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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/164

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

I am not aware, however, that there is any existing association which includes such questions in its field of inquiry.

It will be observed that the suggestions I have made concerning the immediate needs of the negro do not include any mention of the higher scholastic education. This is not because I disbelieve in such training for those blacks who, by their evident capacity, show that it fits them; but because it seems futile at the present time to waste efforts in giving these people an education for which they are in general by no means ready—which, if attained, does not afford them a way to a suitable station. The few youths of the race who really desire what is commonly called a college education, are reasonably certain to receive it in some one of the many schools where they-are sure of a welcome and of all due help. Even in the case of those blacks who, by some rare chance, have inherited the proper foundations of the higher mental training, and are made ready for the so-called professions, I see but a very poor chance of advancement to any fit positions in this country. Even in the part of the North where one would expect these well-trained, negroes would have a fair chance in life, it does hot avail them. As physicians, lawyers, clergymen or engineers they can look forward, to no future having a definite relation to their capacities. They can not expect to have any range of social opportunities, and their employment will have to be essentially with their own people.

The youth of negro blood might naturally expect to find in a community devoted to the maintenance of his rights at least a welcome to the external business society. He will, however, find that the people who would willingly sacrifice much to ensure him an equal place in matters political, allow their race prejudices or those of their associates to deny him fair play. It is a lamentable fact that this dislike to these men of the other aspect is far stronger in the North than in the South. In the parts of the North where negroes are rare, there is, it is true, a sense of duty by them that ensures their place before the law; but not enough personal contact with them to wear away the first offence of their diverse aspect. In most parts of the Southern States the black man is so constantly in view that the instinctive prejudice is worn away—he is perhaps, in a somewhat contemptuous way, personally liked. The race prejudice takes the form of certain rules of intercourse, expressing about the feeling that separates the commissioned officers and the enlisted men of an army. There is an element of truth in the statement, attributed to Thomas Carlyle, that the Northern man said, "God d—d you, Sambo, be free;" and the Southerner, "God bless you, Sambo, be slave." The result to Sambo is the same—a deprivation of opportunities in all the higher walks of life.

The only safe way up for the negro appears to lie in the industrial field, in mechanical employments, where his race may not weigh