« ForrigeFortsett »
This table shows that the expenditure for the negro child is about one-half of that for the white child. In North Carolina they are more nearly even — $1.17 for white, $1.03 for colored. In Florida the proportion is $5.92 for the white and $2.27 for the colored.30 It is argued that the white school represents a higher grade of scholastic attainment than the colored school. This, however, does not change the point at issue.
The assertion is generally accepted as true that the education of the negro has been a heavy burden on the white taxpayers. I quote in full from the Report of the Department of the Interior31 in relation to the state of Georgia :
It was estimated that the negroes of Georgia paid during 1899 $26,347.43 in direct tax and $89,003 in polls, making a total of $115,530.43 paid directly by the race for educational purposes. The nature of the indirect taxation of Georgia is such that the negro is without any shadow of question entitled to his due proportion.
Western & Atlantic Railroad
The negro's pro rata share of the school fund raised by indirect taxation was $176,898.24, making a total of $292,248.67. The expenditure for negro schools, including proportional cost of superintendence, was $288, :28. This would seein to show that the whites of Georgia do not contribute one cent to negro education.
On the same basis of calculation, though with confessed lack of definite data, the conference shows a like condition of things for the entire South. The negro is shown to have contributed in thirty years $104,539,592 toward public education. This sum, of course, includes his pro rata of general funds, such as land funds and indirect taxation. The total cost of negro education for the period was $101,860,601.
Maryland, Kentucky, and Delaware give only that portion of the local school tax paid by colored property-holders to colored schools. This does not apply to the state tax, since that is equally apportioned.
80 Report of Department of Interior, 1901, Vol. I.
31 Ibid., p. 755.
A question of importance arises as to the economic condition of the southern negro. An analysis of the number of the colored race owning land shows that one-sixth of the negroes are taxpayers on their own property. This includes mortgaged farms, as the fact of a mortgage does not change the statistics of taxation. This brings out the significant fact that one-fourth of a million colored men have changed within forty years from chattel slaves to property-holders. 32 Further, there are about 1,059,991 colored renters. These in an indirect way also pay taxes, since rent always includes taxes. The negro without doubt is entitled to his equal share in all educational benefits. It is plain that the South still rests largely on negro labor. Every state shows a higher percentage of negroes than of whites engaged in the occupations. Of negroes, 414 out of every 1,000 are employed; of whites, 309 out of every 1,000.
It is in the South that the problem of negro education is to be worked out. Over 92 per cent. of the nine million negroes still remain in the South, segregating gradually into the “black belt in the county and the “colored wards” in the cities. In the cities the question of negro education is not so difficult. Here the opportunities are more clearly equal. It is in the rural districts that the same difficulties that face the white children surround the colored child, only greatly intensified. 33
The most-discussed phase of negro education at present is as to the relative value of manual training and higher education. This has opened up the whole subject of the intellectual capacity of the negro - a subject far too wide for discussion here. Notwithstanding numerous assertions denying anything but a low degree of mentality to the negro, colored youths have succeeded in mastering the work required in the higher institutions of learning.
There are hundreds and thousands of black men in this country who in capacity are to be ranked with the superior persons of the dominant race, and
82 Ibid., p. 760.
83 The ivegro Common School, No. 6 of the “ Atlanta University Publications,” gives a thorough study of the rural schools in each state of the South. This is edited by W. E. B. DuBois.
it is hard to say that in any evident feature of mind they characteristically differ from their white fellow-citizens. 84
It is argued by many southern educators that industrial education — the training to become carpenters, masons, blacksmiths — should for the present make up the sum total of a negro's education. 35
While in no way arguing against educative industrial training, the fact remains that “the negro is a man entitled to all the privileges of manhood.” Why then limit him to developing the
' mechanical side alone? “The claim for the higher education of colored youth is not based upon relative capacity, but upon their ability to profit by it.”
That they are able to profit by such education seems proved by the table compiled by Dr. F. G. Merrill 36 in answer to the statement of Charles Dudley Warner that higher education is doing the negro more harm than good, and increasing his lawlessness and idleness.
STATISTICS OF THE FOUR HUNDRED GRADUATES OF FISK UNI
19 United States government employees
9 Commercial pursuits
13 Students in professional schools
16 Wives at home
44 Living at home
9 Business and homes not registered by university
32 It would be difficult to find any northern university for the training of white youths that presents a more satisfactory record than this.
Within the colored race itself these two forces standing for industrial training exclusively; the other, while recognizing the value of manual education, still contending that the negro youth should have an equal opportunity for higher education-are represented respectively by Mr. B. T. Washington and Professor W. E. B. DuBois.
The position of the best white element of the South seems to be: “The negro is a man to be educated for work, independence, and citizenship like other men.” 37
37 DR. CHARLES DABNEY, president of the University of Tennessee.
SOUTHERN EDUCATION BOARD. No treatment of southern education would be complete without a reference to the scope and work of the Southern Education Board. This was organized in 1901. It is in a sense the executive authority of the popular gathering known as the Conference for Education in the South.
The purpose of this board is to "stimulate sentiment in favor of more liberal provision for universal education in the public schools, to reach the public mind and quicken the public conscience.” Its method is to go before the people with its own publications, and to reach them through the public press and by public speech. It is in favor of negro education, and stands for the best and amplest training for both races. Its policy is co-operation with existing educational agencies, not interference. It is free from all alliances, either political or ecclesiastical. The chief interest of the board is in the development of the public schools, especially of rural communities. In fact, it is a central agency to conduct a campaign for free education in the South.
MAY WOOD SIMONS. MELROSE PARK, ILL.
THE POSITION OF WOMEN IN EARLY
The position of women in early civilization is a subject which, of course, cannot be adequately dealt with in a single paper. All that I can do is to present a few general conclusions, together with some illustrative examples to support those conclusions. The subject is full of difficulties. Not only is the position of women among the lower races variable, but our knowledge of the matter is very defective. It is seldom that a traveler gives us a minute account of the customary rights and duties of women among the people whom he visits. Not infrequently are conflicting statements made by different authorities, or even by the same writer. And, as regards the status of women, as in many other points, we often have reason to suspect that the European visitor expresses his opinion without a full insight into all the facts bearing on the question with which he is dealing.
The popular view is that among the lower races the position of women is one of abject slavery. This opinion is no doubt correct to some extent, so far as certain savage peoples are concerned. Among many of them the husband has the power of life and death over his wife, at least within certain limits and under certain circumstances. The man is often described as the sole proprietor of his wives and daughters, entitled to barter them away, or to dispose of them in any manner he may think proper. Yet it seems that even in cases where the husband's power over his wife is said to be absolute, custom has not left her entirely destitute of rights. Take, for instance, the Australian aborigines, who have long been reputed to be perhaps the greatest oppressors of women on earth. Among certain tribes, at least, if a man kills his wife, her death is avenged by her brothers or kindred, or the husband has to deliver up one of his own sisters for his late wife's friends to put to death. Sometimes he must have the consent of the tribe
1 Paper presented at the opening meeting of the Sociological Society (London) on April 18, 1904.