intellectual and the physical is being emphasized and the moral training must be made more prominent than it has been in the past. The aim and purpose of the founders of this Republic was to preserve in the substrata of the government those noble and lofty principles of the Christian religion for the maintenance of which they left their native land that they might plant these principles in the virgin soil of America.
Manual training is now being made an attractive feature in our schools, though by no means a new feature. Manual training must be made to strengthen the intellectual and moral training or it will fail in its purpose and end as an educational value. Trade schools are one thing, manual training schools another thing. It is not the purpose nor the end of manual training schools, as a branch of our school system, to teach trades per se, but rather to aid the pupils to find out their natural bent and to strengthen the trend of their ambition along chosen lines; or, in other words, to help the pupil to discover his powers, capabilities and capacity, to reveal the pupil to himself. Dr. Mayo says: "The higher education according to the last American interpretation is just this: The art of placing an educated mind, a consecrated heart, and a trained will, the whole of a refined manhood and womanhood, right at the ends of the ten fingers of both hands, so that whether you eat or drink or whatsoever you do you may do all to the glory of God."
There were two distinct civilizations attempted in this country; one was planted at Jamestown, Virginia, the other at Plymouth, Massachusetts. They were antagonistic in thought, aim and purpose. The civilization at Plymouth was an example of the "survival of the fittest," the errors of the one must be engulfed in the ever abiding principles of the other. The educational feature of the one must yield to the educational feature of the other. There must be but one system of education for all the people, great and small, black and white. This is essential for the peace, comfort, and prosperity of the nation.
This is an Anglo-Saxon country. The thought of this country is Anglo-Saxon. The progress of this country is Anglo-Saxon. The colored people of this country, like all others born and reared on our shores, are Anglo-Saxon in thought, in religion, in education, in training, and hence it is unsafe and dangerous, not to say impracticable, to educate them or any other class of our citizens along different lines. The people of this nation must be one in purpose, one in aim; there must be a common bond uniting them in a common sympathy and fraternity. To secure this end all the people must be trained to the highest wisdom. "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." Hence, says Milton: "To govern well is to train up a nation in true wisdom and virtue and that which springs from thence, magnanimity and likeness to God, which is called godliness. Other things follow as the shadow does the substance."
SHOULD THE NEGRO BE GIVEN AN EDUCATION DIFFERENT FROM THAT GIVEN TO THE WHITES?
BY REV. S. G. ATKINS.
PROF. S. G. ATKINS, A. M.
Prof. S. G. Atkins, President and Founder of The Slater Industrial and State Normal School, Winston-Salem, N. C., was born of a humble, yet high, because Christian, parentage, in Chatham County, North Carolina, June 11, 1863. Through this humble slave, yet Christian, parentage, there came to this youth principles of industry, morality and Christianity which formed the broad, deep, and solid foundation on which has rested his eventful and useful life. In early life he learned that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." In the days of youth he remembered his Creator.
Like many of the world's noblest and best characters, Prof. Atkins started life's journey at the plow handles; clearing the ground of roots and stumps, splitting rails, opening the furrow, planting and harvesting the crops, constituted the duty and pleasures of his early life.
Early evincing an insatiable thirst for knowledge, all the advantages of the village school were given him. His progress here was phenomenal. His eagerness to know truth; his power of mind to perceive, comprehend and analyze; his retentive memory, soon gave him first place among his fellows in the school in the village. A few years passed; he in the meantime having prepared himself, the master-mantle of the village school falls upon him. His work here caused a widening of his intellectual horizon. In the year 1880, therefore, he entered the Academic Department of St. Augustine Normal and Collegiate Institute, Raleigh, N. C., and graduated with distinction in 1884.
Immediately after leaving college, President J. C. Price, the famous colored orator, invited him to join the faculty at Livingstone College, Salisbury, N. C. At this post he proved himself one of the most useful men in the faculty. At times he filled various positions in the college. The Grammar School Department, under his management, was a model department, and was the pride of the college. He taught here, serving well and at a great sacrifice, six years. Prof. Atkins retired from the Livingstone College to enter the public school work in which he had long taken a deep interest. This interest had been manifested chiefly in connection with his devotion to the work of building up the North Carolina Teachers' Association, which body he helped to organize and of which he was President for three successive years. His first extended work in this field was as Principal of the Colored Graded School, of Winston, N. C. This position of responsibility he held, with increasing success, for five years, when he gave it up, against the protest of the Board of School Commissioners of Winston, to become President of The Slater Industrial and State Normal School. This Institution had already been projected by him to meet a want among the colored people in the community which he soon saw that the public school could not meet, viz.: a deeper ethical culture and the training of the youth of the community, not only in books, but also in some useful handicraft which would the sooner furnish the basis for strong personal character and sound home-life. His first step in this direction had been the founding of the settlement known as "Columbian Heights," to serve as a background for the Institution, which would do this. The settlement was founded in 1891, and the Institution projected in 1892. Prof. Atkins, as the first settler on Columbian Heights, and as the organizer and both Secretary and agent of the Board of Trustees, pushed the work of The Slater Industrial School, encouraged and supported by the industrious efforts of the members of the Board, until in 1895 he was called to the Presidency of the Institution. From that date to the present his labors have been an inseparable part of the history of the school.
Hon. C. H. Mebane, Superintendent of Public Instruction for North Carolina, says of him: "If I had fifty such men as Prof. Atkins in North Carolina, I could make a complete revolution in educational work in a short while, a complete revolution as to moral uplift and general good of the negro race."
In addition to his work as an educator, Prof. Atkins has taken much interest in the work of the American Academy of Social and Political Science, of which he is a member. He is also a member of the American Statistical Association, and has been twice elected Secretary of Education of the A. M. E. Zion Church.
The esteem in which he is held by leading men of the nation wherever he is known is fairly indicated in the following statement of Hon. J. L. M. Curry, LL. D., ex-minister to Spain and agent of the great Peabody and Slater Trusts for educational purposes. Dr. Curry says: "I regard President Atkins, of The Slater Industrial and State Normal School at Winston, N. C., as one of the most worthy and capable men connected with the education of the Negroes in the South. His intelligence, courtesy, good deportment, high character and efficiency as the head of a school have won the confidence and goodwill of the people among whom he lives, and of all who best know his work and worth."
"The education of a Negro is the education of a human being. In its essential characteristics the human mind is the same in every race and in every age. When a Negro child is taught that two and two are four he learns just what the white child learns when he is taught the same proposition. The teacher uses the same faculties of mind in imparting the truth as to the sum of two and two. The two children use the same faculties in learning the truth; it means the same thing to them both. In further teaching and training the methods may vary, but variations will depend less on differences of race than on peculiarities of the individual."—Bishop Haygood.
The above quotation from Bishop Haygood indicates my answer to the question. This question is simply a revival of the old superstition concerning the Negro that manifested itself in the inquiry as to whether the Negro had a soul. Civilization and fraternity have so far developed that it would be hard in these days to find a person whose skepticism concerning the Negro would find a doubtful expression as to the Negro's humanity. The light has become too strong for the existence of that kind of mist; hence the unsympathetic critic has been forced to find a new way of putting his wish begotten thought.
There is still a higher authority for a negative answer to the question, "Should the Negroes be given an education different from that given to the whites?" in the following language: "God had made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of all the earth."
This declaration of St. Paul goes to the core of the matter, unless it is proposed to revive the old superstition that the Negro is not included as a part of the "nations of men." It is a strange fact that nobody ever proposes a modified or peculiar form of education for any other nationality.
It is the glory of the backward peoples of the earth that they are adopting the forms and methods of education which have made Western civilization the touch-stone of the world's progress.
But the implied contention that the Negro should be given an education of a different kind is not absolute. Most disputants on this subject—so far as published statements go—allow that after a long period of adaptation and modified training the American Negro may reach a stage in his mental evolution that he may assimilate the same kind of mental food that is admittedly suited to the Caucasian, Mongolian and others. This view of the matter leaves out of the count another great fact, viz., that the American Negro is more American than anything else, that he is not an alien either by birth or blood. Whatever exceptions might be alleged against Africa can no longer be made a bar to him.
But let us recur again to the evolution theory, and I will not undertake to consider this theory as Darwinian.
It is not generally advanced as a presumption that the Negro is not yet a thoroughbred, but it is presented in certain catchy and specious phrases such as suggest the necessity of beginning at the bottom rather than at the top, the necessity of giving to the colored American a kind of colored education, the necessity of making his civilization earthbound and breadwinning rather than heavenbound and soul-satisfying—the necessity of keeping him close to mother earth—as he "is of the earth earthy."
In those assumptions it is forgotten that education is not a question of mechanics; it is rather a question of ethics and immortality. Education is primarily an effort to realize in man his possibilities as a thinking and feeling being.
Man's inheritance is first from heaven, from above. That is the respect in which education differs from all merely constructive processes. The stimulating and quickening power is from above. Historically this is eminently true.
Education has been a process from above. It is not my intention to enter upon the discussion of the merits of any particular kind of education. My contention is that because the Negro is a part of humanity, because he is an American with an American consciousness and with a demonstrated capacity to take on training after the manner of an ordinary man he should not be treated as a monstrosity. Bishop Haygood sets forth the only proper line of distinction in education in the following sentence: "In further teaching and learning the methods may vary, but variations will depend less on differences of race than on peculiarities of the individual." The "peculiarities" here indicated unquestionably exist. They may be noted even in the same family, but these peculiarities are found in differences which lie deeper than the skin. There is no philosopher, unless he "is joined to idols," so bold as to base his presumption of difference in human beings upon the skin, for then his judgment might have to depend on whether the skin is dark, copper-colored, brown, white, yellow, freckled, red, etc. Human differences, all will admit, are essentially differences of individual souls, and this does not preclude the importance of environment and other incidental influences.
The great fact is that mind is mind—of like origin and like substance—and that it has been found to yield to like treatment among all nations and in all ages. There is no system of pedagogy that would hold together for a moment if the idea of the unity of the human race and the similarity of mind were invalidated. Philosophy itself would be threatened and all science would be in jeopardy. Investigation and practice never fail to support this theory of the solidarity of the human race. In the schools where it has been tried it has been found not to be a matter of color, nor even of blood—and certainly the differences have not depended on race affiliation. It has been a question of the individual and of local environment.
But so positive and indivisible is the human identity that even the influence of individualism and environments is overcome by the great universal processes of education, the great processes of mind quickening and mind development. In many of our best institutions there sit side by side the representatives of many nationalities and races, and it has never been found in the work of these institutions—as far as I have been able to discover—that any one color or race could monopolize the benefits, but, on the contrary, it has been found that the benefits were realized according to individual temperament and power.
My position is not one in reference to non-essentials but essentials; it is not a contention based even so much on degree, but rather on quality and capability. I would not contend that environment would not make a whole group of children more or less backward, and I do not dispute the fact that because of better environments the whites represent as a whole a higher state of civilization. But I hold that this is true not because of race identity but rather because of individual embarrassment. Give a white child and a colored child the same environment and their progress or backwardness, I hold, would be essentially the same under the same stimulants and encouragements. Wherever colored and white children have been put to comparative tests too little attention has been paid to difference of environment, and too often there has been a dormant presumption that the same environment would not have produced the same results upon white children. Wherever these tests have been made it has been too often overlooked that the facilities for their education were not equal; they may have been nominally equal but the fact remains that they were not really equal.
Considering the inequalities of environment and educational facilities the results of most of the comparative tests are complimentary to the colored child and demonstrate the similarity of his mental susceptibilities—demonstrate that he is but a normal constituent part of the great human race with substantially the same limitations and capabilities as other members of the great human family.
SHOULD THE NEGRO BE GIVEN AN EDUCATION DIFFERENT FROM THAT GIVEN TO THE WHITES?
BY PROF. J. H. JONES.
REV. JOSHUA H. JONES.
The Rev. Joshua H. Jones was born at Pine Plains, South Carolina, June 15, 1856. He professed religion at ten years of age and joined the Shady Grove A. M. E. Church of the Bull Swamp Circuit, South Carolina. At the age of fourteen he was made Sunday School teacher, and at the age of sixteen Sunday School superintendent. By the time he was eighteen he had served in all the local spiritual offices of the church, and was then licensed as a local preacher by the quarterly conference of said circuit. The pastors soon discovered his usefulness and aid to them. He was a diligent student and an ardent churchman, and acquired education rapidly. At the age of twenty-one years he entered the Normal Department of Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, and in 1880 finished the Normal and College Preparatory Courses. He then taught and preached one year, after which he returned to Claflin University, and in 1885 graduated with the degree at A. B. Not daunted nor yet satisfied with his attainments he came north, studied awhile at Howard University, Washington, D. C., thence to Wilberforce University, where in 1887 he graduated from the Theological Course with the degree of B. D. In 1893 Wilberforce University conferred upon him the degree of D. D. in recognition of his superior worth and ability. In June, 1900, he was elected President of Wilberforce University, and a year later Claflin University conferred upon him the degree of M. A.
As a minister of the Gospel he has been pastor in charge of Williams Chapel, Orangeburg, South Carolina; Branchville Circuit, South Carolina; Fort Motte Circuit, South Carolina; Wheeling, West Virginia; The Holy Trinity Church, Wilberforce, Ohio; Lynn, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Columbus, Ohio; and Presiding Elder of the Columbus District, Ohio Conference; Pastor at Zanesville, Ohio. In all an unbroken period of thirty-six years of church work and twenty-eight years in the ministry he has never known a failure. His labors have been indefatigable and his ministrations clean and inspiring.
In his public services he has been an inspiration to the race. For fourteen years he has been a Trustee of Wilberforce University, five years Trustee and Secretary of the Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce, and a constant and ardent helper in the establishment and development of the same. For six consecutive years he was elected and served as member of the Columbus Board of Education, and through his efforts six colored teachers were put into the mixed schools of Columbus, Ohio, as teachers.
In private affairs he has been industrious, frugal, economical and administrative. He has accumulated a comfortable estate and stands well with the banking and business circles of Columbus, Ohio, and pays taxes on a tax valuation of $10,000.
He has always been an ardent lover of his race, of his church, of his country and his God, and has always been a striking figure in the circles of men wherever his lot has fallen. Fifteen years ago he was elected Dean of Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina; eight years ago Professor of Theology in Payne Theological Seminary, neither of which he was able to accept because of heavy demands upon his energy elsewhere. In 1890 he was elected delegate to the Methodist Ecumenical Conference and has been several times delegate to the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church, and in 1900 was a strong candidate for the Bishopric, receiving fifty or more votes on the first ballot. In his present position he bids fair to give the church good service.
If this question is to be answered affirmatively or negatively, I emphatically say no. If the question be asked inquiringly, carrying with it the thought of race experience, race opportunity, race status and the variations growing out of these, then I would give the dubious answer, yes and no. In the first place, all things are educative and all forms of education have a definite relation to all other forms of education, and all educational processes have definite relations to all other educational processes, so all of these factors make for unity in education, and the completest education is that which embraces the greatest number of educational factors. It is perfectly true that educational processes may be varied so as to suit varying ideals or they may be varied so as to accomplish certain ends, for unvarying sequences follow definite antecedents; even so educational systems may be framed for the accomplishment of varying results or definite results as the framers of such systems may determine to suit the conditions of mankind as conceived at any given time. The end in view in an educational system is everything. What the chosen end of any system of education may be ought to depend upon the institution of the country in which a people lives and every educational system should be framed so as to utilize all of the agencies and involve all of the processes that make most rapidly for the achievement of the end in view.
If the end in view is serfdom for the Negro, then a vast amount of industrial training by rote, minus the natural sciences and mechanic arts for the generation of capacity, plus such rudiments in arithmetic, reading and writing as will enable him to be an efficient workman under the directions of others is the requisite. If it is the desire to make the Negro a useful agent in the production of wealth through the operation of the basal industries, in the largest quantity or the highest quality for the smallest amount of outlay, then a still higher class of training would be necessary, whether this production of wealth be for the good of self or for the common good of society. But if the end in view is to prepare him for the higher responsibilities of American citizenship, involving as that citizenship does the relationships, obligations and duties which devolve upon freemen and equally binding upon him as upon the whites in a democratic society or in a country of the people, for the people and by the people, it is evident that such a system must have structural affinity with such a system of education carried on by the whites and for the whites. In other words, such must be his education that his whole being is developed and in him there is the largest generation of capacity, insight, foresight, the power to think with proportions so as to give him that mastery over his environments and over the questions of common good which will enable him at all times to do the right things, the wisest things, the best things under any given circumstances in the midst of which he may be thrown. Any educational system that has an aim short of this as its end will certainly fail to prepare the Negro for the high duties which belong to a free individual in a democratic society.
Why should the Negro be given an education different from that given to the whites? Is he not a man? Is he not a free man? Is he not a citizen? Is he not held responsible by society for the performance of duties enjoined upon him by law? Is he not a subject of government? As a subject of government, ought he not participate in the affairs of the government? I think it will be admitted by all fair-minded men that all governments are for the welfare of the governed. Now, since the Negro is more interested in his own welfare than anybody else is and since to have a thing well done you had better do it yourself, since also his welfare is shaped by any government under which he lives, it must necessarily follow that his best good requires that he participate in the affairs of that government if he is to continue to be a free man. It is argued—and that not without some degree of reason—by part of the more favored people in this country, that the gift of the high privileges of citizenship carries with it the demand that the recipients of these gifts possess the capacity to exercise them for the common good of all who belong to the body politic. They also argue that human conditions for government are grounded in intelligence, virtue and property. So good, so well. But how is the Negro to acquire intelligence, virtue and property according to the American standard if his education is to be according to an un-American system? There are four fundamental American doctrines that both experience and philosophy attest as being right: (I) The right of education is a human right. (II) That the schools furnished by the state should be open to all of the children of the state. (III) The safety of the state depends upon the intelligence of our citizens of that state. (IV) As a matter of self-defense the state should compel all of its citizens to become intelligent. These doctrines have their root in the great truth that every individual is a member of society and that therefore society has an interest in him, in his capacity, in his intelligence, in his worth, and in turn is injured by his incapacity, his lack of worth, his ignorance. The great war-cry of American leadership is "Educate, educate, educate;" yea, more, "Educate your masters." No man lives unto himself. God has made every man dependent, associative and co-operative, and hence the good of every individual is found in the common good of society and the common good of society is found in the good of the individual. Every man who is not at his best or not doing his best is to that extent a failure and a hurt to the common good.
To me it is perfectly clear that if the Negro is to be in this country and not of it then his education should be different from that given to the whites. But if he is to be in the country and of the country it follows without argument that he must be educated in common with all of the people of the country so that the nation may have a common ideal and a common consciousness so that our whole society may have or feel a common interest in our common country. To be more explicit, whether or not the Negro should be given the same kind of education the whites are given depends upon whether or not the whites have the proper kind of education. I should rather contend that if the whites have the proper kind of education for mankind, then that given to the Negro should be exactly like it. If the whites have not the proper kind of education for mankind, then it follows that the Negro should be given a different kind, for whether or not one man should have the same thing as another depends upon whether or not that thing is fit for mankind in general. This would naturally force upon us the inquiry as to what kind of education the whites receive. If upon proper inquiry we find that theirs is the proper kind for man, in this same finding we should discover that this is the proper kind for the Negro.
Here differentiation begins, even in the field of education itself. A careful study of the constitution of man, involving the fundamentalities that grow out of his intellectual, moral, industrial, social and political nature will lead us, I think, to see that much of the white man's education is to be regretted and repudiated; much of it is to be approved and appropriated. All training given in avarice, hatred, prejudice, passion, sensuality, sin and wickedness, growing out of self-conceit and vanity, must assuredly be repudiated. But all things embraced in their education that make for the good, the true, the beautiful, the just and the elevation of mankind should be embraced, seized upon, masticated, digested and assimilated—transmuted into the elements of Negro character, forming a part of the very sub-consciousness of his being. In short, whatever education the whites have had or do get which makes for human enlargement, for righteousness, and brings man into closer relationship with God and gives him a fuller conception of the laws of God made manifest by the operation of His laws throughout the cosmos enabling him to discover the relationships which he sustains to God, to his fellow-men, to the lower creatures which inhabit this earthly sphere in which man lives and the laws that govern the universe, expressing modes of existence and orders of sequence, together with the principles of industry, frugality and economy, which determine the material accumulations necessary for the maintenance of life, these the Negro should know as largely as possible, for certainly they have been fields of educational processes found necessary for the white man through many generations. It is to be noticed that for centuries the white man has studied in order to get a thorough grasp, first of all, upon the intellectual tools—so to speak; in other words, to know how to read, write and cipher in terms of his own language, and at the same time to lay a foundation broad enough to pursue useful knowledge in all other directions possible. For instance, having mastered his own language to a reasonable degree, he takes the Latin and the Greek that he might acquaint himself with the development of the institutions out of which his own was evolved as well as to make double his hold upon his own; he studies Hebrew and the cognate languages to get mastery of the great truths, philosophy and institutions of a great people, adding to his own thereby; he studies the modern languages, German, French, Spanish and Italian, that he may gather the best fruits of the achievements of these nations and add them to his own store; yea, he covers the whole field of philology that he may add to his own store the best that has been garnered by all of the nations of the earth; he studies the literature, science and philosophy of all living races of his day and time with the same end in view and when he has swept the field of historic times he delves into the mysteries of geology and archaeology and follows the mute footsteps of man through Neolithic and Paleolithic times to the very zero of human beginnings and comes back laden with truths to enrich the thought of his day.
He studies natural science as God manifested in nature, by observation and experiment; he commences, with God through the discovery of the reign of law, classifying and systematizing the same and thus broadening his own vision and adding to the store of knowledge in our day and generation. As a preparation for this scientific research, he studies mathematics from the elementary principles through the largest elaborations of Euclid, Keppler, Newton and Copernicus, and their illustrious successors; he studies sociology, biology and mechanics; he studies civil and sociological laws and principles to the end that the intricacies of democratic business intercourse might be the more fully and clearly understood, mastered and applied in civilized processes. No form of industry has escaped him, no law of frugality has eluded him; whatever has in it an element of truth or virtue, he has pursued with a relentlessness that knows no failure. As a student, he has gone the rounds of the world in search of truth and has come back rich in the knowledge of the things that God would have us know.
How the Negro can live in the midst of a civilization created by such a people, drawing upon such vast resources as we have but faintly indicated and be given an education different from that of this people—and yet live among them with any degree of security—for the life of me, I cannot see. If, to keep up with the requirements of such a civilization as America furnishes to-day, a white child—notwithstanding his inheritance—has to go to school from his earliest days away into the years of his majority and be systematically trained in all of the subjects as taught in the kindergarten, the public schools, the secondary schools, the academies, the universities, and the professional schools, how much more imperatively necessary must it be that the Negro should have like training. It seems to me that he should not only have the same training but that he should have more of it than the white man has. His education should be physical, moral, intellectual, social, industrial and political, and his educational processes should have the highest structural affinity with the educational processes of the whites so that he may be brought into national and political assimilation with the white man's institutional life.
SHOULD THE IGNORANT AND NON-PROPERTY-HOLDING NEGRO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE?
BY JOHN P. GREEN.
HON. JOHN P. GREEN.
Hon. John P. Green was born in 1845 at New Berne, N. C., of free parents. As a boy twelve years of age, he went with his widowed mother to Cleveland, Ohio. He was educated in the Cleveland public schools, graduating from the Central High School in 1869.