The bulletin of Atlanta University
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NUMBER 132. ATLANTA, GEORGIA. DECEMBER, 1902. Suggestions. The Negro is often advised to postpone higher education until he has achieved material prosperity. That is something like telling him to build a mansion first and study architecture afterwards. Material prosperity is to some extent the product of brawn and skill. It is to a still greater extent the product of brawn and aspiration: Most Negroes today have muscle enough and skill enough and opportunity enough to achieve much more material prosperity than they now have. The chief causes of their failure are ignorance and lack of ambition. % One. great advantage of the higher education is that it makes a Negro "discontented with his lot." When did a race or an individual ever make progress without becoming discontented with the present lot and aspiring to a better one? Telling the Negro to make progress first and indulge in aspiration afterwards is like expecting the passenger and baggage cars of a train to move on unaided, in the hope of having the locomotive attached by and by. Higher education is as necessary a locomotive for the Negro as for any other race And a fine thing about it is that it fakes only one engineer and one fireman to furnish motive power for several hundred passengers. If you expect the Negro to "move on," you must first give him the vision of some better place to arrive at. Then the desire to "get there" will stimulate motion. If his desire is only for a little more hog and hominy or the pleasures of a cake-walk, he will not have to move far, and his feet will easily carry him. If you expect him to reach a remoter and higher good, you must put at his service the locomotive of the higher education with its far-shining headlight and more effective motive power. Some people say to the Negro, sub-, stantially: "Seek ye first what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink, and wherewithal ye shall be clothed, and the kingdom of Heaven shall be added unto you." But what did the Master say? For statement of the work of At-lan'a University see last page. TWO BOOKS BY AN A. U. GRADUATE. Rev. Silas X. Floyd ('91) is the author of two books that have appeared during the present year. One is a volume of sermons, published by the American Baptist Publication Society, and named, from the subject of the first sermon, The Gospel of Service. They are largely sermons that were preached by Mr. Floyd while he was pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta. They are brief, pointed, and altogether admirable. The other book, published by the National Baptist Publication Board, is a life of Charles T. Walker, D. D. Dr. Walker is now pastor of Mount Olive Baptist church in New York city, and is a well known pulpit orator, platform lecturer, and writer. He has in Mr. Floyd, who is now his assistant pastor, an able and appreciative biographer. Mr. Floyd is also writing poetry, having had poems appear recently in the Independent and Lippincott's. He is also writing for the Youth's Companion and the Sunday School Times. We wish for Mr. Floyd the best of success in his literary work. THE DOOR OF HOPE. President Roosevelt's letter of Nov. 26, called out by opposition to a proposed political appointment in Charleston, S. C., states most admirably what ought to be the true position towards any class of citizens. We quote a part: "I do not intend to appoint any unfit man to office. So far as I legitimately can I shall always endeavor to pay regard to the wishes and feelings of the people of each locality; but 1 cannot consent to take the position that the door of hope—the door of opportunity—is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of race and color. Such an attitude would, according to my convictions, be fundamentally wrong. If, as you hold, the great bulk of the colored people are not yet fit in point of character and influence to hold such positions, it seems to me that it is worth while putting a premium upon the effort to achieve the character and standing which will fit them..... "The question raised by you and Mr.------- in the statements to which I refer is simply whether it is to be declared that under no. circumstances shall any man of color, no matter how upright and honest, no matter how good a citizen, no matter how fair in his dealings with all his fellows, be permitted to hold any office under our government. I certainly cannot assume such an attitude, and you must permit me to say that in my view it is an attitude no man should assume, whether he looks at it from the standpoint of the true interest of the white man of the south or of the colored man of the south—not to speak of any other section of the union. It seems to me that it is a good thing from every standpoint to let the colored man know that if he shows in marked degree the qualities of good citizenship—the qualities which in a white man we feel are entitled to reward—then he will not be cut off from all hope of similar reward." Is it possible that there can be the best development anywhere, for any people, if the "door of nope" is closed against that people? We are not specially interested in individual cases, whether or not a particular colored man shall receive a special federal appointment. But we are interested in the great principle, that every class of citizens should have set before them the possibility of realizing the noblest ideals. As President Roosevelt would not take away from the American Negro the "door of hope" in civic matters, so we feel most strongly that it ought not to be taken away in educational matters. It is for this that Atlanta University stands. We would have open to the colored citizens, as well as to the white, the very best that is possible. And as far as it is in our power, in our own sphere of educational action, we shall endeavor to hold open to them this "door of hope." In the state of Georgia, according to the last census, 52.3% of the colored people were illiterate, or 379,156 out of 724,305. The illiteracy was greater in the country than in the cities, being 38.6% in the cities. In this issue of the Bulletin we give a brief sketch of the lives of four of our graduates, who have passed away since our last memorial meeting. We wish that these useful lives might have been spared to longer service. But the thought of what they have done is encouraging, and the memories that they leave behind are blessed.
|Title||The bulletin of Atlanta University, 1902 no. 132|
Universities & colleges
|Description||The bulletin of Atlanta University was a publication sent to faculty, friend and alumni of the institution; Telling of the institution's progress and present needs. This issue is December 1902, no. 132.|
|Holding Library||Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center|