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NUMBER 140 ATLANTA, GEORGIA NOVEMBER, 1903 For statement of the work of Atlanta University see last page. TRUE OF NEGROES AS OF OTHER STUDENTS It is curious how reluctant many people are to apply to Negro students the educational philosophy which has been amply verified in the case of white students. Much of the objection to the higher education of the Negro would disappear if the truth of a recent sermon by President Hyde of Bowdoin College were conceded to have a universal application. Preaching from the text in Mark: "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how," President Hyde said : In this parable Jesus is telling us that spiritual processes are as slow and obscure as the processes of natural growth. Psychology of late has brought a remarkable confirmation of this teaching of our Lord. This principle comes out in every sphere of life—in athletics, in education, in religion. Perhaps the best illustration of this principle is found in education. The conscious product of eight or twelve years of education, if that is all, is poor and pitiful indeed. Nine-tenths of all the student learns in school or college is speedily forgotten, and by the time he has been out six months the great bulk of it is already on the road to oblivion. Education is pre-eminently a training of the mind. The value of it is not what you carry in your memory at any moment. It is the power you have to analyze logically and to solve correctly any ordinary problem of science, history, literature, politics, business or philosophy. Education is not so much knowledge as it is the key to knowledge. NOTABLE DEFENCES OF NEGRO SUFFRAGE It has become very common in these days to denounce Negro suffrage as a mistake and a failure, and many people are adopting this opinion with very little knowledge of the historical facts that bear upon the question. It is no small service, therefore, when these facts are set forth in a way to enable any candid person to judge the issue for himself. This service has just been rendered in a little pamphet entitled "Why the Negro was Enfranchised," by Mr. Richard P. Hallowell of Boston. Mr. Hallowell goes back to the records of the Reconstruction period in Congress and the provisional State legislatures to show the unavoidable necessity of conferring the suffrage upon the emancipated slaves for their protection against a virtual return to slavery through the "va,grancy" legislation already attempted in some of the states. But the specially illuminating part of his pamphlet is that relating to the Reconstruction history of South Carolina, the state which, more than all others perhaps, is commonly held up as a signal illustration of the failure of Negro suffrage. Here it is clearly shown that the responsibility for the evils incurred was largely that of the better element of white people who failed to use their opportunity for controlling the situation, and that, bad as it confessedly was, the condition of things was steadily improving under the administration of Governor Chamberlain up to the time of the political revolution of 1876. The facts and figures cited In support of these statements are extremely interesting and convincing, and no one who desires to understand this matter thoroughly should fail to read Mr. Hal-lowell's pamphlet. Another pamphlet on this subject is entitled "Negro Suffrage is not a Failure," by Mr. Moorfield Storey of Boston. It is more in the line of a direct reply to the assertions of such men as Secretary Root and Dr. Lyman Abbott. Mr. Storey shows how Reconstruction without Negro suffrage was actually tried for two years after the close of the civil war and how surely that experiment was leading to the virtual reen-slavement of the Negro and the loss of the richest fruit of the war. The plea of Dr. Abbott that the Negroes should have been required to get an education before being allowed to protect themselves with the ballot is neatly answered by a quotation from Dr. Abbott's own utterance in 1896 when he answered a similar plea of Carlyle's as follows: "Freedom .... assumes not that every man can safely govern himself, but first that it is safer to leave every man to govern himself than to put any man under the government of any other class; and secondly that there is such potentiality of self-governing power in every man, such capacity to learn by his blunders, that he will acquire a wisdom and a restraint through the very perils of self-government which he will never acquire under the protecting government of others wiser and better than himself." Mr. Storey goes on to claim for Negro suffrage a conspicuous success down to the time of its annulment in 1876 by the revolutionary governments of the Southern states. He cites as proof the marvellous progress of the Negroes which genuine freedom, secured by the ballot, rendered possible, and he might well have cited also the establishment of the Negro public school system which owes its existence to the governments maintained by Negro suffrage. The corruption under Negro suffrage in some of the states no more indicates the failure of Negro suffrage than corruption in Rhode Island or Delaware, New York City or Philadelphia indicates the failure of white suffrage. And, finally, Mr. Storey claims that in the Southern states since 1876 Negro suffrage has not been tried and therefore has not failed. A third pamphlet consists of an address by Hon. Albert E. Pillsbury of Boston on "The Disfranchisement of the Negro." Mr. Pillsbury, speaking in Faneuil Hall, utters a ringing protest against the disfranchisement of the Negro, not so much in the interest of the Negro as in the interest of the nation. "There are some of us, at least," he says, "who understand that until every black man's rights are secure, no white man's rights are safe." Mr. Pillsbury refers briefly to the fatal concession that was made to slavery in the Constitution in allowing three-fifths of all the slaves to be counted in the basis of representation, then outlines the successive amendments to the Constitution in the Reconstruction period and their subsequent virtual annulment by the South in a way to give the white people of that section a degree of power in national affairs far more disproportionate than in the days of slavery. In closing, he quotes most effectively an utterance of Abraham Lincoln in 1857: "In your greedy chase to make profit of the Negro, beware lest you cancel and tear to pieces the white man's charter of freedom." We heartily commend each of these three pamphlets to all who would thoroughly understand this important question. They are all of them issued from the press of the George H. Ellis Co. of Boston.
|Title||The bulletin of Atlanta University, 1903 no. 140|
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 November 1903, no. 140.|
|Holding Library||Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center|