Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/372

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inextinguishable brotherly love. The generosity of the Southern negro both in spirit and in deed is his most lovable trait. There is always room in the poorest cabin for the child of misfortune, and that family is a rare one which does not contain one or more adopted children—the orphaned or abandoned offspring of the unfortunate. In the hungry barren lives of these poor negro children the first thought of wealth is what it would do for father and mother or 'for my people.' Sixty per cent, of the children between fourteen and twenty, who wish to be wealthy, are actuated by thoughts of others.

The following papers are typical of this spirit:

Boy, 14. I would like to be rich so when any poor man come to my door, I would give him something.
Boy, 14. I would like very well to be rich because my father and mother would not hafter work. All they would do to eat and sleep.
Girl, 14. Yes, so I could take care of poor and motherless children.
Boy, 18. My home would be better and I would pay some of those children's tuitions who have to leave school, and I would try to make it possible for them to earn more money.

Scattered throughout the South are scores of educated negro men and women whose lives of noble devotion to their people are testifying to this spirit of brotherly love. Of inestimable value in their work would be the aid of pastors, industrially trained, who by teaching and example sanctioned 'property, economy, education and Christian character.' The inherent generosity of the negro character might easily be made the moving force in material accumulation, and so clothe it with righteousness. But perhaps the greatest foes of rational progress are the untrained preachers who destroy initiative and check energy.

This study certainly emphasizes the correctness of the statement recently made by the Hon. William T. Harris:[1] "The crying need at the present day is for an educated pulpit, among the colored people of the South. The majority of these ministers are illiterate and ignorant, and their congregations are filled with superstition, some acquired and some hereditary, as a characteristic of the African race."

  1. Quoted in Washington 'Post,' May 10, 1900, from Dr. Harris's address at the graduation exercises of the Training School for Nurses at the Freedmen's Hospital.