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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/468

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464
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

thousands of years. Still, the education of the masses has ever increased and the world thereby has gradually become more enlightened.

But with respect to the education of the colored people the great objection expressed by those who oppose this education is to be found in the "increasing peril resulting from the higher education of the negro."

It may be said that along the higher paths of education but few of those who have been civilized for centuries ever tread, and the higher the paths the fewer those who tread them. As would be expected, this is preeminently the case among the negro population.

The Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Education for 1899-1900, Vol. I., pp. lviii and lix of the preface, shows that 2,061 colored persons out of each 1,000,000 were enrolled in secondary and higher education for the year 1890; for the year 1907 it was 2,517 for each 1,000,000, while the general average for the whole United States had increased from 4,362 to 10,743 per 1,000,000. Thus while the attendance at the colored high school or college had increased somewhat faster than the population, it had not kept pace with the general average of the whole country, for it had fallen from 30 per cent. to 24 per cent. of the average quota.[1]

This report also shows that of all the colored pupils only one in one hundred was engaged in secondary and higher work. These figures correspond almost exactly with those given above that were compiled by Dr. Dabney from different data.

As one teacher can not handle successfully more than from forty to fifty pupils, and as all preachers and doctors should have at least some training in a high school, it is seen how entirely without foundation are the above objections regarding the higher education of the negro.

It is further to be noted that the above averages are for the whole colored population of the United States. The percentage of negro children that attend the high schools in cities, especially northern cities, is much larger than it is for the rural districts in the south. In 1900 the number of negroes in Washington, D. C., was 86,702; in Baltimore, 79,258; in Philadelphia, 62,613; in New York, 60,666, etc.

From the Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Education (1905) Vol, 2, p. 1295, it is seen that 3,349 colored students attended high schools in the territory considered in the present paper. As there are approximately seven million colored people living within this area, there is not one colored person out of every two thousand population that ever enters the high school.

  1. See Murphy, "The Present South," p. 61.