Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge Worth Reading
Author: Various
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"Give attendance to reading." (1 Tim. iv. 13.)

"No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with good books. A book is better than sleep for weariness." (Henry Ward Beecher.)



To every Son and Daughter of the Race, whose noble aspirations are to do good and be good, This Little Volume Is Dedicated By the Compiler.



If, as Lord Bacon says, "reading makes a full man," then it behooves every one who has any aspirations to read.

The negro is just passing, as it were, through the gateway that enters upon life's great work, and the publishers of this little volume are anxious to see our "brother in black" develop, both from an intellectual and a moral standpoint, and are ready to do what they can to stimulate the race on to still greater achievements than they have ever before accomplished. In launching "Sparkling Gems" we are simply putting forth to the world what we hope may, in some measure, instruct and encourage the colored people. We have compressed a vast amount of valuable race information into a small compass. The style of the work is good, and its moral tone is excellent. It can scarcely fail to profit every member of the race who will read it, hence it should be in every family, in every office, and in every library.

It has been the earnest aim of the compiler to embody in these pages the latest conclusions of some of the most prominent Afro-American scholars on several of the mooted subjects pertaining to the race.

We owe a debt of lasting gratitude to many of our friends who have so generously furnished us valuable assistance in the collection of data for this volume, among whom we may mention W. B. Rust and T. B. Mears as among the most enthusiastic.

Believing that there is a genuine need for such a work as we have produced, we offer it to our colored friends and their white friends, praying God's blessing upon it. THE PUBLISHERS.



The Status of the Family—The Conditions of Labor—Higher Plane of Morality.



Negro Building—History and Old Relics—Department of Arts—Mines and Minerals—Department of Dentistry—The Woman's Board.























Indorsement—To Henrietta Vinton Davis.















The Negro as a Slave—The Negro as a Common Laborer—The Negro as a Soldier—The Negro as a Citizen—The Negro as a Southerner—The Negro in Politics.



















































This subject divides itself into two heads: (1) The "Need" suggested; and (2) The "Aims for a New Era," which shall meet the need.

It seems to me that there is an irresistible tendency in the Negro mind in this land to dwell morbidly and absorbingly upon the servile past. The urgent needs of the present, the fast-crowding and momentous interests of the future appear to be forgotten. Duty for to-day, hope for to-morrow, are ideas which seem oblivious to even leading minds among us. Enter our schools, and the theme which too generally occupies the youthful mind is some painful memory of servitude. Listen to the voices of the pulpit, and how large a portion of its utterances are pitched in the same doleful strain! Send a Negro to Congress, and observe how seldom possible it is for him to speak upon any other topic than slavery. We are fashioning our life too much after the conduct of the children of Israel. Long after the exodus from bondage, long after the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, they kept turning back, in memory and longings, after Egypt, when they should have kept both eye and aspiration bent toward the land of promise and of freedom.

Now I know, my brethren, that all this is natural to man. God gave us judgment, fancy, and memory, and we cannot free ourselves from the inheritance of these or of any other faculty of our being; but we were made to live in the future as well as in the past.

Nothing can be more hurtful for any people than to dwell upon repulsive things. To hang upon that which is dark, direful, and saddening tends to degeneracy. There are few things which tend so much to dwarf a people as the constant dwelling upon personal sorrows and interests, whether they be real or imaginary.

The Southern people of this nation have given as evident signs of genius and talent as the people of the North; but for nigh three generations they gave themselves up to morbid and fanatical anxieties upon the subject of slavery. To that one single subject they gave the whole bent and sharpness of their intellect, and history records the result.

For more than two hundred years the misfortune of the black race was the confinement of its mind in the pent-up prison of human bondage. The morbid, absorbing, and abiding recollection of that condition is but the continuance of that same condition in memory and dark imagination. But some intelligent reader of our race will ask, Would you have us as a people forget that we have been an oppressed race? No. God gave us memory, and it is impossible to forget the slavery of our race. The memory of this fact may ofttimes serve as a stimulant to high endeavor. What I would have you guard against is not the memory of slavery, but the constant recollection of it, as the commanding thought of a new people, who should be marching on to the broadest freedom of thought in a new and glorious present, and a still more magnificent future. You will notice here that there is a broad distinction between memory and recollection. Memory is a passive act of the mind, while recollection is the actual seeking of the facts, the endeavor of the mind to bring them back again to consciousness.

The fact of slavery is that which cannot be faulted. What I object to is the unnecessary recollection of it. The pernicious habit I protest against as most injurious and degrading. As slavery was a degrading thing, the constant recalling of it to the mind serves by the law of association to degradation. My desire is that we shall, as far as possible, avoid the thought of slavery. As a people, we have had an exodus from it. We have been permitted by a gracious Providence to enter the new and exalted pathways of freedom. We have new conditions of life and new relations in society. These changed circumstances bring to us thoughts, new ideas, new projects, new purposes, and new ambitions, of which our fathers never thought. We have need, therefore, of new adjustments in life. The law of fitness comes up before us at this point, and we are called upon, as a people, to change the currents of life and to shift them into new and broader channels. I do not ignore the intellectual evils which have fallen upon us. Neither am I indifferent to the political disasters we are still suffering. But when I take a general survey of our race in the United States I can see that there are evils which lie deeper than intellectual neglect or political injury.

We have three special points of weakness in our race: 1. The Status of the Family. 2. The Conditions of Labor. 3. The Element of Morals.

It is my firm conviction that it is our duty to address ourselves more earnestly to the duties involved in these considerations than to any and all other considerations. Let us notice first


I shall not pause to detail the calamities which slavery has entailed upon our race in the domain of the family. Every one knows how it has pulled down every pillar and shattered every priceless fabric. But now that we have begun the life of freedom we should attempt the repair of this, the noblest of all the structures of human life. The basis of all human progress and of all civilization is the family. Despoil the idea of family, assail rudely its elements, its framework, and its essential principles, and nothing but degradation and barbarism can come to any people. If you will think but for a moment of all that is included in this word "family," you will see at once that it is the root idea of all civility, of all the humanities, of all organized society. In the family are included all the loves, the cares, the sympathies, the solicitudes of parents and wives and husbands; all the active industries, the prudent economies, and the painful self-sacrifices of households; all the sweet memories, the gentle refinements, the pure speech, and the godly anxieties of womanhood; all the endurance, the courage, and the hardy toil of men; all these have their roots in the family.

Alas! how widely have these traits and qualities been lost to our race in this land! How numerous are the households where they have never been known or recognized! The beginning of all organized society is in the family. The school, the college, the professions, suffrage, civil office, are all valuable things; but what are they compared to the family? Here, then, where we have suffered the greatest, is a world-wide field for our intellectual anxieties and our most intelligent effort.

Secondly we will consider


I refer to the industrial conditions of our race. No topic is exciting more interest and anxiety than the labor question. Almost an angry contest is going on upon the relations of capital to labor. Into this topic all the other kindred questions of wages, hours of labor, co-operation, distribution of wealth—all are canvassed in behalf of the labor element of the country, but all, I may say exclusively, for the white labor of this great nation. The white labor is organized labor; it is intelligent labor; it is skilled labor; it is protected labor. It is labor nourished, guarded, shielded, rooted in national institutions, propped up by the suffrage of the laboring population, and needs no extraordinary succors. But, my friends, just look at the black labor of this country, and consider its sad conditions, its disorganized and rude characteristics, its almost servile status.

What gives labor, in any land, dignity and healthiness? It is the qualities of skill and enlightenment. It is only by these qualities that men can work in the best manner, with the least waste, and for the largest remuneration. Where the laborer is uninformed and merely mechanical in his work, there he knows labor somewhat as an animal does; and he is led almost blindly to the same dull, animal-like endurance of toil, which is the characteristic of the beast of the field. His work, moreover, is not self-directed, for it has no inward spring. It is not the outcome of the knowing mind and the trained and cunning hand. It is labor directed by overseeing and commanding skill and knowledge. Multitudes in every land under the sun know labor precisely in the same way that domestic animals do. They know the mere physical toil. They know the severest tasks. They know the iron routine of service. They know the soulless submission of drudgery. But alas! they have never come to know the dignity of labor; they have never been permitted to share its golden values and its lofty requitals.

Now, if I do not make the very greatest of mistakes, this is the marked peculiarity of the black labor of this country. I am not unmindful of the fact that the Negro is a laborer. I repel the imputation that our race, as a class, is lazy and slothful. I know, too, that, to a partial extent, the black man, in the Southern States, is a craftsman, especially in the cities. I am speaking now of aggregates. I am looking at the race in the mass, and I affirm that the sad peculiarity of our labor in this country is that it is rude, untutored, and debased.

Here, then, is a great problem which is to be settled before the Negro race can make the advance of a single step. Without the solution of this enormous question, neither individual nor family life can secure its proper conditions in this country. Who are the men who shall undertake to settle this momentous question? How are they to bring about the settlement of it? I answer, first of all, that the rising intelligence of this race, the educated, thinking, scholarly men, who come out of our schools trained and equipped by reading culture; they are the men who are to handle this great subject. Who else can be expected to attempt it? Do you think that men of other races will encourage our cultivated men to parade themselves as mere carpet knights of politics, and they themselves assume the added duty of the moral and material restoration of our race? Never! They expect every people to bear somewhat the burdens of their own restoration and upbuilding; and rightly so. And next, as to the other question, How is this problem of labor to be settled? I reply, in all candor, that I am unable to answer so intricate a question. But this I do say: (1) That you have got to bring to the settlement of it all the brain power, all the penetration, all the historical reading, and all the generous devotedness of heart that you can command; and (2) that in the endeavor to settle this question that you are not to make the mistake that it is external forces which are chiefly to be brought to bear upon this enormity. No race of people can be lifted up by others to grand civility. The elevation of a people, their thorough civilization, comes chiefly from internal qualities. If there is no receptive and living quality in them which can be evoked for their elevation, then they must die! The emancipation of the black race in this land from the injustice and grinding tyranny of their labor servitude is to be effected mainly by the development of such personal qualities, such thrift, energy, and manliness as shall, in the first place, raise them above the dependence and the penury of their present vassalage, and next shall bring forth such manliness and dignity in the race as may command the respect of their oppressors.

To bring about these results we need intelligent men and women, so filled with philanthropy that they will go down to the humblest conditions of their race, and carry to their lowly huts and cabins all the resources of science, all the suggestions of domestic, social, and political economies, all the appliances of school and industries in order to raise and elevate the most abject and needy race on American soil. If the scholarly and enlightened colored men and women care not to devote themselves to these lowly but noble duties, to these humble but sacred conditions, what is the use of their schooling and enlightenment? Why, in the course of Providence, have they had their large advantages and their superior opportunities?

I bring to your notice one other requirement of the black race in this country, and that is the need of a


I make no excuse for introducing so delicate and, perchance, so offensive, a topic; a topic which necessarily implies a state of serious moral defectiveness. If the system of slavery did not do us harm in every segment and section of our being, why have we for generations complained of it? And if it did do us moral as well as intellectual harm, why, when attempting by education to rectify the injury to the mental nature, should we neglect the reparation of the moral condition of the race? We have suffered, my brethren, in the whole domain of morals. We are still suffering as a race in this regard. Take the sanctity of marriage, the facility of divorce, the chastity of woman, the shame, modesty, and bashfulness of girlhood, the abhorrence of illegitimacy, and there is no people in this land who, in these regards, have received such deadly thrusts as this race of ours. And these qualities are the grandest qualities of all superior people.

This moral elevation should be the highest ambition of our people. They make the greatest mistakes who tell you that money is the master need of our race. They equally err who would fain fasten your attention upon the acknowledged political difficulties which confront us in the lawless sections of the land. I acknowledge both of these grievances. But the one grand result of all my historic readings has brought me to this single and distinct conviction that "by the soul only the nations shall be free."

If I am not greatly at error, a mighty revolution is demanded of our race in this country. The whole status of our condition is to be transformed and elevated. The change which is demanded is a deeper one than that of emancipation. That was a change of state or condition, valuable and important indeed, but affecting mainly the outer conditions of our people; and that is all that a civil status can do. But outward condition does not necessarily touch the springs of life. That requires other, nobler, more spiritual agencies. What we need is a grand moral revolution, which shall touch and vivify the inner life of a people, which shall give them dissatisfaction with ignoble motives and sensual desires, which shall bring to them a resurrection from inferior ideas and lowly ambitions; which shall shed illumination through all the chambers of their souls, which shall lift them up to lofty aspirations, which shall put them in the race for manly moral superiority. A revolution of this kind is not a gift which can be handed over by one people, and placed as a new deposit in the constitution of another. Nor is it an acquisition to be gained by storm, by excitement, or frantic and convulsive agitation, political or religious. The revolution of which I speak must find its primal elements in qualities, latent though they be, which reside in the people who need this revolution, and which can be drawn out of them, and thus secure form and reality.

The basis of this revolution must be character. That is the rock on which our whole race in America is to be built up. Our leaders are to address themselves to this main and master endeavor—viz., to free them from false ideas and injurious habits, to persuade them to the adoption of correct principles, to lift them up to superior modes of living, and so bring forth, as permanent factors in their life, the qualities of thrift, order, virtue, and manliness.

But who are the agents to bring about this grand change in the Negro race? Remember, just here, that all effectual revolutions in a people must be racial in their characteristics. You can't take the essential qualities of one people and transfuse them into the blood of another people, and make them indigenous to them. The primal qualities of a family, a race, a nation are heritable qualities. They abide in their constitution. They remain, notwithstanding the conditions and the changes of rudeness, slavery, civilizations, and enlightenment. It is a law of moral elevation that you must allow the constant abidance of the essential elements of a people's character; therefore when I put the query, Who shall be the agent to raise and elevate our race to a higher plane of being? the answer will at once flash upon your intelligence. It is to be effected by the scholars and philanthropists which come forth in these days from the schools. They are the people to transform, stimulate, and uplift, because it is a work of intelligence; it is a work which demands historic facts and their application to new circumstances.

But these reformers must not be mere scholars. The intellect is to be used, but mainly as the vehicle of mind and spiritual aims, and hence these men must needs be both scholars and philanthropists.

Allow me, in the conclusion of this article, to express the hope that He who holds the hearts of all men will give you the spirit to forget yourselves, and live for the good of man and the glory of God. Such a field and opportunity are graciously opened to you in the conditions and needs of our race in this country. May you and I be equal to them!



Prof. W. H. Council, Principal of the Normal Industrial School, was the principal speaker of the day. Perhaps few men possess such power over an audience. The manuscript part of his address is herewith given. But the most enthusiastic parts of his speech and the most effective with the audience were his extemporaneous effusions that accompanied the delivery.

[Footnote A: Extract from the speech of W. H. Council delivered at the laying of the corner stone of the Negro Building of the Tennessee Centennial, Nashville, Tenn., March 13, 1897.]


These occasions mark the evolution of Southern thought and industry, and the result of the self-directed energy of the negro. Here on this spot the world may see the other side of Negro life than "Sam Johnson, the chicken thief." Here it may see the healthful buds of Negro handicraft, Negro art, science, literature, invention. Here the world may see the hitherto giant energies of a mighty people waking into conscious activity. Here on this spot the nations may place their ears to the ground and hear the industrious tread of millions of black feet—hear the beats of millions of noble hearts beneath black skins and catch the thrill of these on coming millions to be felt in the industrial and literary world.

Here on this spot the old master who followed Lee's tattered banners over the snow-covered hills of Virginia down to Appomattox sacrifices his pro-slavery ideas, and builds a monument to Negro fidelity and industry; and here the Negro brings the product of his brain and hand in grateful testimony to the friendly feelings between us. I challenge the annals of man to present so beautiful a spectacle!

This opportunity given to us to display what we have accomplished in our three hundred years' struggle from barbarism to industrious Christian liberty, right here in the Egypt of our bondage, is one of the bravest acts of the brave and chivalrous people. And I am not slow to recognize the fact that we received much more from slavery than did the slaveholder. Only as we recede from Appomattox, and only as the echoes of Fort Sumter's bloody guns die away in gentle murmurs of the music of love around the altars of faith and hope, only as memories of former hates shall have been drowned in the Red Sea of brotherly love, and the good things which we have done for each other come like angels into conscious view, will the old master and the old slave know what helps they have been to each other. We must love. We cannot afford to hate.

Negro history has solved the Negro problem from the Negro side. There still remains the Caucasian problem. In view of what the Negro has done for this country, in view of what the white man has done for the Negro, will the white man continue and enlarge the work of encouragement to this struggling race? Or will he use the shotgun instead of the Holy Bible; the bloody knife instead of the spelling book? These are problems for Caucasian brains.

I know of no element in noble human character which is not found in the Negro race. Indeed, he has been placed under greater strains of conscience and taxed more severely in honor and integrity than any other race known to history. Did it ever occur to you that the South is even wild in its praises of negro fidelity in the days when it was prostrate in civil strife and its defenseless women and children committed to the care of the black men of the South? Is there a single case of treachery or infidelity recorded against us? Did it ever occur to you that the Northern soldier could always trust his life in the hands of a black man, wherever found? Is there a single case of treachery or infidelity recorded against us by the North? He would defend and feed "old mistress" committed to his charge. He would hide the cattle and food and valuables in the hollows and in the thickets, and then pilot the Northern army by these hidden goods safely through the mountains out of danger. Has ever human nature been so taxed before? No other citizens in this great country have better right to rejoice at her prosperity than the Negro.

The South owes her industrial significance largely to the Negro. King Cotton sits on a throne of gold held aloft by the strong black arms of the Negro and shakes his snowy locks over the commercial world. And our beloved South may yet call upon ebony sinews to beat back the enemies of her peace, prosperity, and happiness, and again stand between starvation, danger, and death, and her defenseless wives and little ones; and the Negro will again manfully, cheerfully, faithfully answer the call.

From this spot must radiate higher hopes, broader ideas, nobler aims to teach, inspire, and exalt Negro muscle, Negro brain, Negro heart—to soften asperities, to generate greater tolerance, and to make the South a "new earth" until the "Fatherhood of God" and the "brotherhood of man" shall bring the "new heaven."

No people can rise in the world and maintain creditable standing alone with the saw, the hammer, and the plane; as cooks, washerwomen, and nurses; as farmers, bootblacks, hotel boys, and barbers. These are necessary, but there must be strong intellectual giants in the pulpit, at the bar, in the schoolroom, in medicine—as scientists, linguists, artists, inventors—in order that any people may be accorded a creditable standing in the society of races.

Whatever any other people need the Negro needs. We want the Negro to have higher industrial education. He must be taught to smelt iron ore, build locomotives, ships, telescopes, microscopes, steam engines of every class, all kinds of mechanical engineering, farming machinery and appliances, and do all work in glass, brass, gold, and silver. This kind of higher industrial education is the only kind that he needs now and is essential to his salvation. This kind of industrial education is the only kind that can give a people permanent strength.

Teach the Negro boy the sacredness of human life. Teach him that man must be as precious in the sight of man as he is in the sight of God. Teach obedience to law, obedience to legally constituted authority, which alone can give protection to life and property and security to society. Teach him that the human mind can form no loftier ideal than that of the triumph of right through the supremacy of law—that no one who violates the humblest law of the land can be an ideal man. Teach him that the transmission of a disregard for law is the transmission of the spirit of the mob, the spirit of riot, the spirit of hate, the spirit of internecine murder, the overthrow of the state, the birth of chaos and pandemonium. Teach him that men and races grew from within; that man grows by expansion from within; that congressional enactments cannot make us a race. The race must make itself. Teach him that he belongs to a glorious race, which stands before its God with its hands unstained in human blood. Teach him to honor and revere this record, and hand it untarnished down to the remotest posterity. Teach him that it is better to be persecuted than to persecute. Teach that neither race nor color will rule future man, who will be the evolution of the wisdom of all the past ages; but that man, that race, which will furnish the most brains, the most virtue, the most honor, the most truth, the most industry, will stand highest and longest before God and the judgment bar of the future righteous intelligence of the world.

Teach him to love, not to hate. Teach him that the man who hates him on account of his color is far beneath him, but the man who hates his condition and strives to lift him up may be his superior. Teach him that any coward may insult him, may wrong him, may send a bullet crashing through a man's brain, may warm his dagger in a brother's lifeblood, but it takes a strong man to take the weak and unfortunate by the hand and say: "Stand on your feet, my brother, and be a man." Teach him that that man, that race, is superior which does superior things to lift mankind to superior conditions. Teach him that that is the superior man, the superior race, which does most for its country, fights noblest for man, and lives closest to God.


Its Benefits to the Negro.

The people of Tennessee will celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the admission of their State into the Union by holding, at Nashville, the capital, in 1897, for a period of six months from the 1st day of May, a great Centennial and International Exposition.

A structure to be known as the


will be one of the most attractive in the exposition, and will occupy a delightful and commanding position on the east bank of Lake Watauga.

The cut on page 28 will give the reader some idea of its magnitude. It is amply sufficient to accommodate the vast variety of exhibits which the Afro-American will have to display to the world. The purpose of this department is to show the progress of our race in the United States from the old plantation days to the present.

This building was erected at a cost of over $12,000, and is the work of the management, without any solicitation or money from the Negro himself, which demonstrates an earnest anxiety for our participation in the event. It is expedient that we respond to the invitation by bringing forward the very best specimens of our merit and progress—not for the sake of the temporary praise which our displays may elicit, but for the more substantial benefits which we hope will follow.

The same capabilities which are in other people exist in us, and only want ampler avenues afforded for their exercise. We have abiding faith in the ultimate amelioration of the present conditions by the best sentiments of the American people. But the influencing of that sentiment to a more favorable attitude is in ourselves, and is accomplished more and more as we cause our usefulness to be seen and appreciated.

We hope that our participation in the great event will contribute largely toward establishing a feeling of more tolerance and consideration. This is the key of the aim. If, as we believe, the best impulses of the people are on the side of struggling humanity, and, when awakened, are easily moved to its succor, then a creditable display from us is bound to lead toward this result, both at home and abroad. If the Southern States afford conditions friendly to its ex-slave element, then there could be no stronger proof of it than an exhibition of the progress of the Negro himself. Such an exhibition would not only verify the claims of our home people, and help displace the stigma which perhaps attaches to them abroad on the race question, but its effect is bound to extend further. It elevates us at the same time it elevates them, and creates a current of good will in the direction of a better understanding.


It is intended to make this department one of the most attractive features in the building. All relics of interest that are owned by colored people are wanted on exhibition. All contributions that will tend toward completing the history of the race are solicited for exhibition.

We desire to have:

1. Sketches of the faithfulness and devotion of the Negro.

2. Biographical sketches of every Tennessee nonagenarian and centenarian Negro.

3. A copy of every book, magazine, and paper published and edited by Negroes.

4. Coins of Negro governments.

5. Stamps of Negro governments.

6. Sketches of Negroes by missionaries.

7. Pottery and utensils used by Negroes everywhere.

8. Sketches and photographs of Negroes prominent in Tennessee history, or any other State.

9. Records of houses and localities connected with Negroes.

10. Bills of sales, passes, manumittance papers of Negroes, and laws of cities and states before and since the war, for or against the Negro.

11. Old papers with advertisements of runaway Negroes.

12. Articles on the Negro problem.

13. Relics.

14. The loan of medals awarded by Congress to Negroes for heroism, also votes of thanks.

15. Histories of slave insurrections.

16. The number of acres of land owned by Negroes, and whether incumbered or unincumbered.

17. Catalogues of schools owned and officered by Negroes, or schools where Negroes are being instructed.


The managers have designated for this department a space sufficient to show hundreds of pictures and pieces of sculpture. The Art Committee is now receiving paintings, sculpture, and other works of the highest quality from owners and artists of the colored race. The high-class works of art in this department will mark the progress of our education.


We propose to display on a magnificent scale the best specimens of our workmanship. It is the intention of this department to obtain an exhibit from the mine or ore bed in which our people are at work, whether it be coal, slate, marble, fine sand and gravel, ore of iron, copper, tin, zinc, silver or gold, or any peculiar geological deposit.


The Afro-American will also make an exhibit of dentistry. In this department will be seen gold plates, porcelain plates, rubber and brass plates, gold and brass crowns, gold and amalgam filled teeth, and bridges of various kinds. We expect that this department will help us to show to the civilized world that the Negro is not a failure, nor is he lagging in any of the skillful and most highly honored professions.


Those of our race who have given their time and energy toward brightening the prospects and bettering the conditions of the Negro have all along advocated equal opportunities and advantages for male and female.

No other course would be consistent. No other line would be logical. If the Negro advocates the idea of equal opportunities and advantages for white and black, he must, to be consistent, urge equal opportunities for male and female. He says by this that every human being should be allowed the same privileges and prerogatives, which carries with it the same possibilities and promise in life for every human, all things else being equal.

Those planning the Negro Department acted wisely in establishing a Woman's Department.

Besides the departments already mentioned, there will be a number of others equally interesting, such as Department of Clubs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Live Stock, Department of Marble and Stone, etc.

The members of the Negro Department of the Tennessee Centennial earnestly request the encouragement, co-operation, and assistance of the Negroes of the United States and of America. It is very essential that we show to the world what we can do. We have always been willing and ready to help to push the lever of progress, but every one does not see it in that light. This is a way by which we can make the world see, understand, and realize our importance. In the Negro Department we have the privilege of showing our work to such an advantage that it cannot fail to represent us. Therefore we appeal to every Negro man and woman, who has any real pride, to do all in his or her power to make this department a success. Before another centennial celebration others will have our place in the arena of life, and they will love and honor us for this and other examples of patriotism that we may leave on record for their inspiration.

Though the examples we leave them may have been given under adverse circumstances, they will understand it. They will know as well as we that there is no reward without labor, no prize without a struggle, no victory without a battle.

We as a race cannot afford to let this great undertaking fail. We will not let it fail. Do not hesitate to send your exhibits because you feel that they are not perfect. Do the best you can in getting them up, send them, and leave the result of their defects to the Great Judge, who knows the depths from which we have come, the heights to which we are aspiring, and the condition of our environment. We have the ability, the means, and the opportunity is at hand to erect a monument to the race. During the century we are about to celebrate, we acted as heroes for others. Why not play the man for ourselves now? Why not as citizens of Tennessee join in the celebration of the birth of our State? She was born into the Union June 1, 1796. She has been in one hundred years (minus the year of secession), and we, as a race, have been right along with her. Not only have we been connected with Tennessee, but we have been identified with the whole country since 1620, and have assisted in producing peace, prosperity. We have helped to clear the forests, till the soil, level the mountains, fill the valleys, bridge rivers, build railroads, factories, schoolhouses, churches, towns, and cities. We have labored assiduously to make this country bloom as a rose. This fact is admitted by multiplied thousands of the best white people in the whole South. We are not ashamed of our record in the history of our State, neither do we wish it to be ashamed of us.

We have done well, but we can do better. A thousand years shall not erase from the pages of history the part that we have played upon the American stage of action. Do not falter now, my brethren, but rush to the help of the Negro Department with your banners floating in the breeze. We are pronounced an unsolved problem. We are quoted as a vexatious question, and the eyes of the world are upon us. We can solve this problem, we can answer this question, and we can charm the gaze of the world. When? May 1, 1897. Where? In the Negro Building. How? By filling it with suitable exhibits.

We are making history. The historian may neglect us, but there is a hand that is writing upon the wall—not our destruction, neither does it require a Daniel to read it. With the golden pen of time it dips into the crystal fluid of sympathy, and writes us as a nation, making rapid strides

Out of darkness into light, Out of weakness into might.

It writes us as a nation upon the ocean of time, landing without anchor, oar, or sail. Thirty-three years ago, when we started out from the bonds of slavery with a legacy of poverty and ignorance, the canopy of heaven for our shelter, we were in a miserable, helpless condition. To-day we are a great nation, nearly 10,000,000 strong, with nearly $1,000,000,000 wealth. When the products of our hands are seen in the Tennessee Centennial, our government may be constrained to pay not only the debt of gratitude, but the debt of money that she owes us for the two hundred and forty-four years that we served her. Peradventure, she may be persuaded to protect us better as American citizens, and love us more as her hard-working, earnest, loyal sons and daughters, not of Africa, but of beautiful America, the queen of the world.


Atlanta, Ga., September 19 to December 31, 1895.

This was the first opportunity that the colored people ever had to show the world what they have learned and accomplished since their emancipation, and they made the most of it. Their exhibition attracted as much attention as any other feature of the great exposition. This building was erected by Negro hands, supervised by Negro skill and brain, filled with products, evincing beyond a shadow of doubt the Negro's advancement, and all a decided proof that he is a factor in the American nation—a part of it, and an indispensable part. This building covered a floor space of more than 25,000 square feet, and was erected at a cost of $9,923. There was no charge made for entrance or rent fees. In every State in the South the Negroes were thoroughly organized for the collection of their exhibit, which consisted of all farm products, needlework of all kinds, paintings, inventions, carpentering, blacksmithing, silversmithing, dentistry, surgical skill, pictures of colored men's places of business and residences, industrial products from their schools, and hundreds of other things that show the genius and thrift of the race. Registered stock, such as horses, cows, sheep, and hogs, were on exhibition. All told, there were 110 commissioners appointed, representing the various States. Prof. I. Garland Penn, of Lynchburg, Va., was chief of the department.

Every colored lady and gentleman who visited the exposition received an inspiration which has made them enterprising and progressive.


It is high time that the colored people were looking more seriously to their material interest. We have need to build more wisely in the future in this regard than we have in the past, if we would receive the attention and recognition of the dominant race, which our relation to the body politic deserves. We dress well, we look well, and talk well; but in far too many cases that is all of it—there is nothing behind it. The Negro must learn the importance of doing business for himself, accumulating property, supporting race enterprises, of providing employment for our sons and daughters after they shall come forth from the schools. We all cannot be school-teachers, lawyers, and doctors. We need good stores and business houses of every description; we must get money. It carries with it that power and influence which we, as a race, so much need. The demands for positions among our young girls and boys are becoming so great that the parents will soon be taught the necessity of preparing a place before they complete their schooling. It is to be regretted that we do not think of this until our sons and daughters have completed their education. Places owned and run by Negroes are the need of the hour. (Christian Banner, Philadelphia, Pa.)


As a rule, the colored people all over this country are getting very small wages; therefore they cannot save sufficient money to enter large financial enterprises; but we must organize co-operate associations, and from this will come assistance to build grocery, shoe, dry goods, and commission houses.

We must come together. The colored people must unite, and the quicker the better. Every other race on earth is uniting. Why not the Negro?

If you should be quite a long way behind your leader, keep in line. Don't throw stumbling-blocks in the way of those behind you, or try to impede the progress of those who have gone before you. We are all one family, notwithstanding some of us can almost pass for other folks. Again, lay down some of this fighting religion and take up piety. Think how far you have traveled, and yet how far you are to go. Thousands of immensely wealthy negroes, some of whom came from peanut stands, others from the corn and cotton fields, slave men one day, another free men; ignorant to-day, to-morrow educated; from one position to another the Negro has traveled until they have produced some of the best men in the country, and some of them have traveled all the way from the ditch to the State House in less than a quarter of a century. With men such as R. T. Greener, J. E. Bruce, T. Thomas Fortune, J. M. Henderson, of New York; Booker T. Washington, W. H. Council, Henry C. Smith, of Alabama; George L. Knox. G. L. Jones, Will M. Lewis, W. A. Sweeney, S. A. Elbert, of Indiana; W. H. Crogman, R. R. Wright, W. A. Pledger, of Georgia; H. C. Smith, B. W. Armett, J. P. Green, of Ohio; J. C. Napier, R. F. Boyd, J. T. Settle, of Tennessee; D. Augustus Straker, of Michigan; John C. Dancy, Isaac H. Smith, of North Carolina; O. M. Rickets, of Nebraska; John M. Langston, J. H. Smythe, John Mitchell, Jr., of Virginia; B. K. Bruce, E. E. Cooper, Robert H. Terrell, R. W. Thompson, Alex Crummell, of the District of Columbia; John R. Lynch, C. J. Jones, James Hill, of Mississippi; J. Q. Adams, of Minnesota; N. W. Cuney, of Texas; John S. Durham, J. B. Raymond, of Pennsylvania; George W. Murray, of South Carolina; P. B. S. Pinchback, of Louisiana; E. H. Morris, of Illinois; Albert S. White, of Kentucky; J. Milton Turner, of Missouri; and scores of others equally worthy, we expect to be on our way very soon to the White House. Let us start now, to-day. (Boston Advance.)


An Afro-American Financial Accumulating Merchandise and Business Association was organized in Pittsburg, Pa., June 22, 1896, for the purpose of accumulating money to establish business among the race. This association promises to build three large buildings, not to cost less than $40,000 each. In these are to be carried on all kinds of merchandise, and our young men and women will be thus employed.

Its object is to accumulate $560,000, which is to be divided into shares of $52 each, and any person can purchase one or more shares for 10 cents each, for which the association gives the purchaser a membership certificate. This certificate entitles the person to any employment which the association may need; also when the holder of the certificate has paid in $52, his or her certificate will be indorsed as a paid-up certificate; and the holder will cease to pay any further dues; and on this certificate he or she draws annual dividends of all money, over the current expenses, and when the husband dies the wife receives the same; when the wife dies the children take up the same certificate and receive the same dividends as long as one of them is living. Single persons holding certificates receive the same privilege, and when they die, whoever they designate will take up their certificate and receive the same dividend.

Already $35,000 worth of stock has been taken. The association now has two coal yards running, four teams and 14 persons employed. It will open a brickyard and stone quarry in East Liberty this spring and employ 125 men and 40 teams. It will open coal yards next fall in Allegheny, Braddock, and McKeesport, Pa. Men, women, boys, and girls are asked to take shares. You pay 10 cents for a share, then 10 cents a week. After two years you can, if you wish, draw your money out of the association. You can also borrow money out of the association. Rev. J. H. Thompson, 38 Arthur Street, Pittsburg, Pa., is the President and General Manager. The Afro-Americans will watch the workings of this association, and if it proves a success similar associations will likely be established in other sections of the country. (Star of Zion.)


The Nickel Savings Bank, of Richmond, Va., is a prosperous financial institution of which Dr. R. F. Tancis is President. It affords an excellent opportunity for the saving of small earnings and is being liberally patronized.

The Alabama Penny Savings and Loan Company, of Birmingham, Ala., has a capital stock of $25,000, in shares of $5 each. Interest is paid on time deposits. The company was incorporated February 16, 1895. Officers: W. R. Pettiford, President; P. F. Clark, Vice President; B. H. Hudson, Cashier.

The Capital Savings Bank, of Washington, D. C., has $50,000 capital. Officers: Hon. John R. Lynch, President; James T. Bradford, Vice President; L. C. Bailey, Treasurer; Prof. James Storum, Secretary; Douglas B. McCary, Cashier. Directors: John R. Lynch, W. McKinley, Robert H. Terrell, Wyat Archer, J. A. Lewis, H. E. Baker, H. P. Montgomery, L. C. Bailey, W. S. Lofton, James Storum, John A. Pierr, A. W. Tancil, J. H. Meriwethe, J. A. Johnson, W. S. Montgomery. Deposits are received from 10 cents upward. Interest allowed on $5 and above.


The following statistics as to the diversified wealth of the New Negro in the Union have been given out as official: In Alabama, $10,120,137; Arkansas, $9,810,346; California, $4,416,939; Colorado, $3,400,527; Connecticut, $550,170; Delaware, $1,320,196; Florida, $8,690,044; Georgia, $15,196,885; Idaho, $16,411; Illinois, $11,889,562; Indiana, $4,404,524; Iowa, $2,750,409; Kansas, $4,296,644; Kentucky, $10,976,411; Louisiana, $19,918,631; Maine, $196,732; Maryland, $10,392,130; Massachusetts, $9,904,524; Michigan, $5,200,122; Minnesota, $1,210,259; Mississippi, $16,742,349; Missouri, $8,366,474; Montana, $132,419; Nebraska, $2,750,000; Nevada, $276,209; New Hampshire, $331,731; New Jersey, $3,637,832; New York, $19,243,893; New Mexico, $395,244; North Carolina, $13,481,717; North Dakota, $84,101; Ohio, $8,580,000; Oregon, $93,500; Pennsylvania, $16,730,639; Rhode Island, $3,740,000; South Carolina, $16,750,121; Utah, $82,500; South Dakota, $136,787; Tennessee, $11,446,292; Texas, $32,852,995; Vermont, $1,112,731; Virginia, $10,932,009; Washington, $623,515; West Virginia, $6,164,796; Wisconsin, $156,312; Wyoming, $243,237; District of Columbia, $5,831,707; Indian Territory, $761,111; Oklahoma, $4,213,408; thus giving a total of over $400,000,000, free from all incumbrances.


The Negro school-teacher is the bright star of hope and promise for the Negro race in America. There are now 25,000 school-teachers in the United States, and 1,512,800 pupils in the public schools. Besides this number, add 20,000 who are attending private schools, and 80,000 who are attending mechanical or art institutions, and as many more who are all attending normal schools and academies. There are sixty-three Presidents of Negro colleges, and yet thirty years ago not one in a thousand of us could read. In 1897 we find that there are six hundred negroes who are members of the Bar Association. There are also deans in law colleges, court commissioners, and many common attorneys. There are one thousand graduates of medical colleges. We are gradually climbing up. (George Knox, Indianapolis, Ind.).


Be careful about the commands given; study, think, and pray. Be sure that it is a right command, and one that the child can obey. A mother said to her boy: "Bring in that stick of wood on the porch and put it on the fire." The stick was too large, and he came and said: "Mamma, it is too heavy." His mamma hit him a blow and told him that he was lazy; but when she came to look at the stick, it was too large. This mother should have apologized to her child, but she did not. Be sure that the child understands your command. Be patient and repeat the command, and then ask the child to tell you in his own words what you want done.

A child is not obedient if you find it necessary to tell him twice, provided he understands that you want it done immediately. Prompt obedience should be required. "John, bring me the broom," said a mother. "Yes," said the boy, and went on with his own work. "John, how often must I tell you before you obey?" asked the mother impatiently. Then John went for the broom. But he had disobeyed, and his mother should have laid down her work and taken John alone and explained what obedience meant; indeed, he deserved to be punished, if this was his usual way of obeying. But the mother never explained that needing to be told twice was disobedience. Most parents are thoughtless about commands, and after they have given a wrong or unwise command they are too proud to confess it. I heard a mother say these wicked words: "If I promise my child a whipping and find afterwards that he was not to blame, I will whip him anyway to keep my word good." No sensible child can have any respect for such a parent. A bad promise is always better broken than kept. "Thomas," said a mother in my hearing the other day, "I promised to let you and Mary visit Cousin John to-morrow, but I forgot that these clothes must be taken home to-morrow evening, and I will need you both to help. It was careless in me to make the promise without thinking. I am sorry to disappoint you." "Well, mamma," said Thomas, "sometimes I promise without thinking, and then I can't keep my promise; so all right. I will stay and help." "God bless you, my dear boy; I know we both see now how important it is to think before we promise," was the mother's kind reply. You can see how this plan brought the child in sympathy with the mother. When the child is old enough, you should take time to reason with him about the justice of your commands; but when very young, "Mamma says so" is reason enough. (Hope. Nashville, Tenn.)


It's not such a difficult matter to keep your room in order. After your own particular domain is in order, learn to keep it so. Learn to dispose of things as you handle them, and while dressing yourself you will at the same time unconsciously be setting your room in order.

Have a dainty little catch-all upon the bureau, or hanging near it, and whenever you see a stray thread or bit of dirt, which you can pick up, don't neglect it, but let it's place be in the catch-all. This precaution will make sweeping an easy task and save your room from ever having a littered look. There will be no days of "putting things to right," for they will be right all the time, and your room will be a continual pleasure to you, as you will not count the time it requires to keep it so any more than you do that which you give to insure personal cleanliness.

It will be easier to keep your room nice than to let it go after you once know the pleasure of an orderly, dainty room, kept so by your own hands. (The Guide, Baltimore, Md.)



There are, according to the latest statistics, 1,280 Afro-American women secretaries and clerks.

No less than one dozen newspapers are edited by intelligent colored women.

Seventy-five Afro-American lady dentists, some of whom have a large practice among the best white people, are an honor to the profession.

Sixty Negro women proclaim the gospel to dying sinners with telling effect.

There are 4,314 colored lady musicians in the land of the "Father of his country."

There are 111 colored women who are regular practicing physicians in the United States.

In 1870 there was not a colored lady bookkeeper in this country. To-day there are 347.

There are 18 Afro-American women who are competent land surveyors.

Statistics show that there are no less than seventy stenographers among the colored women, most of whom are employed on good salaries.

The census of 1890 shows that there are 3,949 actresses in this country, more than a score of whom are women of the race.

Besides the above-named avocations, we have sculptors, painters, lawyers, architects, merchants, and, in fact, our women are filling with success and ability almost every avocation and profession of to-day, and the day is in the near future when the service of thousands of others will be in still greater demand.



The history of the colored newspaper is one of pathetic but vigorous struggle. Upon the whole, with all of its drawbacks and want of proper support, it has ever been one of the most potential arms of race progress. It has been the means of throwing open to the race the columns of the great Anglo-Saxon newspapers hitherto closed against them. It has educated both races. It has been a mirror to reflect the advance made by the race from time to time. Like the Negro pulpit, it is far from being perfect. But its slow but steady progress constitutes the very best commentary on racial life, its hopes and fears.



One trouble with us as a race is that we are not enough interested in our progress, not enough interested in our standing among other races. We are too easily satisfied, and not very anxious to get far away from the fleshpots of Egypt. Every race must have its leaders, defenders, and champions. If they have them not, they must produce them.

We should begin with childhood. Every criminal was once an innocent child, and when he first commenced to do wrong, he found it hard and difficult. Conscience called, alarmed, and remonstrated; and even after wrongs were committed, conscience, the interior judge, held court on the inside. He arraigned the prisoner at the bar of reason for trial; but he continues to do wrong, and in early manhood he stands a criminal. Step by step he was led away.

Take the murderer. He occupies his cell hardened by crime. Sentence has been passed; the day of execution comes. The sheriff enters the prison, reads the death warrant, pinions his hands, and the slow and steady death march begins. The scaffold is reached, steps ascended, and the prisoner takes his place on the center of the death trap; the black cap is securely tied over his face, and the rope around his neck, and as the trapdoor is sprung, the unfortunate man leaps into darkness. This criminal was once the idol of a mother's heart, who bowed over his cradle, taught him to walk and to say his prayers. She looked forward to the time when he would grow up to manhood and make himself felt among the world's great men; but alas! those hopes are blighted. The boy begins the downward way keeping bad company, and staying out late at night. He associates with gamblers and drunkards, and soon becomes both. He goes to jail, to the chain gang, to the penitentiary, and finally to the gallows. Much of the dishonesty is due to the negligence of parents in early training.

I want to call your attention to that craze for fine dressing. If parents would teach their daughters that a beautiful character is the best and greatest ornament, and that a pure heart beneath the most common costume is to be prized above silk and satin at the price of virtue, we would have a better and purer race.

We have many enemies of the race who are members of the race. I will call your attention to them by classes.

We have a class of women who boast of their association with white men, and yet demand honor and respect from men of the race. Some of our churches have been so loose as to give them membership, and every now and then some fool Negro man will marry one. This class of women hinders the progress of the race, and is indeed a curse to it, and many of the white men who seek to lead astray every good-looking woman in our race frequently refer to the immorality of colored women. The race must frown upon this class of women, and make them feel their isolation at all hazards. They should be treated as the lepers were and are treated in the East to-day—put off to themselves; and all who associate with them should be pronounced unclean.

The next class is the professional pimps. This class is represented by a number of men and women who make a business of leading astray every girl they can, disregarding their destruction and the sorrow brought to the hearts of parents and friends, the disgrace to the race, just since they receive some money for their hellish work. Some of these professional pimps are members of some of our churches, I am told. I would suggest that every father and mother, and every man who has a sister, resolve to make it extremely hot for this class of the devil's agents. Hand them around; blackball them; sound the alarm of mad dog. Get them out of the church; have no association with them. Keep your daughters from about them. Greet them as you would the devil, for they are devils wrapped up in human flesh. I warn you against these men and women who carry notes to girls for white men, and who lay snares for the destruction of our girls. Have nothing to do with them.

The next class among our race that is a hindrance and a barrier is represented by a number of men. These men seem to regard themselves called to win the affections of light-headed and light-hearted girls, get engaged to them, and after destroying their characters betake themselves to others for marriage. The man who destroys the character of a woman has as much right to be put aside and excluded from society as the woman, and that society which recognizes such a man, and yet ignores the woman, is rotten and demoralizing. We can never purify society until we have good men as well as good women. We have too many men in our race who delight to speak disreputably of nearly every woman when they themselves have a very unsavory reputation, and should be regarded with great diffidence. There are many women in our race who are just as pure, and whose characters are just as irreproachable as the women of any race, and our men owe it to these women and to the race the duty of defending and protecting them, even to the risk of our own lives. We should always speak of them in complimentary terms, and allow no one to speak otherwise in our presence without positive resentment.

The next class I want to discuss is the idle, lazy, shiftless, vagrant class. The class I refer to are those who will not work, and yet hate every man and woman who will labor and strive to accumulate something. As a race, we are too jealous and grudgeful of each other's success and prosperity. The prophet in his vision saw the image of jealousy set up. In lifting the veil of futurity he must have seen the condition of the Negro in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Our children must be taught to work, and to love work. They must be taught that work is honorable. The working people of any community are the mainstay and backbone of that community. Paul said: "If any would not work, neither should he eat." Christ, our glorious example, was a working man, the carpenter of Nazareth, a busy man, a man distinctively of the common people. Christ did not have among his disciples a single gentleman of leisure. They were all working men. In the early history of the church the great majority of believers were from among the working people. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen; Paul was a tent-maker; Moses, the greatest human legislator the world ever produced, was once a shepherd; Elisha was a farmer, and was called from the plow to succeed Elijah. Joseph and Daniel were servants before they were made prime ministers. Martin Luther was a miner's son. Cardinal Wolsey was the son of a butcher. John Bunyan was a tinker. William Carey was a shoemaker. Jeremy Taylor was a barber. Dr. Livingstone was a weaver. Every man ought to engage in some kind of work, either braincraft or handicraft.


The cultured class of white society in the South, as a rule, comes in contact only with the hewers of wood and drawers of water of the Negro race, and are prone to judge the rest by what it sees. A great mistake. There is a large and growing cultured class of Negroes in the South, which can mingle only with itself. When the strength of these cultured classes—living in the same section, but separate and distinct, and ignorant of each other—become more equal, as it surely will in the future under the present specially fine educational advantages now being engaged by the Negro, what is going to be the effect? I believe that, in time, we will have in the South two almost universally cultured races. That is the trend. (Smith Clayton [white], Atlanta, Ga.)



In nothing else is our progress more happily signalized than in the growing interest in the new usefulness of our women.

Ten years ago colored women were little heard of as useful members of society, except in the work of teaching, religious interests, and the domestic arts. Ten years ago the conscience of womankind among us was scarcely aroused to the opportunities presented for multiplying our activities in all the questions that concern social improvements. Ten years ago the interest of colored women in each other was personal or individual, and not racial or social. The great forces that are now shaping all things toward newer and better conditions, that teach new duties and suggest new opportunities for the exercise of all the virtues of heart and mind have begun to affect our women in a wonderful way. This year has witnessed a remarkable exhibition of the spirit of unity in colored women. They have effected a truly national organization of representative women. The organization is genuine in its representative capacity, sincere in purpose, and positive and practical in its proclamation of principles.

The National Colored Women's Association possibly means more to the social order and improvement of the colored race in this country than anything yet attempted outside of the churches. It has already succeeded in making important many things that have been too long neglected. It has succeeded in calling attention to the fact that the Negro race has a good deal more intelligence and virtue than it uses for its own advancement. The controlling spirit of this new association of colored women is first of all for self-improvement. It is the most distinct voice of self-admonition and self-examination yet uttered by a national body of Afro-Americans. In other words these women coming from all parts of our country and from various conditions of the people, seem burdened with an earnestness to make pure and strong and beautiful the home life and all the social relationships of the race. Perhaps it is not necessary thus to call attention to this association and its work after all that has been said and written about it. But it seems to me that it cannot be too strongly urged that the association needs for its success the enthusiasm and hearty support of all of our women. The special organ of the association and all of its other functions need the co-operation of colored women everywhere. The questions outlined in its resolutions and address to the public should be themes of wide and helpful discussion wherever our women meet together. The way to make a great national movement truly national, important, and effective is to talk about it and try to realize in each community the high and important purposes of that movement. That is the secret of the enormous success of such bodies as the W. C. T. U., the Federation of Women's Clubs, the National Council of Women, and others like them. Every community where earnest women dwell is made to feel the living and active presence of these organizations. Let our women everywhere give the National Association of Colored Women power and permanency by every available means of encouragement and support.


If any race of people on this earth need to have courage, it is the Negro.

Have the courage to say "No" when you are tempted to drink.

Have the courage to wear the old suit of clothes, rather than go in debt for a new suit.

Have the courage to acknowledge your ignorance when asked about something of which you do not know.

Have the courage to pay a debt when you need the money for something else.

Have the courage to be polite, though your character may be assailed.

Have the courage to speak the truth, remembering the command: "Thou shalt not lie."

Have the courage to own that you are poor, and thus disarm poverty of its sharpest sting.

Have the courage to own that you are wrong, when convinced that such is the case.

Have the courage to be good and true, and you will always find work to do.

Have the courage to say your prayers, though you may be ridiculed by man.

Have the courage to tell a man why you will not lend him money instead of whipping the devil around the stump by telling him that you haven't a cent "in the world," calling one of your pockets "the world."

Have the courage of your convictions. "According to a man's faith, so be it unto him." This is true on every plane of life, from the lowest to the highest. A man's power in everything is measured by his convictions. The statesman who has the profoundest convictions is surest of bringing others to see as he sees on any question which he discusses before the public. The minister who can most completely identify himself with his people, if he has the courage of his convictions, is the one who is most likely to be successful. (Afro-American Encyclopedia.)


"It is a poor charity that closes its doors to honest labor on the one hand and opens its almshouses on the other." Such is the comment of a writer who recently compared the relations in the North and South, as regards their efforts to care for the poor, and especially the distresses of the needy among the colored people. While the North has an apparent balance in her favor in the matter of formal expenditures for charity among the colored people, yet the South has the advantage in true charity. It gives the helpless an opportunity to help themselves. Charity is wisest in her ministrations when the object of her beneficence is not deprived of the means of self-support and independence. In the North nearly all departments of labor are governed by trades unions, and the unfortunate Negroes, proscribed as they nearly always are, are forced to become paupers. The South does not bend the manacles of pauperism on his wrists, but instead opens to him many lines of industrial activity, such as other sections of our country do not afford. (American Baptist, Louisville, Ky.)

For seven successive years of almost continuous labor she was the leader of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers, of Nashville, Tenn., who traveled extensively, both in America and Europe, giving popular entertainment of a species of singing which originated among the slaves of the South. She possesses a soprano voice of rare quality that is always pleasing and in demand.



The three greatest Negroes that the race has produced are dead. No three living Negroes fill so much space in books or in men's thoughts as Toussaint L'Overture, Richard Allen, and Frederick Douglass, and it will be a long while before three Negroes of equal intelligence and ability for leadership and organization will be able to take their places. There are others, but these represent the real greatness of the Negro on two continents, and each man's work stands out conspicuously for itself. Hayti, the great African Methodist Church, and Negro citizenship in the United States are the magnificent results in part or in whole of the agitations begun by each of these men in his appointed time. The monument to L'Overture's greatness, generalship, courage, and organizing ability is the black republic which he founded and consecrated with his blood.

Richard Allen's monument is the great African Methodist Church, with its hundreds of thousands of worshipers, its schools of learning, and its progressive and educated ministers, some of whom can hold a good deal more book learning.

The monument to Frederick Douglass is the new citizen—the Negro citizen, if you please—whose cause he eloquently pleaded in the presence of the great and the powerful, in whose interests he made thousands of sympathetic friends because the Almighty had given him an eloquent tongue and a powerful voice. There are others, but these three stand at the head of the list, and are better known to the world at large than any other three Negroes on earth. What a triumvirate!

L'Overture, Allen, and Douglass—what a mighty combination! Courage, piety, and eloquence. A bronze medallion with the heads of these great Negroes worn near the heart of the young Negroes of this generation might tend to fill their souls with loftier and nobler thoughts and drive them nearer to the race which these men dignified. The immortality of infamy is ours if we fail to produce a Negro in the next generation who will not at least measure up to the standard to which any one of these three immortals not only attained, but kept unsullied and unspotted until the angel of death gathered them unto their fathers, that they might sleep the sleep of the just.


Many of our young people might profit immensely by the careful and proper employment of their time in the reading and consulting of good books. (Woman's Messenger, Memphis, Tenn.)

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Our girls and women can always render a great service to the race by their ladylike deportment upon the public highways. (The Light, Vicksburg, Miss.)

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No race can rise above the morals of its women, and for that reason the women of our race should be careful, and strive to do nothing that will retard our progress. (The Informer, Louisville, Ky.)

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We should endeavor to multiply the number of our white friends, in the South especially, because it is to them and to ourselves that we must look for our material advantage and practical welfare. (The Planet, Richmond, Va.)

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Our children should know the history of the race. It will instill a spirit of race pride. They should know that the foundations of this republic were made secure by the blood of our fathers as well as that of the Anglo-Saxon race. (Clipper, Athens, Ga.)

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The Negro is sadly in need of money. There can be no substitute for it. When a Negro man spends money and becomes important from a commercial point of view, the color of his skin and the fiber of his hair are all lost in the mad rush of the Caucasian to his pocket and its contents. (Texas Baptist Star.)

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While man can boast of great physical strength, skill, and bulldog courage, woman carries in her weak frame a moral courage very seldom found among men. If our race is to be a great race in this great nation of races, our women must be largely instrumental in making it so. (American Baptist.)

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There is a mistaken idea that "culture" means to paint a little, sing a little, dance a little, put on haughty airs, and to quote passages from popular books. It means nothing of the kind. Culture means politeness, charity, fairness, good temper, and good conduct. Culture is not a thing to make a display of; it is something to use so moderately that people do not discover all at once that you have it. (Colored American, Washington, D. C.)

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One of the surest ways to make the average Anglo-Saxon respect you is to have him know that your check will be cashed at the bank or that your name is written in the tax book of the county wherein you have your habitation. He has learned that money talks, so to speak, and he is always ready to give it an audience. The records of the Southern States show up wonderfully well in favor of the Afro-American, and yet not as well as they might. There are arguments and arguments in favor of recognition, and the money argument is one of them. (Southern Age, Atlanta, Ga.)

* * * * *

The Columbian Exposition did not give the Negro a chance to demonstrate to the nations what he could do, but at the Cotton States Exposition he was given a trial, and so well did he succeed that he comes in for another showing at the Tennessee Exposition. Let the Negroes feel that it is important and necessary to make a fine display, and, imbued with this hope, let them press forward to eclipse all former efforts. (The Enterprise, Omaha, Neb.)

* * * * *

We cannot go to Africa and succeed with all our ignorance and poverty. Let our big men set out to break down immorality among Negroes. Get Negroes to have more refinement and race pride, use Negro books and papers, hang Negro pictures on their walls, get up Negro industries, and give deserving colored men and women employment; break down superstition and mistrust. Get Negroes to act decently, both publicly and privately. (Clipper, Athens, Ga.)

* * * * *

Every colored family should point with pride to the deeds of our great men. The walls of our homes should be adorned with the pictures of those of our own race who have proven that we are not deficient in men of noble and towering deeds. The tables should bear books of history and biography which would make our boys and girls acquainted with what has been wrought for and by the race. If we do not look out for these points, the next generation will not be what it should be. (Christian Clipper.)

* * * * *

The colored people of the United States pay taxes on $330,000,000 real property, $50,000,000 personal property, and have about $60,000,000 on deposit in savings banks. These figures are from carefully prepared statistics, and are a wonderful showing for a people the majority of whom have been out of bondage less than half a century. In Alameda County, of this state, colored people are on the assessment roll for upward of $1,000,000. Who says that the race is retrograding? If only one-tenth of this money could be put into manufacturing and commercial enterprises, what a commotion the colored man would make in the country! Talk about the Jew and the Chinaman; why, they would be at a discount! Let us all undertake to infuse a little of our business enterprise into the veins of the race. What do you say? (Elevator, San Francisco, Cal.)

* * * * *

The world is full of young men who want to succeed, but who are too lazy to put forth an effort in the right direction. He is truly an unlucky mortal to whom an opportunity never comes; and remember, the humblest employment is better than none. The man at work is infinitely more likely to get something better than the idler is to fall into an easy "snap." Do not growl at fate, but bear in mind that every one is the architect of his own fortune. (The Bulletin, Balfour, N. C.)

* * * * *

Mrs. Annie E. Walker, a graduate of the New York Art School, who went to Paris to further perfect herself in the art of painting, has returned to her home in this city after a most successful course in one of the highest art schools in all Europe. After Mrs. Walker had studied in Paris only four months she painted a picture from life which was accepted by the French Salon, where it was put on exhibition. When it is remembered that an art student is considered fortunate and proficient if she can get a pastel into the Salon after she has studied for years, it is most remarkable that an American lady, and that, too, identified with the depraved race, should have gone to France and broken all previous records. The painting which was readily accepted by the Salon is now at the residence of Mrs. Walker, in this city, and fortunate is the lady or gentleman who shall have an opportunity to see it, for it indeed has life in it, and evinces the fact that the artist is a genius of the highest order. (Colored American, Washington, D. C.)

* * * * *

If we are to have a literature peculiar to our necessities, then our men and women are to produce it. If they are to produce it, then our leaders are to encourage it. Kind words may go a long way, a little assistance in the amassing of data will prove invaluable, and helping to make a market for the literature will act as a stimulus. Let us encourage our men and women to write, and in a few years we shall have a literature of which we need not be ashamed. (Christian Index, Jackson, Tenn.)

* * * * *

When contemplating the race as a mass it is usual to judge its members by its worst representatives, a method both unjust and untrue. The colored people of the South, as a class, should not be judged by the criminals among them who become conspicuous in the newspapers from evil deeds that are often visited with swift and terrible justice. They should rather be judged from the honest, hard-working men and women who, beginning with nothing, have in the course of one generation accumulated an amount of property that forms no inconspicuous portion even of our magnificent national wealth. (St. Louis Christian Advocate.)

* * * * *

When we have a task to perform we should go about it with a cheerful heart, with an eye single to doing our best. Then duty becomes a pleasure. Let us aim to be first in the pursuit of our life's work. We cannot reach the topmost round at once, and if we get there at all there must be something in us worthy of the upper rounds. Can we ask Him to be our guide who noticed the falling of a sparrow to the ground? Do so; then we will not choose the wrong path, we will not stumble in our darkest hours. We will not think solely of our slavery, of our closing hour, or how we will spend the evening, but will put our mind on our duties and resolve that they shall have the best that is in us; and by and by we shall enjoy the reward which is laid up for the finally faithful. (Woman's World, Rome, Ga.)

* * * * *

Every law-abiding, self-respecting, hard-working colored citizen of the United States should denounce in unmeasured terms those young men of the race who do not work, but loaf; who do nothing to elevate, but everything to degrade, the race; who choose the sunny side of the street corners in winter and the shady side in summer; who use all kinds of vulgar and indecent language, insulting ladies as they pass. It is this loafing, nomadic young class that drifts to crime, caused by idleness, evil associations, and the fact that this class does not know the value of a dollar or the enormity of a crime. These young men are millstones welded by chains around the necks of those of us who are trying to be something and do something in the world. There are no palliating circumstances, no mitigating conditions—nothing on God's green earth—that will even to the slightest degree excuse this worthless class. (The Herald, Leavenworth, Kans.)

* * * * *

It is the "Item's" opinion that industrial schools for colored youths are, in a great measure, useless institutions. They can never become serviceable until there is a spirit among colored men to establish, own, and operate great industrial enterprises, and in that case youths can be given a practical training in the work, which is better than he could ever get in a school. Put forward the same amount of energy to build a factory of some kind that is put in endeavors to get industrial schools in working order, and more young men can learn trades and draw mechanics' salaries immediately after serving an apprenticeship; the owners will be making a profit and the commercial importance of the city, county, and state will be enhanced. We never hear of an industrial school for whites, and yet their youths are becoming artisans all the while. In the slavery days Negroes carried on all the skilled labor of the South, and no industrial schools existed; they applied themselves to the work, and were first-class workmen in every branch. (The Item, Fort Worth, Tex.)

* * * * *

The Bible upon which Maj. McKinley took his oath of office as President of the United States on March 4, 1897, was donated to him for this purpose by the A. M. E. Church. It was printed in Cincinnati, O., by the Methodist Book Concern. It was bound and lined, front and back, with silk, with a suitable dedicatory inscription upon the inside. On the outside was a gold plate in the form of a shield, on which the name of the President, the date, the name of the donor, etc., were engraved. The Bible was inclosed in a box made of native Ohio wood and gold mounted. It cost eighty-six dollars. The honor of presentation was conferred upon Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett, of Wilberforce, O. (Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pa.)

* * * * *


The Black Patti of the Race.

The subject of this sketch was born in Providence, R. I. When quite a wee child she proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, her fitness for the stage as a race representative, and has, among other things, maintained her ground, never weakening and giving down, but nourishing a faith fit only for the righteous, which has led her gently into the pleasant and peaceful paths of success.

Some say that greatness is sometimes thrust upon us; others, more liberal, say it is inborn; others argue that it is acquired. We say that this is an instance where classical musical ability reigned uppermost, controlling and directing the possessor as the mainspring of all her infantile life; but on becoming cognizant of this state of affairs, she was advised by good Northern friends to turn her whole attention to the pursuit for which her heart and mind thirsted. Hence, after a few weeks with the classic masters, the whole Negro race was applauded for the advent of one among us, and sufficiently black to claim our identity, that was destined to move the world to tears. Year after year our subject has won new conquests, and now she is termed the "Black Patti." Is this an instance of acquired greatness, thrust greatness, or inborn greatness? We are loath to say inborn or thrust. For every achievement made by our race that seems to attract the attention of the world we are caused to feel grateful to God. When Negroes are smart, as a rule, a characteristic spirit seems to predominate in them when very small. Her career, while brief, is nevertheless full of bright successes. (Dr. M. A. Majors.)

Mme. Sissiretta Jones sang at the residence of Judge Andrews, on Fifth Avenue, New York, before a party of thirty ladies, among whom were Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Fields, Mrs. Vanderbilt, Mrs. Stephens, and Mrs. Astor. The Chief Justice of India, who was present, presented the singer with a valentine, which, when opened, contained a check for one thousand dollars. She also received a solid silver basket filled with choice flowers.



Hallie Quinn Brown is a native of Pittsburg, Pa. When quite small her parents moved to a farm near Chatham, West Ontario, Canada. At an early age, in the year 1868, she was sent to Wilberforce College, Ohio, to obtain an education the country schools of Canada could not give, and where her parents subsequently moved, and now reside at Homewood Cottage. She completed the classical scientific course in 1873, with the degree of B.S. in a class of six. One of her classmates is the wife of Rev. B. F. Lee, D.D., ex-President of Wilberforce. Realizing that a great field of labor lay in the South, Miss Brown, with true missionary spirit, left her pleasant home and friends to devote herself to the noble work she had chosen.

Her first school was on a plantation in South Carolina, where she endured the rough life as best she could, and taught a large number of children from neighboring plantations. She also taught a class of aged people, and by this means gave to many the blessed privilege of reading the Bible. She next took charge of a school on Sonora Plantation, in Mississippi, where she found the effort to elevate the minds of the people much hindered by the use of tobacco and whisky—twin vices.

But as she is an indefatigable worker she accomplished much, and at this place, as at all others where she is known, her influence for the better is felt. Her plantation school had no windows, but it was well ventilated; too much so, in fact, for daylight could be seen from all sides, with no particular regularity, and the rain beat in fiercely. Not being successful in getting the authorities to fix the building—shed, we should have said—she secured the willing service of two of her larger boys. She mounted one mule and the two boys another, and thus they rode to the ginhouse. They got cotton seed, returned, mixed it with earth, which formed a plastic mortar, and with her own hands she pasted up the chinks, and ever after smiled at the unavailing attacks of wind and weather.

Her fame as instructor spread, and her services were secured as teacher at Yazoo City. On account of the unsettled state of affairs in 1874-75, she was compelled to return North. Thus the South lost one of its most valuable missionaries. Miss Brown then taught in Dayton, O., for four years. Owing to ill health she gave up teaching. She was persuaded to travel for her alma mater, Wilberforce, and started on a lecturing tour, concluding at Hampton School, Virginia, where she was received with a great welcome. After taking a course in elocution at this place, she traveled again, having much greater success, and received favorable criticism from the press.

For several years she has traveled with the Wilberforce Grand Concert Company, an organization for the benefit of Wilberforce College. She has read before hundreds of audiences and tens of thousands of people, and has received nothing but the highest of praise from all. She possesses a voice of wonderful magnetism and great compass, and seems to have perfect control of the muscles of the throat, and can vary her voice as successfully as a mocking bird. As a public reader, Miss Brown delights and enthuses her audiences. In her humorous selections she often causes "wave after wave" of laughter. In her pathetic pieces she often moves her audience to tears. The following are a few of thousands of compliments paid to her by the public press:

Miss Brown, the elocutionist, ranks as one of the finest in the country. (Daily News, Urbana, O.)

Her style is pure and correct; her selections excellent. (News, Long Branch, N. J.)

Miss Hallie Q. Brown, the elocutionist with the company, was loudly applauded. Many credit Miss Brown with being one of the best elocutionists before the public. (Indianapolis Times.)

Miss Brown, the elocutionist, is a phenomenon, and deserves the highest praise. She is a talented lady and deserves all the encomiums that she receives. (Daily Sun, Vincennes, Ind.)

The select reading of Miss Hallie Q. Brown was very fine. From grave to gay, from tragic to comic, with a great variation of themes and humors, she seemed to succeed in all, and her renderings were the spice of the night's performance. (Monitor, Marion, Ill.)

"The select readings of Miss Brown are done to perfection. She has an excellent voice and good control of it. She makes every piece sound as if it were the author speaking, and in many of them doubtless she excels the one she imitates."


The Famous Elocutionist.

Miss Davis is native of Maryland, the state that has produced more noted colored people than all the other states combined. Her reputation is world-wide, and she stands to-day without a peer among her people as an elocutionist. Her charming manner and modest demeanor have endeared her to the hearts of thousands. She is not only interested in the artistic development of her race, but in their industrial advancement as well, and since her debut she has inspired many of the young people to make something of their lives that shall redound to the benefit of humanity.


I have many times been called upon to bear testimony to the remarkable talents of Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis, and I always do so with pleasure. In my judgment she is one of the best dramatic readers in the country, and the best colored reader that ever came before the American people. Her personal appearance is strongly in her favor. She instantly commands attention and sympathy, and when her deep, fine voice is heard, her audience at once give themselves up to the pleasure of hearing her. I am quite sure you will make no mistake in having her read for you. (Frederick Douglass.)

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