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The colored schools of Delaware.-"There are only 46 [colored] schoolhouses in the State and 79 schools. Thirty-three of the schools are held either in private houses or churches, mostly the latter. All the schoolhouses occupied have been built by the colored people themselves, and some of the buildings are in the last stages of dilapidation. Some of the schools find it necessary to charge a tuition fee and others raise funds by subscription in order to secure sufficient money to pay the teacher's salary."
The State superintendent suggests "that it would be wise to increase the State appropriation to these schools in order that they may be made free schools in fact. If education is a safeguard it would seem to need no argument that the colored schools should be made as efficient as possible."
The sum of $6,000 was appropriated for these schools in 1889-'90, or a little over $1 for each colored child of school age in the State.
Capacity of colored students-Appreciation of school advantages.—The principal of the Florida State Normal College for Colored Persons reports: "The students are specially drilled in the abstract sciences in which they are the weakest, while their strong linguistic powers are given the fullest exercise. The imperfect attainments in the common studies which they bring to the institution are displaced by a severe training in the same studies, when they are carried through algebra to quadratics and through several books of geometry. In all these studies they can compete favorably with scholars of similar grade anywhere. In the Latin, the only classic thus far taught, they are carried through several books of Cæsar's Commentaries, just enough to give them a proper foundation to continue the study of the thoughts of the iron-hearted masters of the ancient world after graduation. Although it is less than two years since the senior class began the study of Latin, several of them can now read Cæsar with an ease and elegance that would do credit to scholars who have been engaged twice the length of time in studying this language.
"The surest test for the appreciation of the race for the school is in the sacrifices made by patrons in sending and maintaining scholars here, and the eagerness of the latter to avail themselves of the opportunity offered them for instruction. With limited means or from daily earnings parents send their children to this school from distant parts of the State and meet all the financial engagements incident to the education of a young person during the entire session of nine months. Although this is the second year since the school has had dormitory halls, not only has every patron met all his obligations, but the demand for more room in the dormitories is restricted by our inability to provide for any
"The promptness and regularity of attendance at the daily sessions of the school is another proof of high appreciation. No severer punishment for breach of discipline can be inflicted on any of them than to be ordered to leave school for even part of a day. They seem to feel that every day and hour are too preciors to be lost from the prosecution of the purpose for which they have come hither from their homes. This strong regard and attachment for a school but lately established is one of the most pleasing features which promise for it, let it be hoped, a long career of usefulness."
State School Commissioner James S. Hook: "It is due the colored people to say that everywhere in Georgia, as far as they have come within my observation, they are anxious for improvement, and in proportion as they become interested in the schools I note growth in moral sentiment, less interest in partisan politics, and more anxiety to make themselves useful and respected citizens."
The University of Atlanta, as is well known, has, under the provision of the State constitution forbidding the coeducation of whites and colored, forfeited its State grant. Some of the prominent colored educators of the State are setting on foot a movement to obtain this suspended grant in order to establish 8 normal school for training colored teachers.
What the county superintendents say.
Crawford County.-Colored schools were well attended, but a decrease in number of schools, on account of not being able to get teachers that could make the required percentage in examination.
Houston County. The colored people manifest a great desire to have their children educated; their schools were kept full and the average attendance was good. The colored children of our county outnumber the whites almost 4 to 1, and all their schools are full to overflowing whenever opened. In some parts of the county the white people are so sparsely settled that it is impossible for them to have schools.
Jasper County.-There is not a child of school age in the county, white or black, but what has a schoolhouse conveniently located and can attend school most any kind of weather.
Mitchell County.—The colored people of our county are very manifest in their interest of education. Many of our colored schools, if allowed, are crowded beyond accommodations.
Oconee County.-By no means tax the whites to educate the blacks. This has made a "skeleton" of what otherwise would have been a corpulent and muscular man-a giant [referring to the school system].
Putnam County.-We should have more money, negro or no negro. Something s necessarily obliged to be done or the whites will not keep up with the darkey.
The colored schools of Maryland.-Dr. James L. Bryan, school examiner of Dorchester County, Md., reports as follows: "There is great pleasure and just pride in stating that our colored schools are a credit to our system. When I began my work in this county in 1867 there were no colored schools connected with the public-school system. There were two or three run by friends outside of the State. The school board of that day made a small appropriation to two of those schools, and gradually increased the amount until the new school law of 1872 placed such schools directly under the control of the school board. Since that day these schools have increased from two or three to forty, and the teachers compare favorably with the white teachers, considering the poor advantages they have had to make themselves expert teachers. With two or three exceptions these schools occupy houses belonging to the school authorities, built generally for school purposes, and with comfortable furniture, blackboards, ete. One house, in Cambridge, used by colored pupils, cost nearly $2,500; another, in East Newmarket, cost over $1,000.
"There is small but a steady increase in the numbers attending the schools, and the results are quite gratifying.
"It is a great credit to the powers that be that this work has been done so well. It is honorable to the authorities, and should dispel all doubts of fa in the matter of educating this class of our people."
And the examiner of Harford County says: "In a number of cases we lack suitable houses and furniture for the colored schools; but our greatest drawback in this line is an efficient corps of teachers. I do not hesitate to say that I have more difficulty in securing twenty-two suitable colored teachers than one hundred and fourteen white ones. I anxiously look forward to the day when we may rely upon the colored normal school of this State for our colored teachers.
"In many cases, too, it is difficult to secure prompt and regular attendance of colored children. Having satisfied their ambition by enrolling their names at school, the very ones most in need of its benefits are the ones most apt to be absent. Recognizing the large factor they have become in some sections, I see no higher duty the State has to perform than to do what she can to educate this large class of her citizens."
Causes of opposition to negro education.-State Superintendent S. M. Finger, of North Carolina, says: "There is much opposition to public schools in the State, and in the South generally, because of the small amount of the taxes paid by the negroes. The opposition is intensified by the belief, that is more or less prevalent, that education spoils the colored people as laborers, to their own damage and the damage of the white people. It is said that when you 'educate a negro you spoil a field hand.'
"On this point it may be said with truth that the negro's sudden freedom and citizenship, for which he was unprepared, the privileges of education, and all the new experiences he had at and soon after the war, including much bad leadership, completely turned his head, so to speak. Forced labor to him had, during slavery, been his peculiar hardship. In his ignorance he thought the new conditions, and especially the privilege of education, were to relieve him from this curse of labor. The old negroes went earnestly to work to learn to read. They failed, but attributed their failure to lack of early opportunities. But they resolved that they would secure education for their children, and, with this special end in view, the escape from manual labor. The present generation of younger neg oes has been educated too much with this purpose in view, and, because of this wrong idea, it is true that a smattering of education to many of them has caused idleness and laziness. If education is to be given them in any liberal sense by the State they must show a much higher appreciation of it. They must recognize it not as a means of relief from labor, but as a help to successful labor.
"Many of their best teachers are striving now, by precept and example, to correct these wrong ideas as to what education is to do for them, and my earnest advice to school committcemen is that they do not employ teachers who are above manual labor. A man or a woman who depends upon the money he can make by teaching a three or four months school per annum and will not apply himself to some useful labor during the balance of the time is not fit to direct the education of children and should not be employed to teach.
"The colored people must not lose sight of the fact that manual labor is the lot of almost all people, white and colored, and that this is now and will be their lot to a la ger degree than that of the white people, because of the peculiar conditions and circumstances that surround them. The destiny of the negroes of the United States is in their hands, with the powerful help of the white people as they may show themselves worthy of it. Let them pay their taxes and show that education does not spoil them as laborers, at least to any greater degree than it does the whites, but that it does add to their efficiency as laborers and to their usefulness as moral and upright citizens, and all the help they need that the State can, in her financial condition, reasonably afford will be extended them.
"The white people must not lose sight of the fact that it is the labor of a country that makes its wealth, and that, therefore, the education and elevation of the children of the laborers is a proper charge upon the property of any country. If we did not have the negroes we would have some other poor people, whose children would have to be educated in the public schools. But, whatever may be said about educating the negroes, we can not afford not to improve our educational facilities, whether we consider our financial condition and progre s or the perpetuation of our civil and religious liberties.
"If it is said that we are too poor, then I reply that the way to get rich is to educate our people intellectually and industrially, so that they may be able successfully to apply labor to the development of our many resources. The history of the world points out this way, and we can not fail if we walk in it. With good schools in the country districts there will be less incentive for the country people to crowd into the cities and towns to educate their children, much of the discontent and restlessness will disappear, and better success will attend their labors."
Reports of Tennessee county superintendents.
Marshall County: Our colored schools are improving very fast. At their institute this year there was an increase of teachers and an increase in interest. All of them seem to be striving for an education, and we have some very bright minds in the colored race.
Me Nairy County: I have held four institutes-three for the whites and one for the colored. They were all well attended. We had some excellent workers at the normal institute at Purdy in June. I have the colored teachers better organized than the whi ́es.
Morgan County: There are only forty-seven colored population, and they are promiscuously scattered along the railroads: hence no colored schools.
Tipton County: There seems nothing at present that promises to discourage the advancement of the public schools in this county further than that there is a growing disposition on the part of the white people of the county, who pay
ninety-five one-hundredths of the taxes, to discontinue the public education of the brother in black," who, notwithstanding the fact that he pays less than five one-hundredths of the taxes of our county, receives more than 50 per cent of the public-school moneys. This, the white people argue, is wrong, and should be remedied; and I heartily agree with them, and join them also, in the further opinion that the negro should bear the burden of his own education.
Wayne County: Our colored schools are progressing very well. We have some very good teachers among the colored population of our county. They are creating quite an enthusiasm among their race of people for education.
"We can build our own schoolhouses."-The New York Age (edited by a colored man): Vast sums have been given by philanthropists to sustain such moral, religious, and intellectual work in the Southern States as are usually supplied from the general tax funds of the State affected and by the charity of the benevolently disposed citizens of such State. The past and the present generations of AfroAmericans have, therefore, been educated to look to the Federal Government for the protection usually afforded to the citizen by the State in which he resides and which does not inhere at all in the Federal authority as one of its conceded rights; and, worse yet, they have been educated to look to others to think and do for them to such an extent that self-reliance has been hampered in its development, so that if we want money for educational, religious, or other laudable purposes, we appeal too often to white men or to the Federal Government, instead of relying upon ourselves for it and working in combination and coöperation to secure it as others do. We can build our own churches and colleges and schoolhouses, and support them, if we would do so, out of the money wasted by us upon unnecessary pleasures and upon downright humbug; and we have got to do it in the not remote future, because the opinion is steadily gaining vantage that we are getting old enough to stand upon our own heels in this matter of self-help.
II.-SECONDARY AND HIGHER EDUCATION.
OCCUPATIONS OF GRADUATES.
The question is sometimes asked, What does the colored man do after completing a regular course in one of the universities or colleges? In order to answer this question somewhat definitely, a table has been prepared showing upon what lines of business the graduates of 17 institutions reporting this item had entered. These 17 institutions represent very fairly the work of the colored schools. Howard University is not included in this statement, as a considerable portion of its graduates are white.
The first thing to attract attention is the large number engaged in teaching, more than one-half being thus employed. As these institutions were mainly founded to supply the demand for competent colored teachers and preachers, they seem to have well accomplished their purpose. The whole number of graduates of these 17 institutions is 1,542. If from this number we subtract 82 deceased, 46 engaged in post-graduate studies, 97 married women, and 74 not reported, of the remaining 1,243 there are 720, or 58 per cent, engaged in teaching, 27 of these being professors in colleges and universities. Of preachers there are 117, or 9 per cent of lawyers, 116; doctors, 163. Five have their whole time emp'oyed as editors of papers, while others are partly engaged in editing. There are 36 in the United States Government service, employed as clerks in the departments at Washington, as postmasters, as custom-house inspectors, as mailcarriers, etc.
Although in all of the institutions given in the list, without exception, instruction was given in different kinds of industrial work, such as carpentry, tinning, painting, brickmaking, plastering, shoemaking, tailoring, blacksmithing, farming, gardening, etc., and in many of them special attention was given to such instruction; still out of the 1,243 graduates only 12 are farmers, only 1 a carpenter, and 2 mechanics. The painters, tinners, brick-makers, shoemakers, plasterers, tailors, and blacksmiths seem to have graduated from their trades when they left their alma mater. It should not be inferred, however, that their handicraft availed them nothing, for it is frequently stated in the catalogues that those graduates who are engaged in teaching so long as the school term continues immediately enter upon their trades at the close of the term. The evidence of the table, ho vever, is that a full collegiate education tends to draw away the colored student from the class of pursuits mentioned and to lead him into professional work; and as greater opportunities are annually being offered him for medical and legal education the number in these professions is yearly increasing.
TABLE 3.-Occupations of graduates of universities and colleges.
Allen University, South Carolina.
Central Tennessee College, Tennessee.