The bulletin of Atlanta University
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Number 168 Atlanta, Georgia December, 1906 Negro Sentiment Regarding Crime The following card, signed by twelve representative Negro citizens of Atlanta, was printed in the Atlanta Constitution, November 15th. The crime reported was a criminal assault upon a white woman by a Negro. To the Editor the Constitution: In behalf of a number of leading colored citizens, gathered informally, we have been authorized to express their horror at such a crime as that reported this afternoon. We commend the officers of the law for their prompt and heroic action in securing the prisoner, and we trust that he will be given a speedy and fair trial, and, if the guilty one, punished to the full extent of the law. We deeply deplore such occurrences at any time, and we desire it to be understood by all men for all time that we colored men are thoroughly on the side of law and order, condemning all crime, and especially this crime of crimes. This card fairly represents the Negro sentiment of Atlanta regarding crime. Every one would naturally emphasize the clause "if the guilty one," for there is fear lest in the attendant excitement justice will miscarry and the wrong man suffer the penalty. This resolution is dated November 15th. The woman assaulted identified the criminal at her house when he was brought there immediately after capture, identified him positively. On the same date he was indicted by the grand jury. The next day he was identified again by the victim, as she stood to testify on the witness stand. In the hands of vengeance this would have been enough to "justify" almost any lawless violence. This case was properly tried, however, and such evidence brought to light that the suspected was thoroughly acquitted. The Constitution refers to this as "one of the most remarkable cases of its kind ever tried in Fulton—a case which will long stand as a precedent for other communities to follow; a precedent which will doubtless do much to save the unlawful and unprovoked shedding of human blood." We sincerely hope that this will be the case. It is one essential step toward uniting the Negro sentiment in favor of the capture and trial of members of their own race suspected of crime, i. e. that no suspect be in danger of suffering "if he be not the guilty one." Interracial Co-operation in Georgia The moral shock of the recent riot in this city served to awaken the better element from its lethargy, and as a result there are now in progress here three interracial reconstructive movements, concurrent but distinct. The first is the industrial, which contemplates the establishment of a great central industrial school for the state and schools of domestic science in the larger cities for the development of that element of the colored race which falls between the public school and the college, and without such skilled training is likely to deteriorate into crime. Such a movement would benefit the white people by relieving them of the necessity of importing foreigners for skilled domestic service, would help the colored race by developing that crude element which lacks higher aspiration - and would be beneficial to both by furnishing a point of harmonious co-operation between the races. The colored men who are co-operating in this movement make it clear that they do not wish this in any way to be construed as any lack of appreciation for the higher schools of learning, nor that the public school system should in any way be curtailed, nor that the school at Savannah should in any way be changed; they join in this movement to secure an enrichment and development of the educational forces of the state. Behind this movement is the editor, Clark Howell, of the Atlanta Constitution. The second movement is the civic, whose threefold purpose, in its own language, is "to take such steps, through an executive committee, as will tend to promote peace between the races, see that offenders of both races are apprehended and justice impartially administered, and permanently secure protection to both white and black." The white Civic League is matched by the "Colored Co-operative Civic League," each taking the identical language as the expression of its object, this statement serving as an interracial covenant. Each league has an executive committee of twenty, and these committees will confer from time to time for co-operative action. The movement contemplates the placing of more responsibility on the colored race in the administrative function of the law. The acquittal of a colored man charged with criminal assault and positively identified by the white prosecutrix in open court was due in large measure to the leader of this movement, Attorney Charles T. Hopkins, a native Southern man, a graduate of Williams College and one of the most potent forces in the civic and political life of Atlanta. It is a noteworthy fact that four out of five of the colored committee of twenty were educated in schools established in the South by Northern beneficence. The other is the religious. Its preamble begins with this pregnant sentence which deserves to become historic: "The relations of the two races require to be readjusted by a conference between representatives of each with a view to promoting the good of both." The Business Men's Gospel Union, after mature deliberation, invited approved colored men to join them in the formation of a civic department, which should have for its supreme object the promotion of "the highest type of citizenship, maintain all existing laws and promote peace and good will." The colored men accepted the proffer in good faith and with reciprocal good will. Weekly meetings have been held between the two groups, the utmost good will prevailing. After a week of prayer in the homes, sermons were preached throughout the city the second Sunday in December on law and order, which are to be published in the daily press. Former Governor Northen, now for seven years the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, is behind this movement, and in his evident sincerity and earnestness he plans to devote the remainder of his life to the expansion of this movement throughout the South. As in the dread old prison at Ander-sonville there sprang a perennial fountain from within the dead-line, where no soldier dared enter on the pain of death, so here in the track of the deadline of mob violence we see springing up real living fountains destined to refresh an oppressed people. H. H. Proctor. Dr. E. B. Carter preached a very interesting sermon on Thanksgiving day in our chapel.
|Title||The bulletin of Atlanta University, 1906 no. 168|
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 1906, no. 168.|
|Holding Library||Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center|