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efficient citizenship. It records the part played both by the early toilers and by the Centenary of Methodist Missions which is making possible the achievements of to-day. It demonstrates in terms of work accomplished, the function and value of a great Benevolent Board.
May the ministry of its message bear large and lasting fruit.
RALPH WELLES KEELER. Chicago, January 1, 1922.
OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR NEGROES
OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH P. J. Maveety, Corresponding I. Garland Penn, Corresponding Secretary
Secretary William F. Anderson, President John H. Race, Treasurer John L. Seaton, Educational
NEGRO PROGRESS ALONG LEARNING'S
THREE hundred years of Pilgrim history have unfolded themselves in America, and recently nations have joined hands across the ocean in the celebration of the Tercentenary of the sailing of the Mayflower. It was fitting that this should be. That small boat, with all that it represents, has come to fill too large a place in our national life to be forgotten or ignored. The little "band of exiles" which it carried built themselves and their ideals into the very foundations of our social order. They came, and the story of the America that is can never be told without them. There were other groups, which came in those early days, however; and they too left their imprint upon our national character.
Early as the Pilgrims were, the Negro had already preceded them. Six months before the Mayflower touched the coast of New England, a small craft, whose name has rotted with her timbers, landed its handful of Negroes on the shores of Virginia. They too were a “band of exiles,” but they came neither willingly nor gladly, but of compulsion. Of them no poet wrote:
“Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard, and the sea;
To the anthem of the free."
And yet there has seemed to be little danger that the American Negro would sink into oblivion. In fact, if the proverbial traveler from Mars should ever pause to read the files of our most characteristic American publication, The Congressional Record, he might learn little about the Pilgrims, but at every turn he would be confronted with wellnigh endless dissertations upon the American Negro. Humble in origin, the Negro has been forced against his will to play an important part, and indeed sometimes the leading role, in our national drama.
To-day, even from the standpoint of numbers, the American Negro is a factor to be reckoned with. The handful of three centuries ago had grown to four million by the time of emancipation in 1863, and now the total is ten and one-half millions; sufficient, from the standpoint of numbers, to replace every man, woman, and child in eighteen States of the Union, east and west, and in addition to form a nineteenth colony with a population nearly equal to that of the present District of Columbia.
And the Negro of the present is no longer a bondsman; he is not a chattel; he is a citizen of a free country, whose integrity and permanence depend upon the character and intelligence of its citizenry. Surely the progress which the Negro has made along the highway of learning is a matter of common and vital concern to all of us.
EDUCATION IN THE EARLY DAYS
It is common to speak of the rapid advance which the Negro has made in the field of education since the Civil War. To complete the picture it must be recalled that the education of the Negro really began much earlier than that. The facts that the Negro had come to use the English language, that he had learned something of Jesus Christ and the white man's religion, and that he had adopted many habits and ideas of his white master are but indications of a process of education which had been going on almost unconsciously. In the early days, before the development of our industrial life made the keeping of large numbers of slaves economically profitable, there was relatively little opposition to the education of the Negro. Masters educated their slaves that they might serve more effectively; sympathetic persons sought to improve the condition of the helpless by enlightening their minds; and missionaries labored with them in order that they might learn to read the Bible. Negroes learned to appreciate and write poetry; they mastered bookkeeping and correspondence; they studied science; they became proficient in mathematics, and they delved in philosophy. Negroes were even employed to teach white students.
With the development of industry, however, the