Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/431

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let the equally ignorant white man be equally excluded. We have great faith in the educative effect of justice, and a firm administration of law. It would at once raise the self-respect of the negro to know that what was law for the white man was law for him, and vice versa; and self-respect is a sure ground for further advance. In the matter of education, we hold that education for the colored race should be almost wholly of a practical kind. We go further, and say that the education given to white children everywhere might with great advantage be much more practical than it is. The proper education for any individual is that which will tend to make him more efficient, successful, and self-sufficing in the position which he is called to occupy. This principle, far from implying a stationary condition of the individual, is precisely the one which provides best for his advancement. It is the man who is thoroughly competent for the work he has at any given moment to do who passes beyond that work to something better. The misery of existing systems of education is that to so large extent they educate for a hypothetical position beyond that for which an immediate preparation is necessary. The result is that the schools unload upon the community year by year a levy of adventurous youths who at once begin to live by their wits in no very creditable sense, and who constitute a distinct menace to the stability of society.

We would therefore urge most earnestly upon all who take an interest in the education of the colored race to keep in view above all things the importance and necessity of fitting the negro to take an active part in the practical industries of the country, and above all in agriculture. An education directed mainly to this end would do far more to develop his intelligence than one of a more abstract and ambitious character and would furnish a far better foundation for success in life. Far from tying the negro down to manual occupations, it would prepare the way for his eventual participation in all occupations. But occupation for occupation, where is there one that can reasonably be rated higher than the intelligent and successful cultivation of the soil? If the negro problem can not be solved by common sense and common honesty it can not be solved at all. Before giving it up as insoluble we should make full proof of these homely specifics. We have long been proclaiming that the negro is a man and a brother; let us therefore treat him as such, and if we find out anything that is particularly good for his moral and intellectual improvement, let us try a little of it ourselves. It surely will not do us any harm.

Scientific Literature.


The Lesson of Popular Government[1] is a fruit of thirty years' study, by Mr. Bradford, of certain peculiarities in the political workings of our institutions. The book is not for those who consider it patriotic to shut their eyes to whatever is going wrong, but for those whose regard for the Federal Constitution and the organization of our governments is only in-

  1. The Lesson of Popular Government. By Gamaliel Bradford. New York: The Macmillan Company. Two volumes. Pp. 530 and 590. Price, $4.