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The American Negro'

his introduction Mr. Thomas makes has been emphasized though the medium
I. it known that he is partly a negro, the Tuskegee Negro Conference and

of
though throughout the book he refers the various local conferences that have
to the race as if ile were not a part of grown out

of
it.
and are now scattered

it
One gets the feeling that he making the throughout the South. There no mis

is
is
he
has enough blood taking the fact, though, that the main
of

most the fact that


connection with the race to enable him to object word,

to
show,

of
the book

in
is

a
speak from the inside, yet not proud

he

so
that the negro far has been failure

is

a
being negro, and never once refers material, mental, and moral point

to
of

from
a

a
“our race" “my race.” the bold,
or
as

Over against many

of

of
the race view.

by
Mr. Thomas acknowledges that he was unsupported statements made the

a
“carpetbagger,” that fought “The American Negro
he

as
of
author

in

to to
the

"
Civil War, and afterwards was elected by material progress, we want

of
the lack
the colored vote South Carolina to the
in

place few facts that will tend show

to
a
State Legislature, and still later held negro schools

of
or
whether not the efforts

a
judicial position the South have been fruitless, and

in
Still later
in

that State.

or
he claims have been engaged educa not the negro has stood still
in

or
to

whether
the South, though diligent gone backward. First, let

us
tional work take the
in

inquiry bring Virginia, where the colored people


us
so

to

of
far fails accurate State
have been under the direct influence of
he
of as

information was engaged


to

where
At any rate, the great Hampton Institute

as

of
the work
is in

as
education. well
it

clear that the last twenty years Mr. The Hampton Institute
of

other schools.
Thomas' life have been spent mainly its work, however, Mr. Thomas
in

and
strangely omits altogether,

or
the North near Boston, away from the brushes

it
being The
as

great bulk no consequence.


in of
of

of

the race and out direct aside


touch with the tremendous constructive official figures relation the negro's

to
forces which have been work during ownership land Virginia for the past
in
at

of
as

the last twenty years for the regeneration year are follows: -
of the black man. The negroes now own one-twenty-sixth

of
We have seldom seen “carpetbagger,” all the land Virginia. They own one-six
in
a

Virginia east
all
of

of
the land
in

gloomy teenth the


or

black white, who did not take


Blue Ridge; one-tenth
a

of

all the land

in
view of the future of the South and of the twenty-five counties the State; one-seventh
in
by

So long
as

negro. the negro, his vote, Middlesex County, one-fifth


of

of

Hanover
County, and one-third Charles City County.
of

keep the carpetbagger


he in
to

was able
The negroes Virginia are acquiring land
of

office, the negro was all right; when


at the rate of about thousand acres
º

a
do

this the future became very


to

ceased year. Their real estate holdings would appear


dark. On the other hand, men like the much larger there were added the farms for
if

Armstrong, Hampton, and the which they have contracted, upon which they
C.

of
S.

late
Cravath, are making paymen's, but have not received
Fisk University, who
of

late Dr. the title.


were soldiers, and remained the South
in

In

regard the negro's material progress


of to

after the war, not for the purpose getting


of

Georgia, the State Comp


in

office, but lifting up the negro and the the State


of

white man, have always taken hopeful troller has recently given out the following
a

figures, which are reliable every respect:


in

view of the future.


through Mr. Theaggregate property owned by negroes
of

One strain that runs


Georgia against $13,560,-
as

$14,118,720,
in

Thomas's book from first his


to

is

last
is

179 last year. Of this $4,361,390 city and


is

insistence that the negro get land and


town property, and $4,274,549 represented by
is

education. This, however,


not new, farm lands. They own S72,975 worth mer
of
is

chandise, have $93,480


the thing that most the edu cash solvent debts
in
of

for this
in is

and $469,637 plantation and mechanical


in

cators the South for more than thirty tools. The total number of acres of land
years have been insisting upon. More owned by negroes 1,075,073, and there are
is

recently the importance land-getting negro voters the State,


of

as

shown
in

110,985
by the digest. Their property returns show
The American Wegro: What He 11’rs, Mºhat. He flattering increase for every year since
1

Jr, andWhart //e May. Become... By William Hannibal


a

Thomas. The Macmillan Co., New York. $2. 1879, when they returned for taxation only
733

734 The Outlook [30 March

S5,182,398 worth
years later, they
sions, returning
of
Pº. In 1889,
had doubled their posses
for taxation at that time
ten to the negro. We have recently placed
this curriculum by the side of that of one
$10,415,350 worth of property. of the largest industrial schools in the
South, and find that what he condemns
Other Southern States could make as the educators of negro youth for not doing
good a showing, and yet Mr. Thomas is actually being done in several schools,
would have us believe that practically no and is fast spreading all through the South.
material progress has been made. Accord Mr. Thomas devotes much space to a
ing to the theory advocated in his book, contention that the fundamental mistake
he would have us throw a wet blanket in the education of the negro is in educat
over all this splendid advance through ing him along Anglo-Saxon lines, and yet,
individual effort, and have the General at the end of his long contention, it is
Government enter into a scheme of buying almost pitiful to see how he knocks the
and selling lands to the negro much on foundation from under his own logic by
the old “forty acres and a mule" plan. stating that a certain literary college in
He would have the negro trained to look Kentucky, where there is almost no at
to Washington for everything, instead of tempt at industrial education, and where
depending on Himself or his State, and the bulk of the students are white—only
have the whole South flooded again with a small proportion being negroes—is the
Federal officers. only institution in the South that is edu
A fair idea of the value of Mr. Thomas's cating the negroes along correct lines.
economic ideas can be obtained by reading How can a college that exists mainly for
the passage in his book wherein he criti white people educate along anything but
cises such men as ex-President Hayes, Anglo-Saxon lines 2 And in what respect
Morris K. Jesup, William E. Dodge, and is the curriculum of Berea College—a
Dr. J. L. M. Curry for not following his very worthy institution—different from
advice to invest the John F. Slater Fund that of Fisk University and Atlanta Uni
of a million dollars in Southern lands. versity ?
According to his theory, which he outlines But, plainly, the main point of the book
with much detail, if his advice had been is to discount the morals of the negro. In
followed, instead of that of bankers like this respect many of Mr. Thomas's state
Morris K. Jesup, the million dollars would ments are so extreme and so entirely un
have yielded the first year an interest supported by evidence, except his own bare
amounting to four hundred thousand dol assertions, that much that is good and valu
lars, and the second year it would have able in the book will be discounted. We
yielded five hundred thousand dollars. believe that no one would be quicker to
Clearly, according to this showing, Mr. refute many of these unreasonable state
Thomas's rightful place is in Wall Street, ments than the Southern white people
rather than in the field of book-writing. themselves. A writer, who is unknown
It is perhaps true that no single agency and almost unheard of, who makes such
has accomplished more in stimulating and statements with expectation of being
guiding the education of the negro along believed, should be careful to fortify him
proper channels than the John F. Slater self by giving names, places, and dates,
Fund. At least this is the opinion of and not deal so largely in generalities
experts and of men of National reputation and statements taken merely from his
in the educational world. own head. He speaks constantly of
The author of this book condemns having received his information from a
practically every method that has been “certain Governor’’ or a “certain phy
used for lifting up the negro ; everything sician” or a “certain teacher.”
is wrong except that which he advocates, For example, does the author of “The
but which he himself, it seems, has failed American Negro" expect himself to be
to put into practice anywhere in the South. taken seriously by intelligent and thought
He advocates industrial education all ful people when he says, “The consequence
through his book, yet condemns it as it is that there is no school of prominence
now exists in many negro schools at the in negro training which has not had
South. He goes so far as to outline a among its pupils young freedwomen sus
curriculum for the teaching of agriculture taining immoral relations with white men,
1901] The American Negro 735

whose school expenses have been, in Virginia, the examination

in of

of
the State
many instances, defrayed by such persons any

of
Alabama more severe than that

in is
with the knowledge and consent of the

In
other State the Union. that State

a
school authorities”? It would be hard to diploma from no college accepted. No

is
make any of our readers believe that such one can enter the medical profession with
a statement would apply to men like Dr. out taking the regular State examination,
Frissell, of Hampton, the late Dr. Cravath, and very rare that any man can pass

is
it
of Fisk University, Dr. Bumstead, of ten days. The

in of
this examination inside
University, the President of the South per

is of
Atlanta code medical ethics
Wilberforce University, and numbers of haps higher than the North

in
is
it

;
institutions under the control of the Con any race would, for single

of
no man

of a
gregational, Methodist, and Baptist de day, be tolerated the profession medi

in
nominations at the South. cine who did not lead correct, moral

a
In another statement he says: “We life and was not well prepared profes
shall, however, in view of all the known sionally for his work.

In
Alabama there
facts at our command, be justified in are about twenty-five negro physicians,
assuming that not only are fuliy ninety say

us
and we have facts that warrant

in
per cent. of the negro women of America ing that, almost without single exception,

a
unchaste, but the social degradation of these men are highly educated, are suc
our freed women is without a parallel in their practice, are respected by

in
cessful
modern civilization.” A little later on, their white brother physicians, and have
Mr. Thomas seems to have forgotten this high moral and business standing their

in
outrageous statement regarding negro communities. There are nearly seven
women, and says, when speaking of the hundred thousand negroes Alabama,

in
whole race: “It is correct to say that bordering

of on
the ridiculous

to
and
is
it

fully ninety per cent. of the freedmen are speak, for example, that State being
reasonably law-abiding, and, apart from an overrun with negro physicians, when there
instinct for petty pilfering, are fairly honest are only twenty-five practice among

to
in deportment. They have the confidence seven hundred thousand people. What
and support of orderly white society, and an equal degree
of

Alabama
in
true
is

is

are rarely molested by true of other Southern States. No set of


its

lawless class.”
says: “For instance,
he

higher record
In

another case individuals have made


a

the negro's ethical code sternly reprobates professionally and otherwise since the war
dancing, theater attendance, and all social than the negro physicians.

us
games few pages further Further on Mr. Thomas enlightens
of

chance.”
A

on he forgets this statement, and adds: again the following statement: “The
in

“It quest for physical the moral training


as

preacher charge
of

much
is

in
a

the promise for pecuniary


as

his people, and the teacher engaged


of

excitement in
gain which impels the negro indulge their mental instruction, will steal from
to

petty gambling, and makes him the readily


as
in

each other and from the whites


chief “policy-player' the community, the most indigent freedman.” This
as
of

in

every city, North and South.” statement will include such ministers as
In another instance he states that the Bowen,
of

the Rev. Dr. W. Gammon


E.
J.

high death-rate and low birth-rate Theological Seminary, the Rev. Dr.
of

F.

the
J.

negro people shuts out any possibility Grimke, Washington, C., and such
D.
of
in in of

their attaining formidable proportions DuBois, At


of

teachers as Dr. W.
B.
E.

this country. little further along lanta, Ga., Professor Hugh M. Browne,
A

the Hampton Institute, and Mrs.


he

speaks K.
of
of

the book the “ever-increas


B.

ing millions negro citizens.” Bruce, woman principal the Tuskegee


of

of

Institute, and Miss Maria Baldwin, Prin


In

still another statement he speaks


of

the South being overrun with incompetent, cipal the Agassiz public school Cam
of

of

illiterate doctors, among other classes bridge, Mass. has remained for Mr.
of

It

professional men. Now, what are the Thomas inform the public that such
to

Alabama,
or In

facts for example, no man, persons will steal from one another and
2

black white, can enter the medical from the whites.


profession without passing very severe He further proceeds with the statement
a

is,

examination. Perhaps with the exception that the more intelligent the negro
736 The Outlook

up
the more does his disposition to theft hand, would, seems, lift the race

it
enlarge. In answer to this, some years much as one would build house. This

a
cannot be done. the author of “The

If
ago, a careful investigation was made,
and it was found that not a single man or American Negro" had spent his time
during the last ten twenty years

or
graduated

in
woman who had from one of
the larger institutions in the South was to going through the South, speaking directly
be found in a State prison. the colored people their schools,

in
to
their churches, conventions, and associa

all
Mr. Thomas says: “There are, in

of
the large cities, North and South, among tions, about the weak points that brings

he
the race, so-called voudoo and conjure out his book, and this book had been

in
the natural result of his efforts this

in
doctors vast throngs go for
to to

whom
amulets ward off disease, and for treat direction, we confess that we should have
As practical test more respect for him and for what

he
of
ment when sick.”
a
much that the writer says this book, says. The people the United States

in
in
we should be interested having some in do not have very high regard for man

a
a
sociological conditions who goes England make known the
in

to

of to
one interested
Boston or New York ask Mr. Thomas weak points
in

the life Americans. The

in
Boston do not have high regard
of

to lead him these voudoo and


to

one people

of
an
conjure doctors whom “vast throngs for individual who goes New Orleans

to
to

’’
go for treatment. We venture the state to condemn Boston. The citizens of Atlanta
ment that no such “vast throngs" can be do not have much respect for an individ
found, and that few con ual who goes New York
or

any voudoo

to

to
condemn
if

jure doctors can


be

the people The men

of

of
found our Northern Atlanta.
in

the
cities; any rate, we hope some white race will not have high regard for
of

our
at

writer who seems withdraw himself

to
readers will put Mr. Thomas
to

the test.
a

The following statement equally un goes

of
from his own race and outside
is

it
belief: “It its weak points before
is,

worthy therefore, emphasize


to

almost

an
of

impossible person either sex, audience of another color.


of

find
to

of a

over fifteen years age, who has not had The remedy for such an extreme case
actual carnal knowledge.” Mr. Thomas evidently
as
is of

the blues has


point out the going right into the field
be

We have not been slow found


in
to

to

the negro race nor con among the people and entering into hard,
of

to

weaknesses
demn the negro's follies. We know that earnest work for their uplifting. So long
many points
as

the race weak and needs the men and women who are actually
at

is
to

make itself strong, but engaged first-hand manner


of in
at

the same time

in
the
a

lifting up
do

we are convinced, through direct and relia the negro not become dis
ble evidence, that there never was time long we shall have great
so

couraged,
in
a

faith
to

to of
the history the future. sad think
in

is
It
so
of

the race when much real


progress being made materially, educa man without country.
It

sadder
is
is

tionally, and morally race; and this,


of

think man without


as

at

true the
is

a
a

present time. This progress slow, but we fear, about the position
as in

which
is
is

be

steady and sure, and no one need Mr. Thomas may described having
it
is

voluntarily placed himself through the


or

become discouraged lose hope for the


negro race. Mr. Thomas, medium of his book.
on

the other

Suspense
By Charles Henry Webb

So little light, So little the spark,


a

Can live So immense


it

Just flicker the night, The great world; and the dark
in
a

Angels give
so

dense,
Is

shield with your wings, dare not pray,


to
It

Lest breath— But, lips hushed with fear,


a

Your white robes' rustlings—


In

my soul's depths say,


I

Should be death. “God near.”


is