In that letter, introduce yourself to students. In addition, tell students a few personal things about yourself; for example, your likes and dislikes, what you did over the summer, and your hobbies. Ask questions throughout the letter. You might ask what students like most about school, what they did during the summer, what their goals for the new school year are, or what they are really good at.
In your letter, be sure to model the correct parts of a friendly letter! On the first day of school, display your letter on an overhead projector. Then pass each student a sheet of nice stationery. Have the students write return letters to you. In this letter, they will need to answer some of your questions and tell you about themselves.
This is a great way to get to know each other in a personal way! Mail the letter to students before school starts, and enclose a sheet of stationery for kids to write you back.
Each piece should have a matching piece of the same length. There should be enough pieces so that each student will have one. Then give each student one piece of string, and challenge each student to find the other student who has a string of the same length.
After students find their matches, they can take turns introducing themselves to one another. You can provide a list of questions to help students "break the ice," or students can come up with their own.
You might extend the activity by having each student introduce his or her partner to the class. Give each student a slip of paper with the name of an animal on it. Then give students instructions for the activity: No talking is allowed.
The students might hesitate initially, but that hesitation soon gives way to a cacophony of sound as the kids moo, snort, and giggle their way into groups.
The end result is that students have found their way into their homerooms or advisory groups for the school year, and the initial barriers to good teamwork have already been broken. Hold a large ball of yarn. Start by telling the students something about yourself. Then roll the ball of yarn to a student without letting go of the end of the yarn. The student who gets the ball of yarn tells his or her name and something good about himself or herself.
Then the student rolls the yarn to somebody else, holding on to the strand of yarn. Soon students have created a giant web.
After everyone has spoken, you and all the students stand up, continuing to hold the yarn. Start a discussion of how this activity relates to the idea of teamwork -- for example, the students need to work together and not let others down. Questions might include the following: What is your name? Where were you born? How many brothers or sisters do you have? What are their names? Do you have any pets? Pair students, and have each student interview his or her partner and record the responses.
Then have each student use the interview responses to write a "dictionary definition" of his or her partner to include in a Student Dictionary. You might model this activity by creating a sample dictionary definition about yourself. Born in Riverside, California.
No brothers or sisters. Have students bring in small pictures of themselves to paste next to their entries in the Student Dictionary. Bind the definitions into a book, and display it at back-to-school night.
Ask each student to write a brief description of his or her physical characteristics on one index card and his or her name on the other. Physical characteristics usually do not include clothing, but if you teach the primary grades, you might allow students to include clothing in their descriptions. Put all the physical characteristic index cards in a shoe box, mix them up, and distribute one card to each student, making sure that no student gets his or her own card.
Give students ten minutes to search for the person who fits the description on the card they hold. There is no talking during this activity, but students can walk around the room. At the end of the activity, tell students to write on the card the name of the student who best matches the description. Then have students share their results. How many students guessed correctly? Patricia McHugh, John W. Set up a circle of chairs with one less chair than the number of students in the class.
Play music as the students circle around the chairs. When the music stops, the students must sit in a seat. Unlike the traditional game, the person without a seat is not out. Instead, someone must make room for that person. Then remove another seat and start the music again. You can play this game outside, and you can end it whenever you wish. Afterward, stress the teamwork and cooperation the game took, and how students needed to accept one another to be successful. Reinforce that idea by repeating this game throughout the year.
Danielle Weston, Willard School, Sanford, Maine Hands-On Activity Have students begin this activity by listing at least 25 words that describe them and the things they like. No sentences allowed, just words! Then ask each student to use a dark pen to trace the pattern of his or her hand with the fingers spread apart. Provide another sheet of paper that the student can place on top of the tracing. The victim-focused black identity encourages the individual to feel that his advancement depends almost entirely on that of the group.
Thus he loses sight not only of his own possibilities but of the inextricable connection between individual effort and individual advancement. This is a profound encumbrance today, when there is more opportunity for blacks than ever before, for it reimposes limitations that can have the same oppressive effect as those the society has only recently begun to remove.
Hard work, education, individual initiative, stable family life, property ownership—these have always been the means by which ethnic groups have moved ahead in America. There is no getting around this. What we need is a form of racial identity that energizes the individual by putting him in touch with both his possibilities and his responsibilities. My own image is of reaching back from a moving train to lift on board those who have no tickets.
A nobel enough sentiment—but might it not be wiser to show them the entire structure of principles, effort, and sacrifice that puts one in a position to buy a ticket any time one likes? This, I think, is something members of the black middle class can realistically offer to other blacks. Their example is not only a testament to possibility but also a lesson in method. To move beyond the victim-focused black identity we must learn to make a difficult but crucial distinction: Until we do this we will continue to wrestle more with ourselves than with the new opportunities which so many paid so dearly to win.
So I"m honored to be here and I look forward to this opportunity to present my views on the future prospects for black Americans and to engage in some dialogue with you. Today I want to begin by briefly sketching what the Urban League is, and going on from there to discuss the plight of black citizens. Most of you are familiar with the work of the National Urban League. We have affiliates in cities—and that means most of your districts and states include at least one Urban League. One is advocacy on behalf of black citizens and all poor people.
We are a repository of research, ideas, and experiences that the nation needs in framing policies that affect the third of our population that is black or poor. Second, we are a community-based service delivery organization. Urban League job and skills training programs, education and health and housing programs, and a host of others, serve one-and-a-half million people who come to Urban League offices each year.
We are also concentrating resources on the plight of female-headed households, teenage pregnancy, crime, and citizenship education. Third, the National Urban League is a bridge-builder between the races. We are believers in an open, integrated, pluralistic society, and our activities support that goal.
Our staffs and boards are integrated, and we work very hard at improving race relations in America. I am clearly here today in our advocacy role, and I have to tell you that the state of black Americans is very bad.
In fact, our future is at risk. It documents continuing black disadvantage. Let me share with you some of the facts about black life in America. I know that this knowledgeable audience is familiar with them—but I also know that they cannot be repeated often enough.
In this high-tech, information age, black dropout rates in some cities are higher than black graduation rates, and there has been an alarming decline in the numbers of blacks entering college.
In virtually all of those areas, black disadvantage is worse than it has been at any time since the mids. At the same time, I should acknowledge the fact that some blacks have made extraordinary progress. Today, black judges preside over court rooms where civil rights demonstrators were once sentenced in the s.
Black professionals live in formerly all-white suburbs and earn middle class incomes. But they share with their poorer brothers and sisters the bond of blackness—the fact that whether affluent or disadvantaged, all blacks suffer from racism. Racism need not be violent, like the murder of a black truck driver in Texas by police officers, or the actions of a mob in Howard Beach.
So despite the often-proclaimed statements that we are finally a color-blind society, I have to tell you that we are very far. Your vote to override is important for the future of black people and the entire nation.
It endorsed the proposition that federal money should not subsidize discrimination in any of its forms. And it sends a bi-partisan message that when it comes to civil rights, America will allow no loopholes.
In the s, there was an extraordinary increase in poverty, in homelessness, and in other indexes of disadvantage among blacks and other minorities. One was the deep cuts in government social programs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities studied funding for low-income programs other than entitlements and found that spending was cut by 54 percent after inflation since Subsidized housing was cut by 81 percent and training and employment services by 68 percent.
The elimination of a substantial part of America"s manufacturing base has hit black workers hardest. Studies show they are concentrated in the most vulnerable industries and are more likely to be laid off and less likely to find comparable jobs. And there has been an extraordinary shrinkage in lower level jobs available to people without high educational credentials.
That is the single most important factor in the troubles of the black family. But the other half—blacks without skills and suffering from educational deficiencies and social deficits, are increasingly locked out. There is a powerful myth today that the answer to such problems is self-help—that it is the sole responsibility of the black community to eradicate dysfunctional behavior and to pull itself into the mainstream.
That"s just a myth—without basis in fact or history. I have little patience with the people who tell us to look at other groups that are making it. Black people did not come here voluntarily. No other group came in chains. Black people have made it in America despite overwhelming odds—the rise of the new black middle class is proof of that. But far too many of us are trapped in the hopelessness and despair of urban ghettos with little hope to escape.
Too many of our kids are seduced by the underground economy and sucked into crack and crime. The Urban League knows all about self-help and pulling yourself by your bootstraps. But we also know that conditions have changed in many of our communities—changed to the point where our efforts cannot possibly succeed without government intervention. The conditions that allowed previous generations of black people to pull themselves up have changed.
The black community today is mobilizing to deal with those issues. With a 28 percent top tax rate, can anyone really argue that a surtax or a third bracket at 35 percent is unreasonable at a time of huge national needs? Any prudent person invests in the future, and any responsible government does the same. I find it hard to explain why so many businessmen understand that while others do not.
When hard-nosed businessmen start talking about the need for nutrition, health, and educational programs, you know the message is beginning to get across that government action is necessary. Winston Churchill is the model of a conservative statesman, and he once said: And George Will, the conservative columnist, wrote: Persons who do not understand this are not conservatives, just dim. I would hope that all of us have the sense to understand that government has the responsibility and the ability to solve the social problems that endanger our economy and our society.
And I would hope that all of us have the compassion and the human concern to want to do something about children who face bleak futures and adults who have no jobs, no homes, no hope. Social and economic policy has been in a state of paralysis over the past decade. We now find ourselves having to make up for lost time and lost resources.
We are at a period in time when the currents of the past and future converge. As Congressmen, as leaders, and as citizens, you have the power to make the right choices and the right decisions. Although they came to represent divergent perspectives on civil rights, Booker T. Du Bois were the two leading African American spokesmen at the turn of the twentieth century. Washington was the apostle of accommodation to the white majority; Du Bois was the revolutionary advocate of African American rights, who demanded—and who declared that all African Americans really wanted—equal economic and social status.
Both men were products of their society: Washington, a resident of Alabama, could not dare utter some of the more assertive statements that Du Bois, a Northerner, was fond of making. Much has been made about the differences between the two men, but, though they disagreed on the means, they often had the same goals. Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: All, nevertheless, flutter round it.
They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.
And, yet, being a problem is a strange experience—peculiar even for one who has never been anything else, save perhaps in babyhood and in Europe. It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the revelation first bursts upon one, all in a day, as it were. I remember well when the shadow swept across me. I was a little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Taghkanic to the sea.
The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card,—refused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt and lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows.
That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination time, or beat them at a foot race, or even beat their stringy heads.
Alas, with the years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the worlds I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine.
But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them. Just how I would do it I could never decide—by reading law, by healing the sick, by telling the wonderful tales that swam in my head—some way. With other black boys the strife was not so fiercely sunny: The shades of the prison house closed round about us all: After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.
One ever feels his twoness—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self.
In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face. This, then, is the end of his striving: These powers of body and mind have in the past been strangely wasted, dispersed, or forgotten.
The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia the Shadowy and of Egypt the Sphinx. Throughout history, the powers of single black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.
And yet it is not weakness—it is the contradiction of double aims. The double-aimed struggle of the black artisan—on the one hand to escape white contempt for a nation of mere hewers of wood and drawers of water, and on the other hand to plow and nail and dig for a poverty-stricken horde—could only result in making him a poor craftsman, for he had but half a heart in either cause. By the poverty and ignorance of his people, the Negro minister or doctor was tempted toward quackery and demagogy; and, by the criticism of the other world, toward ideals that made him ashamed of his lowly tasks.
The would-be black savant was confronted by the paradox that the knowledge his people needed was a twice-told tale to his white neighbors, while the knowledge which would teach the white world was Greek to his own flesh and blood. The innate love of harmony and beauty that set the ruder souls of his people a-dancing and a-singing raised but confusion and doubt in the soul of the black artist; for the beauty revealed to him was the soul-beauty of a race which his larger audience despised, and he could not articulate the message of another people.
This waste of double aims, this seeking to satisfy two unreconciled ideals has wrought sad havoc with the courage and faith and deeds of ten thousand thousand people—has sent them often wooing false gods and invoking false means of salvation, and at times has even seemed about to make them ashamed of themselves. Away back in the days of bondage, they thought to see in one divine event the end of all doubt and disappointment; few men ever worshiped Freedom with half such unquestioning faith as did the American Negro for two centuries.
To him, so far as he thought and dreamed, slavery was indeed the sum of all villainies, the cause of all sorrow, the root of all prejudice; Emancipation was the key to a promised land of sweeter beauty than ever stretched before the eyes of wearied Israelites. In song and exhortation swelled one refrain—Liberty; in his tears and curses the God he implored had Freedom in His right hand.
At last it came,—suddenly, fearfully, like a dream. With one wild carnival of blood and passion came the message in his own plaintive cadences:. In vain do we cry to this our vastest social problem:. The nation has not yet found peace from its sins; the freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land. Whatever of good may have come in these years of change, the shadow of a deep disappointment rests upon the Negro people, a disappointment all the more bitter because the unattained ideal was unbounded save by the simple ignorance of a lowly people.
The holocaust of war, the terrors of the Ku Klux Klan, the lies of carpetbaggers, the disorganization of industry, and the contradictory advice of friends and foes left the bewildered serf with no new watchword beyond the old cry for freedom.
As the time flew, however, he began to grasp a new idea. The ideal of liberty demanded for its attainment powerful means, and these the Fifteenth Amendment gave him. The ballot, which before he had looked upon as a visible sign of freedom, he now regarded as the chief means of gaining and perfecting the liberty with which war had partially endowed him.
Had not votes made war and emancipated millions? Had not votes enfranchised the freedmen? Was anything impossible to a power that had done all this? A million black men started with renewed zeal to vote themselves into the kingdom. So the decade flew away, the revolution of came, and left the half-free serf weary, wondering, but still inspired. Slowly but steadily, in the following years, a new vision began gradually to replace the dream of political power—a powerful movement, the rise of another ideal to guide the unguided, another pillar of fire by night after a clouded day.
Here at last seemed to have been discovered the mountain path to Canaan; longer than the highway of Emancipation and law, steep and rugged, but straight, leading to heights high enough to overlook life.
Up the new path the advance guard toiled, slowly, heavily, doggedly; only those who have watched and guided the faltering feet, the misty minds, the dull understandings of the dark pupils of these schools know how faithfully, how piteously this people strove to learn. It was weary work. The cold statistician wrote down the inches of progress here and there, noted also where here and there a foot had slipped or someone had fallen. To the tired climbers, the horizon was ever dark, the mists were often cold, the Canaan was always dim and far away.
If, however, the vistas disclosed as yet no goal, no resting place, little but flattery and criticism, the journey at least gave leisure for reflection and self-examination; it changed the child of Emancipation to the youth with dawning self-consciousness, self-realization, self-respect.
In those somber forests of his striving, his own soul rose before him and he saw himself—darkly as through a veil; and yet he saw in himself some faint revelation of his power, of his mission. He began to have a dim feeling that, to attain his place in the world, he must be himself, and not another. For the first time he sought to analyze the burden he bore upon his back, that deadweight of social degradation partially masked behind a half-named Negro problem.
He felt his poverty; without a cent, without a home, without land, tools, or savings, he had entered into competition with rich, landed, skilled neighbors. To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships. He felt the weight of his ignorance, not simply of letters but of life, of business, of the humanities; the accumulated sloth and shirking and awkwardness of decades and centuries shackled his hands and feet.
Nor was his burden all poverty and ignorance. The red stain of bastardy, which two centuries of systematic legal defilement of Negro women had stamped upon his race, meant not only the loss of ancient African chastity but also the hereditary weight of a mass of corruption from white adulterers, threatening almost the obliteration of the Negro home.
A people thus handicapped ought not to be asked to race with the world, but rather allowed to give all its time and thought to its own social problems. To which the Negro cries Amen! But the facing of so vast a prejudice could not but bring the inevitable self-questioning, self-disparagement, and lowering of ideals which ever accompany repression and breed in an atmosphere of contempt and hate. Whisperings and portents came borne upon the four winds: And the nation echoed and enforced this self-criticism, saying: Be content to be servants, and nothing more; what need of higher culture for half-men?
So dawned the time of Sturm und Drang: The bright ideals of the past—physical freedom, political power, the training of brains and the training of hands—all these in turn have waxed and waned, until even the last grows dim and overcast. Are they all wrong—all false? No, not that, but each alone was oversimple and incomplete—the dreams of a credulous race-childhood, or the fond imaginings of the other world which does not know and does not want to know our power.
To be really true, all these ideals must be melted and welded into one. The training of the schools we need today more than ever—the training of deft hands, quick eyes and ears, and, above all, the broader, deeper, higher culture of gifted minds and pure hearts.
The power of the ballot we need in sheer self-defense, else what shall save us from a second slavery? Freedom, too, the long-sought, we still seek—the freedom of life and limb, the freedom to work and think, the freedom to love and aspire. Work, culture, liberty, all these we need, not singly but together, not successively but together, each growing and aiding each, and all striving toward that vaster ideal that swims before the Negro people, the ideal of human brotherhood, gained through the unifying ideal of race; the ideal of fostering and developing the traits and talents of the Negro, not in opposition to or contempt for other races but rather in large conformity to the greater ideals of the American republic, in order that some day on American soil two world-races may give each to each those characteristics both so sadly lack.
We, the darker ones, come even now not altogether empty-handed: Will America be poorer if she replace her brutal, dyspeptic blundering with lighthearted but determined Negro humility? Easily the most striking thing in the history of the American Negro since is the ascendancy of Mr.
Washington came, with a simple, definite program, at the psychological moment when the nation was a little ashamed of having bestowed so much sentiment on Negroes and was concentrating its energies on dollars.
His program of industrial education, conciliation of the South, and submission and silence as to civil and political rights was not wholly original; the free Negroes from up to wartime had striven to build industrial schools, and the American Missionary Association had from the first taught various trades; and Price and others had sought a way of honorable alliance with the best of the Southerners.
Washington first indissolubly linked these things; he put enthusiasm, unlimited energy, and perfect faith into this program, and changed it from a bypath into a veritable way of life.
And the tale of the methods by which he did this is a fascinating study of human life. It startled the nation to hear a Negro advocating such a program after many decades of bitter complaint; it startled and won the applause of the South, it interested and won the admiration of the North; and after a confused murmur of protest, it silenced if it did not convert the Negroes themselves.
To gain the sympathy and cooperation of the various elements comprising the white South was Mr. And yet ten years later it was done in the word spoken at Atlanta: The South interpreted it in different ways: So both approved it, and today its author is certainly the most distinguished Southerner since Jefferson Davis, and the one with the largest personal following.
Next to this achievement comes Mr. Others less shrewd and tactful had formerly essayed to sit on these two stools and had fallen between them; but as Mr.
Washington knew the heart of the South from birth and training, so by singular insight he intuitively grasped the spirit of the age which was dominating the North. And so thoroughly did he learn the speech and thought of triumphant commercialism and the ideals of material prosperity that the picture of a lone black boy poring over a French grammar amid the weeds and dirt of a neglected home soon seemed to him the acme of absurdities.
One wonders what Socrates and St. Francis of Assisi would say to this. And yet this very singleness of vision and thorough oneness with his age is a mark of the successful man. It is as though nature must needs make men narrow in order to give them force.
Today he stands as the one recognized spokesman of his 10 million fellows, and one of the most notable figures in a nation of 70 million. One hesitates, therefore, to criticize a life which, beginning with so little, has done so much. And yet the time is come when one may speak in all sincerity and utter courtesy of the mistakes and shortcomings of Mr. The criticism that has hitherto met Mr. Washington has not always been of this broad character.
In the South, especially, has he had to walk warily to avoid the harshest judgments, and naturally so, for he is dealing with the one subject of deepest sensitiveness to that section. In the North the feeling has several times forced itself into words, that Mr. Usually, however, such criticism has not found open expression, although, too, the spiritual sons of the Abolitionists have not been prepared to acknowledge that the schools founded before Tuskegee, by men of broad ideals and self-sacrificing spirit, were wholly failures or worthy of ridicule.
While, then, criticism has not failed to follow Mr. Among his own people, however, Mr. Washington has encountered the strongest and most lasting opposition, amounting at times to bitterness, and even today continuing strong and insistent even though largely silenced in outward expression by the public opinion of the nation.
Some of this opposition is, of course, mere envy; the disappointment of displaced demagogues and the spite of narrow minds. But aside from this, there is among educated and thoughtful colored men in all parts of the land a feeling of deep regret, sorrow, and apprehension at the wide currency and ascendancy which some of Mr. These same men admire his sincerity of purpose and are willing to forgive much to honest endeavor which is doing something worth the doing.
They cooperate with Mr. Washington as far as they conscientiously can; and, indeed, it is no ordinary tribute to this man"s tact and power that, steering as he must between so many diverse interests and opinions, he so largely retains the respect of all. But the hushing of the criticism of honest opponents is a dangerous thing. It leads some of the best of the critics to unfortunate silence and paralysis of effort and others to burst into speech so passionately and intemperately as to lose listeners.
Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched—criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by those led—this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society. If the best of the American Negroes receive by outer pressure a leader whom they had not recognized before, manifestly there is here a certain palpable gain.
Yet there is also irreparable loss—a loss of that peculiarly valuable education which a group receives when by search and criticism it finds and commissions its own leaders.
The way in which this is done is at once the most elementary and the nicest problem of social growth. History is but the record of such group leadership; and yet how infinitely changeful is its type and character!
And of all types and kinds, what can be more instructive than the leadership of a group within a group? Now, in the past, the American Negro has had instructive experience in the choosing of group leaders, founding thus a peculiar dynasty which in the light of present conditions is worthwhile studying.
When sticks and stones and beasts form the sole environment of a people, their attitude is largely one of determined opposition to and conquest of natural forces. But when to earth and brute is added an environment of men and ideas, then the attitude of the imprisoned group may take three main forms: The influence of all these attitudes at various times can be traced in the history of the American Negro and in the evolution of his successive leaders.
Before , while the fire of African freedom still burned in the veins of the slaves, there was in all leadership or attempted leadership but the one motive of revolt and revenge, typified in the terrible Maroons, the Danish blacks, and Cato of Stono, and veiling all the Americas in fear of insurrection.
The slaves in the South. After the war and emancipation, the great form of Frederick Douglass, the greatest of American Negro leaders, still led the host. Self-assertion, especially in political lines, was the main program, and behind Douglass came Elliot, Bruce, and Langston, and the Reconstruction politicians, and, less conspicuous but of greater social significance, Alexander Crummell and Bishop Daniel Payne. Then came the revolution of , the suppression of the Negro votes, the changing and shifting of ideals, and the seeking of new lights in the great night.
Douglass, in his old age, still bravely stood for the ideals of his early manhood—ultimate assimilation through self-assertion, and on no other terms. For a time, Price arose as a new leader, destined, it seemed, not to give up but to restate the old ideals in a form less repugnant to the white South. But he passed away in his prime.
Then came the new leader. Nearly all the former ones had become leaders by the silent suffrage of their fellows, had sought to lead their own people alone, and were usually, save Douglass, little known outside their race. Washington arose as essentially the leader, not of one race but of two, a compromiser between the South, the North, and the Negro.
Naturally, the Negroes resented, at first bitterly, signs of compromise which surrendered their civil and political rights, even though this was to be exchanged for larger chances of economic development. The rich and dominating North, however, was not only weary of the race problem but was investing largely in Southern enterprises and welcomed any method of peaceful cooperation. Thus, by national opinion, the Negroes began to recognize Mr.
Washington represents in Negro thought the old attitude of adjustment and submission; but adjustment at such a peculiar time as to make his program unique. This is an age of unusual economic development, and Mr. Moreover, this is an age when the more advanced races are coming in closer contact with the less developed races, and the race feeling is therefore intensified; and Mr.
Again, in our own land, the reaction from the sentiment of wartime has given impetus to race prejudice against Negroes, and Mr. Washington withdraws many of the high demands of Negroes as men and American citizens. In the history of nearly all other races and peoples the doctrine preached at such crises has been that manly self-respect is worth more than lands and houses, and that a people who voluntarily surrender such respect or cease striving for it are not worth civilizing.
In answer to this, it has been claimed that the Negro can survive only through submission. Washington distinctly asks that black people give up, at least for the present, three things:. First, political power; second, insistence on civil rights; third, higher education of Negro youth; and concentrate all their energies on industrial education, the accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South.
This policy has been courageously and insistently advocated for over fifteen years, and has been triumphant for perhaps ten years. As a result of this tender of the palm branch, what has been the return? In these years there have occurred:. The steady withdrawal of aid from institutions for the higher training of the Negro. These movements are not, to be sure, direct results of Mr. The question then comes: Is it possible, and probable, that 9 million men can make effective progress in economic lines if they are deprived of political rights, made a servile caste, and allowed only the most meager chance for developing their exceptional men?
If history and reason give any distinct answer to these questions, it is an emphatic No. Washington thus faces the triple paradox of his career:. He is striving nobly to make Negro artisans businessmen and property owners; but it is utterly impossible, under modern competitive methods, for workingmen and property owners to defend their rights and exist without the right of suffrage. He insists on thrift and self-respect, but at the same time counsels a silent submission to civic inferiority such as is bound to sap the manhood of any race in the long run.
He advocates common-school and industrial training, and depreciates institutions of higher learning; but neither the Negro common schools nor Tuskegee itself could remain open a day were it not for teachers trained in Negro colleges or trained by their graduates. After , following the withdrawal of Union troops from South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, Reconstruction officially ended.
In theory, African Americans were free, but, in practice, their status was far from equal. The intent of the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Amendment with regard to African Americans was being whittled away by state legislation in the South and Supreme Court decisions. African American participation in all phases of American life was qualified by prejudice; most avenues of social and economic improvement remained closed. Frederick Douglass, the best-known and most influential African American spokesman of his time, considered these facts and offered a solution in the following speech of September 24, It is our lot to live among a people whose laws, traditions, and prejudices have been against us for centuries, and from these they are not yet free.
To assume that they are free from these evils simply because they have changed their laws is to assume what is utterly unreasonable and contrary to facts. Large bodies move slowly. Individuals may be converted on the instant and change their whole course of life. Time and events are required for the conversion of nations. Not even the character of a great political organization can be changed by a new platform.
It will be the same old snake though in a new skin. Though we have had war, reconstruction, and abolition as a nation, we still linger in the shadow and blight of an extinct institution. Though the colored man is no longer subject to be bought and sold, he is still surrounded by an adverse sentiment which fetters all his movements. In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress.
If he comes in ignorance, rags, and wretchedness, he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome. But if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar, and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In the one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.
Let him do what he will, there is at present, therefore, no escape for him. The color line meets him everywhere, and in a measure shuts him out from all respectable and profitable trades and callings.
In spite of all your religion and laws, he is a rejected man. He is rejected by trade unions of every trade, and refused work while he lives and burial when he dies; and yet he is asked to forget his color and forget that which everybody else remembers. If he offers himself to a builder as a mechanic, to a client as a lawyer, to a patient as a physician, to a college as a professor, to a firm as a clerk, to a government department as an agent or an officer, he is sternly met on the color line, and his claim to consideration in some way is disputed on the ground of color.
Not even our churches, whose members profess to follow the despised Nazarene, whose home, when on earth, was among the lowly and despised, have yet conquered this feeling of color madness, and what is true of our churches is also true of our courts of law.
Neither is free from this all-pervading atmosphere of color hate. The one describes the Deity as impartial, no respecter of persons, and the other the Goddess of Justice as blindfolded, with sword by her side and scales in her hand, held evenly between high and low, rich and poor, white and black; but both are the images of American imagination rather than American practices. Taking advantage of the general disposition in this country to impute crime to color, white men color their faces to commit crime and wash off the hated color to escape punishment.
In many places where the commission of crime is alleged against one of our color, the ordinary processes of the law are set aside as too slow for the impetuous justice of the infuriated populace. Sadly, another group suffered horrible discrimination as a result of the plague.
They believed that the Jews, bent on world domination, were secretly poisoning the wells of Christian towns and cities. Thousands of innocent Jews, who had also suffered from the plague, were slaughtered in dozens of European communities.
Social and Economic Effects of the Black Death. Some social changes caused by the Black Death were positive. Overpopulation and shortage of resources led to malnutrition and extreme poverty for many peasants. After so many people died, serfs were free to move to other estates that provided better conditions and receive top pay for their work.
Landowners, desperate for their labor, often provided free tools, housing, seed and farmland. The worker farmed all he could and paid only the rent. Serfs improved their standard of living too. Modern day archaeologists have found evidence that prior to the Black Death, most of the peasants relied on clay pots to cook their meals but in years following the plague pandemic, households used more expensive metal cookware.
In , King Edward III of England tried to roll back these gains made by commoners by issuing a law to freeze wages to pre-plague levels.
Employers facing a severe labor shortage ignored them.
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The History Channel’s Black History Month This Web site provides a history of the Civil Rights struggle and a Did you know? section, which gives fast facts and statistics about African-Americans. A directory of icons, video clips, maps and speeches will also help to educate you about black history. Black history assignments cards urban intellectuals.. homework help the celts. General. Share Tweet. Y'a soly, hero & danetto qui nous une dissertation sur l'amour ce soir, j'vais p-e rejoindre les gens qui parlent de tca mdr. essay on what are my goals. kontraktive geldpolitik beispiel essay.