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    OTHER OPINIONS.   Table of Contents     VERSE.

Mossell, N.F.
The Work of Afro-American Women



who ten years ago took a second degree at Yale College, says: "Many of my college and class-mates are now occupying the best pulpits in the land; many are tutors, professors, and principals of our best institutions for the education of youth. Now, it is claimed by our colored institutions that twenty years is not sufficient for them to develop fifty or seventy-five first class scholarly men, from among seven million people,

to occupy in equal ratios the honorable position for elevating their own race; if this be true, it must follow that there is a defect somewhere in the educational system; perhaps the present corps of instructors in these institutions are incompetent to fill the positions they occupy, or, perhaps, many are acting the role of Government officials, having a pleasant time at the people's expense.

"This is the conclusion we are driven to from their own statement.

"Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Amherst, and other white colleges, can in ten years accomplish more than those colored institutions in twenty. Something is radically wrong! But is it true that colored men have not been developed since the war sufficiently able to direct the work of educating their own race? In the present condition of things this is unthinkable.

"Grover Cleveland, the President of the United States, wishes a suitable representative of the Government at the Court of Port Au Prince, and finds the abilities of a young colored man less than twenty-six years old, and less than three years from one of our American colleges, sufficiently matured to fill the position; and again, desiring to fill another important position, the Liberian Minister, he calls upon an ex-slave, a graduate from Lincoln University, in the class of 1873.

"My college-mate, our President, is a Democrat, yet

he does not ignore the Negro's ability. In all departments of the Government colored men are placed in responsible positions, and they serve well -- very few Belknaps and Moseses. And equally true it is that colored institutions, conducted entirely by colored people, are just as efficient in their work as those conducted by the white for the colored students."

We demand educated colored teachers for all colored schools, because their color identity makes them more interested in the advancement of colored children than white teachers, and because colored pupils need the social contact of colored teachers. Our people need social as well as educational advancement; and in this respect colored teachers can exercise potent influences, which would be lost if the selfish policy of employing white teachers obtain.-- Florida News .

Large numbers of white people do not teach the Negro so much for the interest they have in him as they do for that they get. In the second place there is always a tendency in a white teacher, however much he may be interested in the work, to crust out the many and independent spirit that is essential to the full development of the mental powers.

They always keep prominent the fact that they think the Negro is their inferior, and try always to make him believe it. In his attainments they virtually say to him, thus far shalt thou come and no farther. If

he is ambitious and will go beyond the mark they made for him, they have no more use for him.-- Missionary Worker.

Nothing can be more detrimental to the future existence of these institutions than the belief and feeling among the alumni and patrons that such a state of affairs exists. The above opinions prove conclusively that the advanced feeling of the entire country is opposed to the fostering of such feeling under the guise of aid to the freedman. In an article by Charles T. Thiving, entitled "Colleges and their Graduates," in a late issue of the Independent , some forcible truths are stated which apply equally well to the matter under discussion. Says he:--

"The graduates of a college are at once its warmest friends and severest critics. The best friends of a college should naturally be found among its own graduates. Not only should a college foster the spirit of loyalty among its own graduates but these graduates may be and should be the most useful of its friends.

"In a large relation it may be added that alumni associations are of vast service. They tend to unify the best thought of some of the best men as to most important interests."

None of which can be the case if a feeling of repulsion and distrust has been aroused in the heart of the members of the alumni by a knowledge that the faculties

and trustees are fostering caste prejudice against them. It is felt by the graduates that the caste prejudice is not shared by the patrons of these institutions who give freely and lovingly of their means, trusting to their trustees and faculties to attend to the distribution of it to the best advantage of those for whom it is contributed, but that caste is developed in the faculties, who are as a rule poor men and desire to secure and hold lucrative life positions for themselves and families. The purpose to ignore the Negro socially is another factor in the problem. They see that if a colored man becomes a member of the faculty he must be treated as other members of that department are treated; to this they will not submit; hence the colored man may not occupy the position. An odd feature of this caste prejudice is the strong hold it has upon the churches. The K. of L. and G. A. R. are open to him. The State institutions all over the country are fast becoming free to all, and where the schools are separate as Virginia State Normal, Mississippi State Normal, and Alabama State Normal Schools, the positions are given to competent colored teachers; but the church, the denominational schools under its control, the Christian Associations, cling to caste prejudice and sow the seed of distrust and unbelief in the heart of the black man.

    OTHER OPINIONS.   Table of Contents     VERSE.