Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 6.djvu/684
6 70 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
The majority of the speakers were of the opinion that the prejudice against the negro is on the increase. When one remembers some of the stories that the newspapers have been giving us during the past few months, this certainly was not surprising. Some of the speakers told how they had found western hotels closed to them, which a few years ago were will- ing to entertain them. But one of the wisest of the women pres- ent was of the opinion that race-hatred was not on the increase. She said :
You know they used to say that we never died of consumption. That was because we just died and were buried, and nobody knew what we died of. Now that some attention is paid to what we die of, it has been discovered that some of us do die of consumption. So it is with the matter of race-hatred. More attention has been paid to it of late years, and so it sometimes seems to be on the increase. And we ourselves are becoming a more serious-minded race are losing our light-heartedness to a very considerable extent, and so we feel these things more than we used to.
She admitted that the state of affairs was still far from ideal that there was much to make right-thinking people of both races sad. She alluded to the fact that one of the prettiest schoolhouses for colored people in the South had been destroyed within a few weeks by a white mob. She said that one of her friends a teacher in the school had, during the past year, spent $100 of her own money for pictures for the walls. But she reminded her audience that, if a schoolhouse for colored children had been erected in that neighborhood twenty-five years ago, its destruction would have been a matter of course. Further, she was absolutely certain that that school would be rebuilt, and be rebuilt largely through the contributions of the white people of the South. She told us how many of the best southern white people were interested in the colored people, and in some instances even were willing to cultivate social rela- tions with them. She mentioned the fact that a wealthy planter had visited her home and had said to her, " with tears in his voice, if not in his eyes": " I wish that my wife had reached the point where I could invite you to our house." And this noble- hearted, broad-minded woman added : " Of course, I knew that