The bulletin of Atlanta University
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Number 186 Atlanta, Georgia December, 1908 The New York Meeting In the Interest of Industrial aud Higher Educa= tion of the Negroes This meeting was held in the chapel of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City, on Thursday evening, November nineteenth, under the auspices of the Atlanta University and the Fort Valley High and Industrial School of Fort Valley, Georgia. The Honorable Joseph H. Choate presided. He was introduced by the Rev. Dr. Henry Sloane Coffin, pastor of the church, as follows: "Ladies and gentlemen: "It gives me great pleasure, as one of the trustees of the Atlanta University, to introduce, as chairman of this meeting, one who needs no introduction to any audience of American citizens, and particularly to an audience of New Yorkers, the Honorable Joseph H. Choate, former Ambassador to Great Britain." Address of Hon. Joseph H. Choate It gives me great pleasure to preside at this meeting tonight in the interest of the Atlanta University, of Atlanta, and Fort Valley High and Industrial School, of Fort Valley, Georgia. I regret that the audience is so limited, but I am sure that each of you can control from twenty to fifty, or even a hundred, other persons; so the moral effect of what will be told you tonight will be circulated and leave a very profound impression on all parties interested in this great work. I consider it a very great honor to be asked to preside on such an occasion as this. I am old enough to remember when it was a crime, I believe a felony, to teach a colored person to read or write in the Southern States, and that is not yet fifty years ago, but with the great events that happened in our beloved Lincoln's time, between the years 1861 and 1865, all that has changed, and you cannot begin to realize the wonderful change that has come over that part of our country until you can study and know about the establishment and success of some of the great institutions of learning for the instruction of colored people in knowledge and useful arts, and in the progress and advancement of life. We know a good deal about Hampton and Tuskegee; what Hampton has always been to Virginia and the South, and what Tuskegee has been to Alabama, that is what I think Atlanta University and Fort Valley Industrial School, represented here to-night by President Ware and Principal Hunt, are to the state of Georgia. Only to think that in the short space of forty-three years, since the close of the Civil War, since the slaves were freed and it became entirely lawful to devote ourselves to the education of the colored people, the standard of illiteracy in that region has been reduced to forty-four per cent, whereas, at the beginning of that period, it was one hundred per cent. The standard of living among these people, for whose benefit these institutions are founded, has advanced one thousand per cent. Influence of Atlanta Graduates You probably will have an opportunity here tonight to hear what the graduates of the Atlanta University have accomplished. They have gone into all parts of Georgia and many other parts of the Southern States, and each one of them has been a missionary of beneficence and of light. I have read in the pamphlet containing a history of the college one most touching and convincing circumstance, and it seemed to prove more than any other fact, the great good that is being accomplished by this particular institution. One of the graduates of Atlanta University, having qualified as a teacher and guide for her followers, went into a district where, for the colored people, there was not one single house that contained more than a single room for an entire family. Now you can appreciate what a low grade of civilization that necessarily entailed. She was a bright and capable young woman, and she built a little cottage of five rooms and set an example of civilization, education and good life to her race. Her example was immediately followed, so that within a few years there were none of these one-room homes left, and so I may say that she and several hundred of her fellows have accomplished something to be proud of. They have been missionaries of light and of good. Of course there was a tremendous work to be done. I don't suppose there was ever such an undertaking before as to take nine millions of colored people, who have been deprived of advantages for hundreds of years, and raise them up to the level of civilization of their white neighbors, but it is being rapidly accomplished. They are understanding the value of institutions and property; they are devoting themselves to good works, and there is no doubt, if this work is allowed to go on, the redemption of that race, and the safety of the two races living side by side is assured. Need of Higher Education You read on the little booklet that was distributed what President Eliot says about the necessity of high institutions of learning for the preparation and training of preachers and teachers, doctors and mechanicians among the colored people, as they cannot be turned out of primary or secondary schools, but must have the benefit of a college education. Now, I have read the course of study at Atlanta University, and I am very much gratified to find that it is about as good as the course at Harvard University when I was a student there. You may think this was in the dark ages, but it was really only a few years ago. It is interesting to read the stories of the graduates. Almost every one of them has found an excellent calling where he can put the talent that has been given him to good use. All that I am here for is to give a word of cheer to the speakers who are to instruct you on what the Atlanta University is, and what the Fort Valley High and Industrial School is, and what can be accomplished by them if they can only receive the help they require. A Harvard Brother I consider it a pleasure to introduce the next speaker. I have the honor of presenting to you Mr. Augustus G. Dill, a graduate of Atlanta University of 1906, and of Harvard University of 1908, and I am happy to greet him as a Harvard brother, and present him to you in that way. Mr. Dill spoke briefly of the student life at Atlanta University, describing the student literary societies, the athletics, and the religious life as expressed in the Y. M. C. A. and the Christian Endeavor. In conclusion he said that his experience at Atlanta University had given him a deeper insight into the needs of the Negro race, and strengthened him in his determination to spend his life for their benefit. The Work of Mr. and Mrs. Hunt at Port Valley The next speaker to be introduced was Mr. Henry A. Hunt. Speaking as a graduate of Atlanta University, he told of the conditions which prevail in the country districts of Georgia, and how, by means of the Fort Valley Industrial School, he was able to make his people dissatisfied with things as they are. This dissatisfaction he said tends not to discourage Continued on 3d page.
|Title||The bulletin of Atlanta University, 1908 no. 186|
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 1908, no. 186.|
|Holding Library||Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center|