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[Title Page Verso]
OH THOU, who didst with pitfall and with gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou wilt not with Predestin'd Evil round
Enmesh, and then impute my Fall to Sin! --Omar Khayyam
AT any rate, we must depend for the peace and progress of the world upon the formation of a horizontal upper layer of cultured persons among all the more civiized peoples--a cross-section, as it were, of the nations, whose convictions and sentiments shall supply the moral force on which international arbitration courts and similar agencies will have to depend.--Felix Adler
President Ware presiding.
Subject: "Social Service and the School."
"Methods of the Present Investigation." Mr. A. G. Dill, of Atlanta University.
Address: Prof. L. H. Williams, of Macon, Ga.
Address: Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, of New York City.
Subject: "Health and Service." (Separate meetings for men and women.)
Address to men: Dr. Loring B. Palmer, of Atlanta, Ga.
Address to women: Mrs. Dinah Watts Pace, of Covington, Ga.
The Fifteenth Annual Mothers' Meeting. (In charge of Gate City Free Kindergarten Association.) Mrs. I. E. Wynn presiding.
Subject: "Social Service and the Child."
1. Kindergarten songs, games and exercises by one hundred and fifty children of the five free kindergartens.
East Cain Street--Mrs. Ola Perry Cooke.
Bradley Street--Miss Willie Kelly.
White's Alley--Mrs. Idella F. Hardin.
Presbyterian Mission--Miss Rosa Martin.
Leonard Street Orphanage--Miss Sadie Anderson.
2. Symposium: Social Work among Children.
Mrs. Ruth Greenwood Carey, Atlanta, Ga.
Mrs. Dinah Watts Pace, Covington, Ga.
Miss Lucy C. Laney, Augusta, Ga.
Miss Amy Chadwick, Atlanta, Ga.
Mrs. John Hope, Atlanta, Ga.
President Ware presiding.
Subject: "Social Service and the Negro American."
Address: Miss Lucy C. Laney, of Augusta, Ga.
Address: Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, of New York City.
There is only one sure basis of social reform and that is Truth -- a careful, detailed knowledge of the essential facts of each social problem. Without this there is no logical starting place for reform and uplift. Social difficulties may be clear and we may inveigh against them, but the causes proximate and remote are seldom clear to the casual observer and usually are quite hidden from the man who suffers from, or is sensitive to, the results of the snarl.
To no set of problems are these truths more applicable than to the so-called Negro problems.
One of the most fundamental of these problems is that of the manners of the Negro race. On this question the most diverse and contradictory opinions are confidently exprest, leaving the real inquirer for truth in great bewilderment.
There is without a doubt a deep-seated feeling in the minds of many that the Negro problem is primarily a matter of morals and manners and that the real basis of color prejudice in America is the fact that the Negroes as a race are rude and thotless in manners and altogether quite hopeless in sexual morals, in regard for property rights and in reverence for truth.
This accusation, which has been repeated for decades, is the more easily made because manners and morals lend themselves but seldom to exact measurement. Consequently, general impressions, limited observations and wild gossip supply the usual data; and these make it extremely difficult to weigh the evidence and to answer the charge.
This study is an attempt to collect opinion on the general subject of morals and manners among Negro Americans from those who ought to know. It is by no means complete or definitive, but it is to some degree enlightening.
The first attempt to study the moral status of the Negro was made in 1903, the results of the study appearing as No. 8 of the Atlanta University Publications, bearing as its title "The Negro Church". The present study goes over a part of this ground after an interval of ten years.
The study is, therefore, a further carrying out of the plan of social study of the Negro American, by means of an annual series of decennially recurring subjects covering, so far as is practicable, every phase of human life. This plan originated at Atlanta University in 1896. The object of these studies is primarily scientific--a careful research for truth; conducted as thoroly, broadly and honestly as the material resources and mental equipment at command will allow. It must be remembered that mathematical accuracy in these studies is impossible; the sources of information are of varying degrees of accuracy and the pictures are wofully incomplete. There is necessarily much repetition in the successive studies, and some contradiction of previous reports by later ones as new material comes to hand. All we claim is that the work is as thoro as circumstances permit and that with all its obvious limitations it is well worth the doing. Our object is not simply to serve science. We wish not only to make the truth clear but to present it in such shape as will encourage and help social reform. In this work we have received unusual encouragment from the scientific world, and the publisht results of these studies are used in America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Very few books on the Negro problem, or any phase of it, have been publisht in the last decade which have not acknowledged their indebtedness to our work.
We believe that this pioneer work in a wide and important social field deserves adequate support. The Trustees of the John F. Slater Fund have given us generous aid in the last six years, which aid has been supplemented by the general funds of the University. These latter funds are limited, however, and needed in many other directions. What we earnestly ask is an endowment for this research work. A fund yielding $5,000 a year might under proper supervision yield incalculable good and help the nation and the modern world to a righteous solution of its problems of racial contact.
The following resolutions are the expression of the members, delegates and attendants upon the sessions of the eighteenth annual Conference:
The eighteenth Atlanta Conference has reviewed the moral and religious condition of the American Negroes and its changes during the last decade. It finds a decided strengthening of the home life, a betterment in the habits of courtesy, cleanliness and thrift and a wider conformity to the rules of modern morality. The Conference finds two great hindrances still in the path of advance: the persistence of older habits due to slavery and poverty and racial prejudice. It is not to be expected that a people whose original morality had been wholly destroyed by slavery and but partially replaced should not show in a single generation of freedom many marks of the past in sexual irregularity, waste, irresponsibility and criminal tendencies. The Conference finds that much has been done in the last decade to improve these habits; and that much more could be done if racial prejudice did not operate to leave colored women unprotected in law and custom, to invade colored residence districts with vice and bad sanitary conditions and to degrade and make inefficient the Negro public school system. We regard it as the burning shame of the decade that of three and a half millions of colored children of school age two millions were not even enrolled in school last year.
The Conference is glad to note in the Negro church some signs of awakening to new duties and larger responsibilities. New institutional work of social uplift is appearing here and there under trained men. The majority of Negro churches remain however financial institutions catering to a doubtful round of semi-social activities. The Negro church must, if it survives, adopt a new attitude towards rational amusement and sound moral habits.
The Conference is pleased to call the attention of the country to the fact that much of the real work of social uplift and moral awakening is being carried on by Negro women in their clubs and institutions. No group of women in the world have amid studied insult and race discrimination made so brave a fight for social betterment or accomplisht so much of actual, tangible good.
The hope of the future in moral uplift lies in thoro common school training for Negro children, respect and protection for Negro women, widened industrial opportunity for Negro men and systematic effort to lessen race prejudice.
W. E. B. DuBois, New York, N. Y.
L. H. Williams, Macon, Ga.
A. G. Dill, Atlanta, Ga.
Arranged alphabetically by authors
American Academy of Political and Social Science: The Negro's Progress in Fifty Years. Philadelphia, 1913. 244 pp.
Atlanta University Publications:
No. 9. Notes on Negro Crime, particularly in Georgia. 1904. 68 pp.
No. 12. Economic Co-operation among Negro Americans. 1907. 184 pp.
No. 13. The Negro American Family. 1908. 152 pp.
No. 14. Efforts for Social Betterment among Negro Americans. 1909. 136 pp.
No. 15. The College-bred Negro American. 1910. 104 pp.
No. 16. The Common School and the Negro American. 1911. 140 pp.
No. 17. The Negro American Artisan. 1912. 144 pp.
Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Anonymous. Boston, 1912. 207 pp.
Baker, Ray Stannard. Following the Color-Line. New York, 1908. 314 pp.
Barnes, Albert. The Church and Slavery (with Appendix). Philadelphia, 1857. 204 pp.
Blyden, Edward Wilmot. Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race. Introduced by Samuel Lewis, London, 1887 (4) VII (1) 423 pp.
Boas, Franz. Commencement Address at Atlanta University, May, 1906. Atlanta University Leaflet, No. 19. 15 pp. The Mind of Primitive Man. New York, 1911. 294 pp.
Brawley, B. G. A Short History of the American Negro. New York, 1913. 242 pp.
Crawford, Daniel. Thinking Black. New York, 1913. 16,485, 17 pp.
Crisis, The. Organ of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. New York, 1910, et seq.
Crummell, Alexander. A Defense of the Negro Race in America, etc. Washington, 1883. 36 pp.
Douglass, H. Paul. Christian Reconstruction in the South. Boston, 1909. 407 pp.
Du Bois, W. E. B. The Philadelphia Negro. Philadelphia, 1896. 520 pp. The Quest of the Silver Fleece. Chicago, 1911. 434 pp. Souls of Black Folk. Chicago, 1903. 264 (1) pp.
Dunbar, Paul Lawrence. The Sport of the Gods. New York, 1901.
Ferris, William H. The African Abroad. 2 Vols. New Haven, 1913.
Hare, Maud Cuney. Norris Wright Cuney. New York, 1913. 230 pp.
Hartshorn, W. N. An Era of Progress and Promise. Boston, 1910. 576 pp.
Haynes, George Edmund. The Negro at Work in New York City. New York, 1912. 158 pp.
Johnston, Sir. Harry. Negro in the New World. New York, 1910. 499 pp.
Krehbiel, H. E., Editor. Afro-American Folksongs. New York and London, 1914. 176 pp.
Laidlaw, Walter, Editor. The Federation of Churches and Christian Workers in New York City, N. Y. Sociological Canvasses 1896, First, 112 pp. Second, 116 pp.
Miller, Kelly. Race Adjustment. New York and Washington, 1908. 316 pp.
Negro Young People's Christian and Educational Congress. The United Negro. Atlanta, 1902. 600 pp.
Ovington, M. W. Half-a-Man. New York, 1911. 236 pp. Hazel. New York, 1913. 162 pp.
Spiller, G., Editor. Inter-Racial Problems. London, July, 1911. 485 pp.
Stewart, William and T. G. Gouldtown. Philadelphia, 1913. 237 pp.
United States Census. Vol. on Churches, 1904. Thirteenth Census, 1910.
Washington, B. T. and Du Bois, W. E. B. The Negro in the South. Philadelphia, 1907. 222 pp.
Williams, George W. History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. New York, 1883. 2 Vols.
Wright, R. R., Jr. The Negro in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, 1912. 250 pp.
The results of the eighth annual social study of the Negro American were publisht as "The Negro Church". The largest volume yet issued by the Conference, it was an historical and institutional inquiry into the moral and religious condition of Negro Americans. The historical and institutional phase of the subject does not as yet call for further investigation. On the other hand, one section of the report, the moral status of Negroes, is a large field for inquiry. The problem before the social investigator is this: How can such an inquiry be made scientifically? The chief sources which suggest themselves for such an inquiry are birth statistics, crime statistics, and statistics of religious bodies. All of these we have endeavored to find, but there are comparatively few available. Birth statistics are not kept in the localities where the masses of Negroes live, save in the District of Columbia. Crime statistics are too general and too much mingled with extra-moral causes and motives to be trustworthy. In this connection we have used the report issued in 1904 by the Department of the Census. The statistics of religious bodies from the same source have seemed sufficient for our purposes, since the later figures reported by the churches are liable to exaggeration.
The reports of the Department of the Census served as a basis for the following studies made by the members of the class in Sociology in Atlanta University:
Negro Americans in the United States.
The Negro American Farmer.
Marital Conditions among Negro Americans.
Religious Bodies among Negro Americans.
Using the following questionnaire, the class also made an intensive study of:
The Negro Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Investigator . . . . . . . . . . . .
In addition to the above sources, the only, and in some respects the best, available material for the use of this investigation seemed to be the opinions of trustworthy persons in various parts of the United States who ought to know of the morals and manners of Negro Americans. Such a study was attempted in the use of the following questionnaire sent to interested persons thruout the United States:
The questionnaire was sent to four thousand people residing in all parts of the country and engaged in all walks of life. Ten per cent of those questioned made replies to this questionnaire, the answers coming from thirty states and from persons classed under the following groups:
When we consider the ten million American Negroes from the standpoint of their daily conduct and personal morality, what sort of folk are they? How far have they assimilated
and presumably how far are they able to assimilate modern culture of the average kind?
Two elements would, to most minds, enter into the final answer to these questions: The general racial morality of the Negro and the social environment of the American Negro. The general racial morality of any great group is exceedingly difficult to determine, if indeed there is any such thing. The Negro race, like all great races, is, even in Africa, widely divergent in type, largely mixt with other races, and the result of widely differing influences of climate and contact. To speak of a single racial morality under such conditions is not to speak intelligently. We can, however, quote with advantage the judgment of competent and careful observers as to particular tribes and nations. A few such judgments are subjoined:It is therefore by no means difficult to account for the deep impression made by the Niam-niam on the fantastic imagination of the Soudan Arabs. I have seen the wild Bishareen and other Bedouins of the Nubian Deserts; I have gazed with admiration upon the stately war-dress of the Abyssinians; I have been riveted with surprise at the supple forms of the mounted Baggara: but nowhere, in any part of Africa, have I ever come across a people that in every attitude and every motion exhibited so thoro a mastery over all the circumstances of war or of the chase as these Niam-niam. Other nations in comparison seemed to me to fall short in the perfect ease--I might almost say, in the dramatic grace--that characterized their every movement.1
1 Schweinfurth: Heart of Africa, Vol. 2, p. 12.
The numerous skulls now in the Anatomical Museum in Berlin are simply the remains of their repasts which I purchased one after another for bits of copper, and go far to prove that the cannibalism of the Monbuttoo is unsurpassed by any nation in the world. But with it all, the Monbuttoo are a noble race of men; men who display a certain national pride, and are endowed with an intellect and judgment such as few natives of the African wilderness can boast; men to whom one may put a reasonable question, and who will return a reasonable answer. The Nubians can never say enough in praise of their faithfulness in friendly intercourse and of the order and stability of their national life. According to the Nubians, too, the Monbuttoo were their superiors in the arts of war, and I often heard the resident soldiers contending with their companions and saying, "Well, perhaps you are not afraid of the Monbuttoo,
1 Schweinfurth: Heart of Africa, Vol. 2, p. 12.
but I confess that I am; and I can tell you they are something to be afraid of".1
2 Ratzel: History of Mankind.
Agreeably to the natural relation the mother stands first among the chief influences affecting the children. From the Zulus to the Waganda, we find the mother the most influential counsellor at the court of ferocious sovereigns like Chaka or Mtesa; sometimes sisters take her place. Thus even with chiefs who possess wives by hundreds the bonds of blood are the strongest. The father is less closely bound up with the family. He is indeed the head, and is recognized as such; it is said too that the Negro is in general a lover of children and therefore a good father. But even here he often rules more by force than by love. Among the institutions recalling Roman law which Hubbe-Schleiden, an expert on that subject, found among the Mpongwes, he mentions their domestic or family life: "We find among them the patria potestas equally comprehensive and equally strict, if not carried into such abstraction. Wives, children, servants, are all in the power of the pater-familias or oga. He alone is quite free; a degree of independence to which a woman among the Mpongwes can never attain". Yet that woman, tho often heavily burdened, is in herself in no small esteem among the Negroes is clear from the numerous Negro queens, from the medicine-women, from the participation in public meetings permitted to women by many Negro peoples.
2 Ratzel: History of Mankind.
Parental affection is developt among the Dyoor much more decidedly than among the other tribes. A bond between mother and child which lasts for life is the measure of affection shown among the Dyoor.
Parents (among the Dinkas) do not desert their children, nor are brothers faithless to brothers, but are ever prompt to render whatever aid is possible. Family affection is at a high ebb among them".
Miss Kingsley says:4
3 Sweinfurth: Heart of Africa.
The House is a collection of individuals; I should hesitate to call it a developt family. I cannot say it is a collection of human beings, because the very dogs and canoes and so on that belong to it are a part of it in the eye of the law, and capable therefore alike of embroiling it and advancing its interests. These Houses are bound together into groups by the Long ju-ju proper to the so-called secret society, common to the groups of houses. The House is presided over by what is called in white parlance, a king, and beneath him there are four classes of
3 Sweinfurth: Heart of Africa.
human beings in regular rank, that is to say influence in council: firstly, the free relations of the king, if he be a free man himself, which is frequently not the case; if he be a slave, the free people of the family he is trustee for; secondly, the free small people who have placed themselves under the protection of the House, rendering it in return for the assistance and protection it affords them service on demand; the third and fourth classes are true slave classes, the higher one in rank being that called the Winnaboes or Trade boys, the lower the pull-away boys and plantation hands. The best point in it, as a system, is that it gives to the poorest boy who paddles an oil-canoe a chance of becoming a king.
The environment of the American Negro has not been in the past and is not today conducive to the development of the highest morality. There is upon him still the heritage of two hundred and fifty years of the slave regime. Slavery fosters certain virtues like humility and obedience, but these flourish at the terrible cost of lack of self-respect, shiftlessness, tale bearing, theft, slovenliness and sexual looseness.
Ignorance and poverty have been the greatest and most influential facts for the freedmen, and to these must be added the disadvantage of a strong caste system. The average Negro child must be educated in poor schools, if indeed in any school at all; he must grow up in an atmosphere where he can scarcely escape humiliation, contempt and personal insult; his chances for work are narrowly restricted; as a man he lives in a world limited by law and custom in such ways that he is liable to violent punishment for acts involving no moral turpitude or to excessive punishment for peccadillos. His general outlook on life is apt to be distorted by such surroundings and his tendency, if he is thotful, is to become surly in temper, or pessimistic or hypocritical. If he is careless he becomes more so and tends to shiftlessness and irresponsibility. The history and environment of the American Negro have brot their marked results.
We subjoin one hundred and twenty-three answers from twenty-nine states as to the manners and general courtesy of Negro Americans.
The educated class of our people shows a certain degree of culture and refinement; but the masses do not. The latter need especially to be careful about their manners and general deportment in public places.
The manners of the colored people whom I know are fair. They are about as good as can be expected in the present state of intelligence. They often are rude, but mean well.
The manners of the majority of our people are very good and they are making improvement, of which we are very proud.
There are two distinct classes of colored people in Birmingham: (1) the mining class,--a very poor and ignorant set of miners; (2) the better class,--the people who own homes and are engaged in the professions and paying occupations. The manners of class (1) are sometimes rowdy in public places. The manners of class (2) are practically irreproachable.
As a whole their manners are not up to the standard, but this is due very largely to the lack of proper training. In cases where they have had the proper training they are as a rule very good.
The general manners of the colored people in the district where I preside is 75 per cent better now than what it was five years ago. It is the Tuscaloosa district and covers about 50 square miles of territory.
A few not unusually good--fair; a smaller number, good; a number by far greater than aggregate of other two classes, bad.
The majority of colored people of this vicinity have very good manners. They are very kind and courteous to each other and to strangers. They work to the advantage of each other.
Fairly good, can be a great deal better.
For uneducated people their manners are harmless enough.
All sorts of manners, from the best to the worst. The best educated have the best manners as a rule. On the whole they are better mannered than their white friends.
In the presence of whites timid, then obsequious; for the most part selfish with regard to themselves. Lack of ease due to restricted contact.
In most cases where the proper influences have been brot to bear and most especially where a thoro school training has been given the individual, my people exhibit remarkably good manners.
As a rule I find them very polite, but the rougher element, such as we find hanging around pool rooms and barber shops, is not so polite.
The happy, cheerful, care-free disposition of the Negro makes him at times seem loud and ill-mannered but this must be charged as often to his peculiarities as to persistent bad manners. One has only to note the courtesy and consideration shown to women in public places to become convinced that there is improvement in both the lettered and unlettered Negroes.
Good manners are inborn instincts in Negroes everywhere, especially in the South.
There are a number with very good manners but they are sadly in the minority. It seems not because they do not know good manners but rather that they prefer to be rude.
I cannot say that our young people are as careful as they might be, certainly not as much so as I would like.
Among the more enlightened and cultured the number of those who exhibit good manners is large. But there is a large class of careless, rude and coarse-mannered people yet untoucht by the influences of culture.
The manners are not what they should be.
Fair. There is room for a great deal of improvement.
Very much improved.
As time goes on they are improving along this line. Education and the refinement associated with it are doing their work well.
Among the lower element there is a real lack of good manners but among those of training, that is of ordinary training, there is a fine sense of fitness of things and conduct.
This varies with the social grade and opportunities for contact with cultured people. Judged by the American standard they are governed by fear of disapproval rather than by habits of regard for the presence and feeling of the other man, and are better mannered than a class of whites of a better economic condition. They imitate the bizarre and unusual rather than the spirit of social intercourse. They inquire for your health not because they appreciate the value of it but to be pleaseable. They remove their hats and bow to position and authority rather than to indicate conscious courtesy.
Not at all such as was to be expected, considering that manners should improve with the acquisition of knowledge. The lack of good manners among us supplies a cursed prejudice with a specious excuse for "Jim-Crowing" the race, and makes of the "Jim-Crow" a hell.
Excellent with a large majority of the people but very reprehensible with a great portion of the lower class.
Sixty per cent of them very poor. Perhaps have been instructed but not introduced into practice. Especially is this true of the young men.
We have gentlemanly and lady-like manners among the boys and girls that have attended our good schools. But there is much rudeness and even coarseness among the young ones who have not enjoyed, or rather have not availed themselves of, school privilege.
Compare favorably with the other race.
I think they are improving as they become more and more educated. Good speakers and leaders help our people very much. They are all eager to learn and improve their condition.
The people in general have very good manners as far as they really know, while there is room for improvement.
We have many that are fair, yet there are many who seem to know or care very little about good deportment.
With few exceptions manners very poor. Polite enough, but manners poor except very small minority. Young men as a rule have no respect for their girls but seek their down fall. They keep company with the lewd and best at one and the same time. They are boisterous and loud, they are given to clog dancing and the reel. They feel that they are privileged in every home on equal terms and will bloat if they are restrained from their street manners.
About as they are elsewhere. A shade better than average American who has a reputation for bad manners.
The better class of people have very good manners and are still improving.
While the condition is not as general as desirable, yet there is progress toward good manners.
Good in many instances; majority exceeding poor. The tendency among the young (after going thru the 4th, 5th and 6th grades in city schools) is to live in the streets and their manners and street behavior are very, very bad. We might as well face the music, for here I think you have toucht a key that will make a very harsh note. Some of these young people come from the homes of parents that have good homes and fair surroundings and fair education, too.
In general the manners of the Negro are good when alone, but when in crowds he usually becomes boisterous, rough and impolite.
Great improvement. There have been wonderful changes during the last decade. The improvement is greatest among the young women.
I have an extensive acquaintance with all classes of colored people
in the city of Atlanta. I think their general manners compare favorably with those of any people among whom I have lived.
There is much room for improvement along the line of good manners among the colored people, especially towards one another. Yet there are marks of improvement. Our young men and women do not seem to use as good manners towards one another as the older people.
The colored people of my acquaintance have about as good manners, if not a little better, than any other people of equal education and refinement.
Thoro manners are scarce among the colored people here. The percentage of forct manners, that is manners from a selfish standpoint, is somewhat greater. There is much need of improvement and the schools here are giving the subject more attention.
The colored people whom I know, as a rule, have very good manners. They are polite and respectful. Of course, there is a class who are not so polite and respectful, but the majority of the people have very good manners.
It seems to me that we are losing our good manners in cities. Parents take too little time to train their children. The older folks are selfish and to a very large degree don't regard the feelings of people they don't know. There seems to be an effort to break away from the old ways.
I am inclined to think that the large city Negro suffers by comparison with the Negroes of the smaller populated cities and towns and the rural district. As to manners I am not sure the race is any improved by its education over the first generation removed from slavery.
Fair. It must be admitted while the manners of our populace is fairly good there is room for vast improvement. Our bumptious Negro is ever present.
Are lacking on account of false standard of morals. Much is being done to build a foundation for good manners.
Good when not molested.
I find much improvement, a steady growing better along this line. Good when restricted by fitting rules and regulations provided they are properly executed; otherwise uncouth.
The manners of many of our young people, particularly women from the ages of twenty-four to thirty-seven years of age are not just what
they should be in regards to politeness. They seem to forget what appreciation of small favors means. "Thank you" is obsolete.
Need more culture.
Markt improvement during the last ten years, in public, especially. The schools in these parts have succeeded in supplying the training often neglected in the home. The results both apparent and pleasing.
Not so good. They need more training in that line. Young people have not got the manners they should have. They should be trained in the churches and in the schools. Good manners will help us at any time and any place.
The great mass of Negroes possesses excellent manners, but you would be surprised to know that a goodly number of those who attend and finish school assume an air of importance and fail to look up to their superiors.
They are very generous in every stage of life so far as I have seen in business with quite a deal of them.
Manners are comparatively good. I have always found them so, individually. In crowds they are noisy but, as a rule, good natured.
Majority seem very polite.
Manners among our young boys and girls who are attending school and college are not what they should be. Truthfully, there is room for improvement.
Sorry to admit but the average is poor here.
They are improved wonderfully.
I find among people with whom I work no great lack of manners. As a rule they are kind, polite and respectful.
This phase of development of the Negro here is very good. However, something must be done to touch the boys and girls along this line or we may have to soon change our statement.
The manners of the race here are good and compare favorably with those of the dominant race.
They are growing much better thruout this community, as our people educate themselves.
Negroes here are very well behaved. I find them too ready to resent minor insults from one another while they calmly suffer any indignity or insult from whites,--possibly due to lack of protection before the law.
Manners are good. Boisterousness and rowdyism are exceptional in public conveyances or in halls and on the streets.
I should think it might be called a result practiced by those who are educated to know and trained to practice the rules of good morals. Our people are gradually emerging from ignorance, thus the counteracting forces of good manners are gradually lessening.
St. Joseph, a city of possibly eighty thousand, has not more than four or five thousand Negroes. These are scattered over the city and there is no one street where the rough element congregates in large numbers. I would say the people are well mannered as a whole. Few are seen on the streets. They are admitted to public parks and receive courteous treatment.
Show markt improvement yet uncertain as to what constitutes same. Standard rising.
Among the older people fair to good. Among the youths rather below fair.
On par with the average American.
Fairly good in this section of the state. Of course, the colored people here mostly, as to the number of them, came direct from the South here. They compare favorably with any others of any other race here.
Considerable carelessness, thotlessness as to manners but noticeable improvement constantly seen. Little viciousness, teachable with the jolly spirit so overflowing that it is difficult to get them to be seriously thotful. Spirit of reverence greatly lacking among the young people.
Generally good. Somewhat conceited.
The majority of the colored people whom I know have very good manners, especially toward strangers.
There are between 700 and 800 colored persons in the city of Troy sharply divided into two classes: The one made up almost wholly of members and adherents of the (colored) Presbyterian and A. M. E. Zion and of the various white churches. The other, non-church goers. About 300 of the former and 400 of the latter. Class A, good; class B, poor.
Are generally good among the colored people. Are very much improved. Their deportment is much better now than in the past.
A few have good manners but the greater number are rough and uncouth. This has been neglected in the homes by the parent. Politeness
and refinement are lacking in the most of our young people. Respect for the aged and those in authority is not adhered to as it should be. We find one here and there with refinement, showing it in their daily deportment and life.
Improving. They have not reacht the stage of the most cultured as a mass but quite a number are refined. The masses need to be improved in this respect.
Our town is divided into two very distinct elements, viz., the factory and non-factory elements. The former is exceedingly good; while the latter would not get as high an averge their manners could not be considered bad.
I would say that they are far in advance of many other races of people. In our city the condition is not one that gives us fear only on a few streets where the saloons are located.
The colored people here use good manners with one exception and that is a tendency toward boisterousness. I mean by this loud talking and laughing which seems to be a trait of character not yet overcome by culture.
The truth and nothing but the truth:--There are a few who possess this grace. Every day I see the Bible is more and more true. We are truly living in the last days according to II Timothy, 3:1-17. Read St. Matthew, 7:13-14. "Few there be that find it".
There is, I think, a steady improvement. There seems to be a decrease in boisterous conduct.
They have improved 50 per cent over five years ago and I can candidly say that the condition of my people along the above line is very hopeful.
The manners of the Negroes of this community are not far below standard. Their street manners and conventional etiquette are fairly commendable.
I am living in the North for the first time. I am a Virginian by birth. The colored people of the North have not the good manners of the colored people of the South. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.
The manners of the middle class are what one would expect from such a class. The lower strata are vulgar and loud and sometimes annoying.
Not very good except that quite a number imitate in a superficial manner the manners of the upstart white people.
The more cultured classes behave themselves like others in like situation and so with the less cultured.
I find the great majority with good manners.
Viewing the colored people of today from but two classes, viz., the upper and the lower, or the professional or laboring classes, I find myself inclined to believe that with the different social and intellectual advantages at their respective doors, the laboring class exhibits a greater and a more pleasing degree of conventional good manners than the professional class, whose exhibition savors of a veneer.
Boisterous manners from the class very recently from rural parts of the South. Among the best class the manners are typically New Englanders: formal, cold and precise.
A majority of young people are rude.
As a whole the colored people in this section of the country are very polite, charitable, sympathetic.
My impression respecting the matter of good manners among our people is that they are about the same as among other people of similar intellectual and social standing. While there are, of course, markt instances of the woeful lack of what are usually called good manners--and these make so profound an impression upon us that we are likely to note and remember them--there are many, a very great many, who are of polish and culture in these particulars; and those having a reasonable degree of these graces are in my opinion in the large majority.
Among some very good. Among a large number of others bad, especially on the part of our men toward our women.
They behave as well as the whites who have had equal advantages; and I think better.
Clarksville is a small town of about ten thousand inhabitants, over half of them being colored. In manners and culture our people excel most places of its size. Our public entertainments are frequently visited by some of our best white citizens who always commend them.
As a rule children get but little teaching or drill as to good manners in the home. The school teachers in the schools do most of the teaching along this line. While there is but little uncouthness there is on the other hand not much real politeness.
While the manners of our people here are not as good as desired there is a constant tendency toward improvement in this respect and it is hoped that conditions of this character will soon be second to none.
The old people are exceedingly polite. The Negro who has had
school advantages is polite. The unchurcht and uneducated Negro is rough and ugly in manners.
Texas is still in that period known as the condition of the wild and woolly West. People are not as polite here as in the East. I am a Virginian by birth and have lived all my life in the East. I do not think the folks here measure up to the folks in the East in manners, still there are some here who are up to the standard of any race.
The colored people have great respect for the white people but they are greatly wanting in manners for their own people.
The older colored people are ostensibly more defferential in matters of salutation, etc. There seems to be a general lack of good manners now a days among all classes of the younger generation both white and colored, but the colored people of the South are inclined to have good manners.
On the streets, in the churches and at other public places, fairly good.
When sober the conduct of the average Negro is kind, thotful, restrained and considerate. When under the influence of strong drink or excitement he is noisy, boisterous and sometimes dangerous. The decent people are always decent.
Among educated Negroes good; varying from fair to bad among the less fortunate.
Far above that of the average southern Negro due to the fact that this city is an educational center for whites and the schools furnish work for between 300 and 500 young men and women. Thru such sources they gain much uncommon knowledge.
Always kindly disposed, growing. It has always been so with the older members of the race. The charge that the younger elements of the race are gross, insulting, uncouth, is false. He is actually demonstrating to the world his great susceptibility to good manners and practicing them.
I live in an exceptional town. The colored people are very kindly disposed toward each other. They are trying to raise their children to honor and respect everybody; but the newcomer is so very much different in his life and manners until we hate to see the new class come among us.
Some of them excellent. Many very deficient.
My impression is that on all of these subjects improvement can be seen in proportion to the amount of education and proper home training. Of course, much depends on environment.
Some have excellent manners, all that anyone might desire. Others that I know are sadly lacking in this particular. In some instances the lack of good manners is due to home training. In other cases it is not due to home training.
Adults have become more formal and affected and young people are less respectful than formerly.
A large percent are still very much too loud in public places, but the Negro as a whole is improving in his manners. Generally speaking the Negroes of Clarksburg have good manners. Among the transient element we sometimes meet with the coarse, insolent Negro. They are up to the average. The younger people seem to be more careless in other things than in good manners. The condition of our people in regards to manners is excellent. They surpass the Anglo-Saxon in many respects. Morals are matters of vaguer speculation and more variable judgment than manners. There are few figures by which sexual morals can be judged. The record of illegitimate births in Washington, D. C., is as follows:
Section 5. Sound Morals
Washington, D. C.
A large percent are still very much too loud in public places, but the Negro as a whole is improving in his manners.
Generally speaking the Negroes of Clarksburg have good manners. Among the transient element we sometimes meet with the coarse, insolent Negro.
They are up to the average. The younger people seem to be more careless in other things than in good manners.
The condition of our people in regards to manners is excellent. They surpass the Anglo-Saxon in many respects.
Morals are matters of vaguer speculation and more variable judgment than manners. There are few figures by which sexual morals can be judged. The record of illegitimate births in Washington, D. C., is as follows:
One hundred thirty-two answers from twenty-six states giving general impressions as to moral conditions among Negroes are printed here:
They have not got real good morals.
The majority have good morals.
Both classes should awake to a deeper sense of true morality. We should commend the right as right and condemn the wrong as wrong. Too much illegitimacy still exists.
The standard of morality practiced is not what it ought to be. Flagrant and open immorality is not tolerated. The standard is high but few live up to it.
The people in this city have made and are making rapid improvement along the line of sound morals. I note a wonderful improvement during the last fifteen years.
Their morals are very bad in places.
Depending on circumstances among them. Poverty, low wages and home conditions have all to do with them.
Condition as to this feature poor, especially females. Larger element of "grass widows" here than any place I have lived. Cause, most usually, infidelity. Adultery common. Larger number of bastards born since 1870 I think than any other town in the state--proportionately. Miscegenation has been the order of the day--changing however for better. Most products of this mating among females are some of our worst characters. Been low white trash and Negro, mostly mulattoes, concerned.
All sorts of morals from the best to the worst. The best educated have the best morals as a rule. On the whole their morals are better than those of their white friends.
It is a well known and lamentable fact that the code of laws subscribed to by a large percentage of our people has not brot as good results as we might have wisht. But on the whole this was largely consequential. The Negroes' morals status is about as good as the conditions and possibilities will admit.
I think we are improving in morals. The same crowd that hangs around bar rooms, pool rooms and barber shops furnishes our darkest side as to morals. Girls who work out and come home after dark are subjected to too much temptation for lack of the proper protection along this line.
The general feeling is that the Negroes have not grown as rapidly in sound morals as in economic lines. My feeling is that this is not true. One, you can see and tabulate the data; the other is ethical and cannot be so readily recorded, but I believe it is as real nevertheless.
Very poor. The old Spanish treaty insured exemption from slavery to the Creoles in this section of the state, opened an avenue for white men to make inroads upon the morals of Negro women who were anxious for their children's future. The effects still last.
I am sorry to say that I find colored people very lax in their morals but not more so than the other races.
Those I know personally and those with whom I most often come in contact are of good morals.
Among the more enlightened and cultured the number of those who exhibit sound morals is large. But there is a large class of careless, rude and coarse mannered people yet untoucht by the influences of culture. Far too many seem to be without proper sense of right and wrong both as to honesty and chastity.
I find many with sound morals, but about the city the masses are very weak.
I find that the moral condition of the people, generally speaking, is at a very low ebb. There are so many children born and reared in the slums who know nothing else but that kind of life. Some have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So far as the better class is concerned it is O. K., but not as a whole; understand this part.
Our people are acquiring good morals in social and religious organizations.
I think in this there is an improvement.
For the most part here there is a rather low standard of morals due to the fact that a large percent of the colored population is constantly coming and going.
More honest thru fear and ignorance than morality. Less restrained in sex contact than desired. Not sufficiently capable of sustained reaction to idea of "I ought". Average higher than ten years ago.
The partaker and sharer of the general deterioration of morals so alarmingly characteristic of our day. "Evil communications corrupt good morals" but comparatively in my opinion, strange to say, the Negro has yielded less to the tendency sweeping downward. He is more conservative.
Good in a very heavy majority. Still there is need for improvement.
The morals are good and sound except one family and we had them leave the settlement.
It is lamentable that there is not more emphasis placed on sound morals. The people are not classified in this particular. Character does not count, if one has money and can dress well and put on a good exterior. There are only a few exceptions in this particular city.
The majority is weak. There are very few that have that unblemisht morality. Since our state has collected a mass of floating element from all other states to do public labor in Florida and in this mass it has brot a large number of immoral characters.
Quite an improvement over the past ten years among the people I have moved and been laboring with. Sound morals count for everything and they look upon it as such.
The morals of our young people are very much corrupted. Their highest ambition seems to be this rag-time dancing which in my estimation is very degrading.
About as good as their neighbors, especially in sex morality. The Negro (thru ignorance of course) washes his dirty linen in public and hangs it on the front yard fence. Their white neighbors more or less vice versa.
Sound morals are much in the minority and it should be taught that good morals go far in summing up a race. Of course, here, the white man in our section is trying to place a colored liquor bar on every corner.
Very sound. You can depend upon them in business.
It is very burdensome for the few who possess them to bear the blame of the masses who lack them. It is alarming that our educators have shown weakness in some cases.
As good as that of the community in general.
To this question many claim that there is a going back but I do not. I think that, when a fair examination is given them, under conditions, etc., the Negro is holding his own. I am fifty-three years old and have been teaching twenty-three years and twenty years in the ministry and I can speak for this part of the state.
The morals of the older of the race are very good. Those of the younger set are very bad. To my personal knowledge we have many young girls from twelve to eighteen who are morally wrong and yet they have good moral parents and good homes. The under class (from whom these children take lessons in public schools), they number the sands. They are to be found in every city I have traveled, North, South, and East and West, (the West not so much as the other sections and none so prolific as the Southern cities). I find them in the country also. Poor public schools are the cause in my opinion.
The Negro is making progress toward sound morals but is at present far from the desired goal.
Much better than formerly. A high sense of moral purity is dominant and apparent.
Their morals are improving and the future is bright.
Quite a deal of improvement may be made and yet I do not regard the condition as one not readily susceptible to the proper kind of training and help.
There is much room for improvement along the line of sound morals among the colored people, especially towards one another. Yet there is markt improvement. Our young men and women do not seem to have as good morals towards one another as the older people.
In this respect our people have greatly advanced.
I would say the same about sound morals that I said in inquiry one about thoro manners. I believe, however, that there is an earnest effort in this community to improve substantially along moral lines. The percentage of morals is much lower than it ought to be, so it seems.
Judging my race by its best element, I consider the moral standard of the race a good one. In our schools the children are taught morality by action as well as word. We have organizations connected with the various churches that tend to raise the moral standard of our people and better them in every way.
Their morals are something better than a few years back. They are beginning to manifest shame for wrong-doing.
The crowded conditions, fashions, pleasures, resorts, etc., seem to be making hard against our sound morals. Temptations are carrying us away. The high cost of living and small opportunities for earning money have a great deal to do with lowering our standard.
Bad; town wide open to vices led by white citizens and imitated by black.
Poor, but as compared to the white people of this community and of whom I know, they are good.
Not worse than other races but much room for improvement in this branch. Thirst for gold and luxuries seems to affect sound morals.
I do not think the Negro is wholly to blame. The whole country seems to suffer from the hypnotism of debauchery. The Negro is not more to be charged than the white race that invented the debased system.
Misconception of morals is generally found. Strong men and women have been kept in the back-ground. While it is a slow process, the condition is changing.
Is very good and really growing better each and every day.
I think they are progressing along these lines.
While the morals of our people are not as sound as we should like to have them, not by any means, yet, I am frank to confess that there seems to be progress and improvement and upon the whole our people are doing about like other folks with similar environments.
Much improvement is needed, yet the standard has been perceptibly raised.
There is a small but growing number who show sound morals. Too many have questionable morals or bad associations.
Each generation more solid.
Not prepared to speak authentically, yet considering the general moral laxity of both races in their search for pleasure and desire for fine clothes, there is a reasonable proportion of colored homes who uphold purity and foster morality.
Bad in some places. Leading men are doing bad along this line.
Young people should be taught that they will kill the race by not having sound morals. It should be imprest upon them to be sound in morals.
Making rapid progress, but far from "A" No. 1.
Considering the poverty of our people, their craze for fine dress, the low wages paid, their recent deliverance from slavery, etc., we have among us a goodly number of young people whose morals are as sound as those of any people.
Would say that when we classify, there are marked improvements, but when we consider the masses, of course, there is a deficiency; yet, generally speaking, there are evidences of progress.
I think the majority are immoral but I am glad to say that I have noted a change for the better in the last few years. Where there has not been actual improvement, they have grown less careless.
In my personal estimation, they are worse than cannibals, altho they are only imitating their white brothers.
The question of morals is rather a grave one due mostly to the fact that girls are not taught to be strong of volition in order to resist the snares set for them. I think much can be done along this line, too, by teaching colored women and girls their rights and privileges when insulted by white men. My attention has been called often to cases where white men have insulted colored women and the women feeling the sting refrained from calling public attention when they should have gone as far as the law would protect them in the case.
The moral status of the race is good, tho there is much room for improvement.
The morals of the people of Indianola and community are decidedly better than in former years. Marriages among those of higher moral training and the building of homes with purer surroundings are considerably on the increase.
Of course, there are a great many Negroes of my acquaintance whose moral character is without reproach. I know too many colored people however, not a majority, whose morals will not stand close inspection.
Some of our women and men stand for absolute purity. I regret to say, as a whole, Negro men have not and do not accord our women that respect and attention so much in evidence in Southern white men. Again a Negro woman, self-respecting and good looking, is too often the target of attack for white men and when Negro women fall, they seem to be cheaper and fall lower and are more common than white women.
Sound integrity is somewhat lacking; the spirit of getting by on appearances and covering up ends and short-comings pervades much of our atmosphere. Conceptions of sexual morality are low with a class of our people.
In all essentials poor.
The schools and churches are popular here. All of the teachers and most of the people are church going people. The ministers are above the average and the teachers are of sound morals generally. I can't say so much for the younger set; seems to be a reign of loose morals. I believe children are trusted too much alone. The wants of the parents have increast; the mothers leave home to work; charity no longer begins at home. The mothers give their time to churches and clubs.
There is also some improvement here, tho not so "sound". I feel justified in saying that in proportion to the intelligence, morals are good.
Some are pulling upward--many are pulling downward.
Among the masses, there are low moral standards, consequently loose living. There is a better element, fewer in number, who have sounder morals.
The law governing immorality is quite rigidly enforced for such a large summer resort like Niagara Falls. The Negro has his weak spots here morally, but on the whole his comparison with the other races who live here, is not odious.
About with the average as noted generally in other places--in most places. Fidelity to the marriage vow, with probably but few exceptions.
Depends entirely upon training, grade for grade.
The majority are very much improved for the last ten years and they are doing much better on this line.
Some improvements among the masses.
The standards are not high in this community--about an average. The leaders are at times immoral and illiterate, prejudiced and superstitious. There are no lines of demarkation of morality drawn plainly here and it will be some time before this will be a strong healthy place with good sound morals. But we can see a slight improvement here and there and a desire for a purer and a higher life. Reformation is taking place here and there and we hope for a better time and believe it will come in the near future.
Very poor but is kept within the race.
The moral condition seems above the average of the race; conditions have greatly improved in the last ten years.
I think the moral tendency is better than in previous years.
Far from perfect but need have no immediate concern as long as our organizations for good are at work.
It is below the average of the white race. The sexual instinct seems not to be governed by high respect for female chastity.
This is hard to report; and yet we must admit the steady thumping they are getting is having its effect.
Their morals have kept pace with their manners and I feel much encouraged at the rapid advance of my people.
Am sorry that I cannot say as much for the morals in a general way as may be said for their manners. The ministry in these parts is far from clean. In fact, it has been so vile that the reaction among the people has been far from healthy. Our people have not been trained to a proper conception of the worth of feminine virtue and the rigid fidelity in domestic relations.
Much improved over conditions ten years ago. When properly trained, our people seem to be more steadfast. Much improvement needs to be made yet.
The morals of this city are fairly good but sadly imperiled by flat and tenement housing. The localities in which many of the colored people have to live are not conducive to the best morals.
The superficial are prone to imitate the degenerate society of the whites in evenings of debauchery.
The moral aspect is not just what it might be considering the educational
and social advantages to which they have access.
The morals are undergoing quite a change due to the influx of people from the South. That is, it is a common thing for the better class as well as the lower, to be mistresses of white men. This is a serious matter here.
My observations and dealings especially in connection with Jews, Italians and middle class of white Americans, convince me that there is no essential difference between them and Negroes of the same class.
About four-fifths of the number that I have had dealings with, I have found morally sound.
From all points of vantage the morals of the people deserve favorable comment, despite adverse criticism from many sources. Morality from the civilized viewpoint receives less insulting thrusts from the Negro than from the Caucasian, for the simple reasons that: First--the former adopts principles somewhat foreign to those of his ancestral teachings. Second--he is forct to adopt idealistic theories which are inconsistently practict by their creator, the latter. Hence, the questionable exemplary effect on the imitator. Ethnologists have satisfied us that the primitive peoples, and those slightly more fortunate, enjoy a more serene phase of "Sound Morals" than do the so-called highly civilized.
Reformed municipal government has driven to the wall open houses of shame. Divorces on the ground of adultery or desertion are rare. There are few instances of illicit relations openly practiced. On a whole, there is room for improvement.
Not very good but some improvement noticed in recent years, and as they grow intelligent their morals improve.
In morals, I believe we are making fair headway in an upward tendency. The thousands of good and pious people are likely to be overlookt in considering the large number of the vicious and the criminal who are members of the race. One very bad man will very frequently attract more attention than a thousand good people.
Morals are good among those who have been trained, but a large number who have had little or no training of home or school are very low in morals.
I think the moral conditions of our people might be improved upon. However, they are quite as good as are found elsewhere and much better than are found in some places.
Sorry to say that sound morals are at a low ebb. There are some who are moral in the strictest sense of the word but the majority are
very slack. Here, as every where else, a great many rank in society as moral people who are not. I am answering your questions to the letter.
I know a large number of Negroes whom I believe to be thoroly sound in morals, but not a large per cent. Many seem to be moral along certain lines but not so on others.
Much the same as above but the baneful influence of immoral men of prominence among the colored people is alarming.
Unsound as to high morals. Have almost lost respect for truth.
Few if any people can boast of entirely sound morals. To be sure, our people here must make great advances before reaching anything like perfection in the moral standard.
There are many Negroes who are pure in character; who live in a pure atmosphere; they are true and honest. There are many who are immoral.
The moral question is lookt into and unless they stand for what they pretend, they are set aside and set to themselves.
Morals in the masses are not so good. The failure to enforce the laws has caused many to go astray. Here in our city colored women are allowed to remain in the red-light district for the exclusive use of white men. Many of the leading people are divorct. Improper causes are at the bottom of the trouble. Many of our women will get fine clothes at any cost and by any means. I consider their morals below par.
From my study and observation, I am prepared to pronounce the morals of the colored people sound. The refinements of vice render vice really insidious. Vice among the Negroes, where it appears, is very coarse and brutal and therefore repulsive. Only the brutalizing laboring and housing conditions are responsible for the lack of sound morals among certain classes. Religion in its peculiar aspects has inculcated a fear of evil into the average Negro's mind; beside this the virgin moral nature of the colored people has not yet been infected by the pernicious virus of refined and perverted instinct and habit.
Not common. Even the ministers are some of them not above reproach. Divorces are very common.
Seventy-five per cent of the colored people, I believe, might be clast as morally sound.
Conduct mixt; good morals in all classes; bad morals in all.
The moral conduct of the Negroes of this city is highly complimented by the whites.
Much sounder in their life than formerly. The race is becoming less spotted. Virtue and uprightness greater elements in its life. It is less wavering; stability and firmness greater watchwords.
The morals among our people could be better. As a poverty-stricken
race, a great many of our people are led away and their morals become unsound like other races. I note that the morals of our people are about as good as those of other races.
I am afraid to speak along that line. Great improvement can be made along that special line. I sometimes fear we are retrograding, while I know we are improving but not fast enough for me.
Improving, but still standards are low even in many from whom better things would be expected. Some are excellent.
They have sound morals in proportion to their education and environment.
Lack exalted ideals of morality. For some reason the lower classes speak lightly of the morals of the more favored.
For the most part, according to the educational advantages the people have had, there ought to be a higher moral standard. The women and girls are not as chaste as they ought to be.
The standard is not as good as we would like it to be altho some are all right.
I don't think the advance in morals has been commensurate with that in other respects.
The moral standing of the people is very low.
Above the average of a mining settlement.
I fear that the people feel that they have done well by their children when they are properly sheltered, fed and clothed. My impression is that but little time is spent in moral instruction. It seems that this is one of Clarksburg's greatest weaknesses.
On par with those of other races around them. Above the average you will find in any industrial section composed of a changing population.
The morals of the young people, I am sorry to say, do not favorably compare with the older generation.
Morality seems to be at a stand-still, or at its critical stage with the scales waiting to tip for better or for worse.
How far has the moral condition of Negroes shown itself in crime?
This is, despite general opinion, a question difficult to answer. Previous to 1904 our data were gathered at the time of the decennial census and were estimated on a counting of all persons in prison on a particular day. These figures for Negroes were:
|Number of Prisoners|| Ratio per Million
of Negro Population
In 1904 the number of prisoners enumerated did not include those unsentenct and awaiting trial. Subtracting those from 1890 and estimating the Negro population for 1904 we have the following data:
|Number of Prisoners|| Ratio per Million
of Negro Population
Taking the proportion of prisoners by color, we have the following percentages:
In other words, according to the method of enumerating prisoners on a certain day every ten years, the Negro American forming one-eighth of the population seemed responsible for nearly one-third of the crime; and his criminal tendencies increast rapidly from 1870 to 1880, enormously from 1880 to 1890, and perceptibly from 1890 to 1904.
It was pointed out, however, in 1890 that this method of estimating crime was misleading and erroneous. Such a method furnisht no basis for estimating the increase or decrease of crime; and without doubt it exaggerated Negro crime. For example: If in communities A and B five men a year are arrested but B punishes her men by twice as long terms as A, by the method of enumeration of prison population on a certain day community B appears on a given day with twice as many criminals as community A, when as a matter of fact there is no difference in the number of crimes
ocmmitted. The better method is to count the number of prisoners committed within a certain time period. Dr. R. B. Falkner estimated that if such a method had been used the Negro would be found responsible for nineteen per cent of the crime in 1890 instead of thirty per cent.
The report of 1904 counted not only the prison population but also the commitments. It is striking and reassuring to black men to find that instead of being responsible for thirty-three per cent of American crime, the report shows them responsible for only fifteen and eight-tenths per cent.
Or in other words one-eighth of the population furnisht one sixth of the crime,--a condition not unfavorable to the Negro, considering his past history.
Why is it that Negroes formed so much smaller a proportion of the commitments than of the prison population? This is because of their longer sentences. In 1890 the average white prisoner had a sentence of three and one-half years, the average Negro of nearly five years. So, too, one-third of the white prisoners were in for less than a year; while only one-fifth of the Negroes were thus favored. The figures for 1904 show that this condition still continued. First note the curious discrepancy in numbers:
|Color||Prisoners Enumerated June, 1904||Prisoners Committed 1904|
Then the reason:
|Sentences||Total Number||Number Negroes||Percent of Negroes|
|15 Yrs. and Over||808||408||50.5|
|Under 1 Yr.||116,129||7,363||6.3|
Or again in the North Atlantic States only one-tenth of one per cent of all sentences were for life, while in Mississippi, where nearly all convicts were Negroes, six per cent were for life; in the North Central States forty-two per cent sentences were for less than a month; but in Georgia only one per cent were for so short a time. Why is it that Negroes were so severely punisht? The editors of the census bulletin, while admitting the possibility of "A somewhat greater severity in dealing with colored criminals than white" were disposed to think that a part of the cause is that the Negro is guilty of the more aggravated forms of crime.
They divided all prisoners committed in 1904 into major and minor offenders and found that Negroes contributed thirty-one per cent of the graver and thirteen per cent of the minor offenses.
Two difficulties present themselves in this argument:
The classification leads to apparently inexplicable results: If, for instance, we take the prisoners committed in 1904, we find that of all offenses the following proportion are major offenses:
|Southern native whites, native parents||38.6%|
|Southern native whites||38.0%|
|Negroes, United States||36.0%|
|Native whites, native parents, United States,||19.0%|
|Native whites, United States||17.0%|
|Northern native whites, native parents||15.1%|
|Northern native whites||14.7%|
|Foreigners, United States||12.0%|
This would look as tho the South was a veritable school of graver crime for all colors unless we go back of the figures and remember:
The criminologist passes no judgment on the right or wrong of this discrimination. He simply recognizes it as a fact; but he knows:
Of the truth of these statements there can be no reasonable doubt in the mind of any careful student.
In crimes against society (unchastity, perjury and violating United States laws) the Negro is less seldom committed than whites. This is because his crimes against chastity, when his own race are victims, are seldom punisht properly in the South. His proportion of crimes against property are larger, due to his past economic history. His proportion of crimes against the person are greatest because right here, in his personal contact with his fellows, prejudice and discrimination, exasperation and revolt show themselves most frequently; and also because his masses are reaching the brawling stage of self-assertion.
While the proportions vary the actual number of those committed for bigamy, perjury, arson, adultery and violating United States laws is small. Of the more frequent delinquencies, vagrancy, drunkenness, and fraud show the Negroes less guilty than whites. The cases of disorder are but a little larger than the Negro's proportion. The cases of
stealing are more seriously in excess, but this excess is hardly more than would be expected from the heritage of slavery, the custom of partial payment in kind and very low wages contrasted with rapidly expanding wants. The cases of rape, altho absolutely few in number, are relatively large, but here the influence of racial prejudice is large: Any insult or suspected insult to white women by a Negro in the South is liable to be denominated and punisht as attempted rape. How much real guilt therefore lies back of the figures can only be conjectured. The really dangerous excess of Negro crime would appear to be in assault and homicide, fighting and killing. Here again interpretation is difficult: How much of these are aggressions on whites, repelling of white aggressions on Negroes, and brawling among Negroes themselves? Undoubtedly the majority of cases belong to the last category, but a very large and growing number come under the other heads and must be set down to the debit of the race problem.
Any Negro tried for perjury, assault, robbery, rape, homicide, arson, burglary, larceny or fraud is going to get a severer penalty in the South than a white man similarly charged. This the white community judges to be necessary and its decisions are carried out by police forces, police magistrates and juries drawn from the white classes whose racial prejudices are strongest. The higher judges tend toward greater independence but even they must stand in fear of the white electorate, whose power is exercised at short intervals.
Next to this stands the fact that in the South road-building, mining, brickmaking, lumbering and to some extent agriculture depend largely on convict labor. The demand for such labor is strong and increasing. The political power of the lessees is great and the income to the city and state is tempting. The glaring brutalities of the older lease system are disappearing but the fact still remains that the state is supplying a demand for degraded labor and especially for life and long term laborers and that almost irresistibly the
police forces and sheriffs are pusht to find black criminals in suitable quantities.
If this is so, many ask, how can crime in the North be explained? Northern Negro crime is different in character and cause. It arises from:
The proof of (a) is seen among the whites: Massachusetts and Iowa are of similar grade of culture, yet Massachusetts, a state of towns and cities, has 846 annual commitments per 100,000 of population while Iowa, a state of farms, has 402. Thus prejudice and economic demand account for much of the excess of Negro crime. But they do not account for all of it. Another factor as shown by the census is: Ignorance. Of native white criminals ninety-three per cent could read and write; of foreigners seventy-eight per cent; of Negroes only sixty-two per cent. This minimum of education it is the duty of the state to furnish; and since this is not done, the Negro, more than any other criminal element has the legitimate but costly excuse of sheer ignorance. Another factor is: Neglect of the young. The South sent to prison in 1904 sixteen hundred children of both races under twenty years of age, nine hundred and fifty of whom were under fifteen years of age. Yet, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma made no provision whatsoever for juvenile delinquents among Negroes; and Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia had each one small institution with from thirteen to fifty-four inmates. Probably a thousand delinquent Negro children in the South to-day are being trained in prisons by companionship with the worst grown criminals. And this thing has been going on for years.
This is the more serious because Negro crime is peculiarly the crime of the young. The following table is explicit:
|Under 20 years of age||10||19|
|30 years and over||55||29|
The cause of this youthful crime is:
Other causes of crime not shown in these figures are:
What now is the remedy for Negro crime?
There is a theory held by many persons and often openly exprest, that Negroes are especially guilty of crimes against white women. The facts do not bear this out. In the West Indies, with an overwhelming preponderance of Negroes in the population, such crimes are practically unknown. In the United States lynching has long been excused by many as the only cure for these crimes. But of 2855 lynch law murders done, between 1885 and 1913, the accusation of assault on women was made in only 706 or 24.4 per cent, less than a fourth, of these cases. It is moreover fair to assume that in these 706
alleged cases the proportion of guilty persons was small.
It must be remembered that in a condition of inflamed racial hatred, where sexual intercourse between colored men and white women is regarded as a crime in many sections under any circumstances and where fear and suspicion are in the air, the general accusation of rape may include much that is not criminal at all. Personal insult of all degrees, wrongful suspicion, lying and disguise, accident, self defense, circumstantial evidence, burglary in a woman's room, exaggeration, illicit relations and sheer mental suggestion may all go to swell the charge of rape. A few actual newspaper clippings are given below as illustrations:
Estherwood, La., Oct. 8.--Two men with the aid of a blacksnake whip gave a strange Negro a sound thrashing at Mr. Breaux's thrashing outfit, where all were working, for making remarks about some white girls. He was ordered to leave at once.
Galveston, Tex., News.
Ed Wren, a young white man of Ensley, is dead and Aaron Duncan, a 16-year-old Negro boy, is in the county jail charged with his murder, as a result of the young man resenting an alleged insult offered a young lady whom he was escorting at the fair last night.
While details are lacking and stories regarding the cause of the murder differ greatly, it seems from all accounts that the Negro brushed against the lady and Wren turned to resent it. After a word or two was passed the Negro drew a knife and made a slash at Wren, cutting him in the neck, severing the jugular vein.
Birmingham, Ala., Age-Herald.
Hope, Ark., Oct. 17. -- Charley Lewis, a Negro, died near here this afternoon from the effects of wounds received this morning while his capture was being made.
Lewis went to the home of Mr. Lewellan, a prosperous white farmer, who resides a few miles south of Hope, this morning, and used very insulting and abusive language to Mrs. Lewellan, who was alone at home, threatening to kill her. She secured a gun and fired several shots at him, all of which went wide of their mark, and he escaped.
He then went to the home of Will Byrom, a white farmer, and, securing an ax, tried to kill him, again making his escape. Constable Steve Berry, of this place, was notified, and with a number of armed citizens started for the scene of the trouble. In the meantime a posse of armed citizens had been formed and the Negro's capture effected before Constable Berry reached them, but his capture was not made until his body was riddled with bullets.
Memphis, Tenn., Commercial-Appeal.
Clinton Glover, a young Negro of St. George, charged with attempted rape, was convicted last Tuesday and sentenced to on be hanged on the 10th inst. There was no direct testimony to convict this man. He was only seen in the street opposite the house where the assault was attempted at about 3 o'clock, whereas the attempt was made about 10 o'clock that evening. The lady is reported to have said that she did not know the man, did not know whether he was white or colored. She only felt the touch of some hand.
Charleston, S. C., Southern Reporter.
Cumberland, Md., Oct. 22.--After she had stabbed her sweetheart, Clarence Button, because he teased her about another girl, Mrs. Walter Williams set her umbrella up over his head to keep the rain off him, and knelt beside him and talked to
him lovingly during the few minutes that he lived. * * * * * He talked to her affectionately and begged her to get rid of the knife and say he had been attacked by a Negro who had insulted her.
"For God's sake get rid of that knife!" he said as he died.
New York World.
Washington, Pa., Wednesday.--Publicly repudiating the story told by Miss Beatrice Burr of an attack by Negro highwaymen near her home November 15, in which the automobile she was driving was damaged, the young girl's father today announced that he would pay damages to W. H. Adams, of Philadelphia, whose buggy he says was smashed by his daughter's machine.
New York Herald.
Irwinton, Ga., October 10.--Because he entered the room of Miss Effice Chappell, the daughter of a planter, last Sunday night, after she had retired, and approached her bed, Andrew Chapman, a Negro, to-day was hanged from a tree near here by a mob and his body riddled with bullets.
Miss Chappell awoke, as the Negro approached her bed, and screamed. Her cries aroused the family, and the Negro fled.
Cincinnati, O., Enquirer.
Caruthersville, Mo., Oct. 11.--Shortly after midnight last night a mob broke into the city jail and dragged therefrom two Negroes, carrying them to the baseball park, on the edge of the Mississippi river, north of town, and from there sounds of lashing and screams of the blacks were heard. An
hour or so later flames were seen bursting from an ancient frame building, which has for several years been used as a Negro boarding house, and which has long been the rendezvous of many tough characters of the race. It is evident the building was saturated with oil, and before the fire company could respond the old landmark was a glowing bed of coals.
Early yesterday evening a Negro known as High Pockets followed two young lady clerks of the supply store, Miss Josie Faulk and Miss Bessie Gee, to their homes. It was growing dark and the Negro hid in the shrubbery of the J. H. McFarland place, near the home of the girls. The girls called the attention of J. W. McClanahan to the threatening actions of the Negro, and the police were telephoned for. The Negro was found where he had hidden, and was placed in the city jail. In some way the suspicious action of the Negro became known, but to the public there appeared no evidence of the gathering of a mob.
There has been smouldering excitement in this city since last week when Lee Fleming and Albert Dugger were slashed nearly to death by a knife in the hands of a bad Negro. This Negro was arrested and carried to Kennett, the county seat of Dunklin county. Excitement ran high and a mob captured a train and made the Kennett jailer a midnight call, but Kennett was wired and the Negro taken from jail and hidden.
Memphis, Tenn., Commercial-Appeal.
These headlines tell their story.
NEGROES IN A BOLD OUTRAGE
BREAK INTO WOMAN'S HOME AND ASSAULT AND ROB HER
SUSPECT IS CAPTURED IN THE CANADIAN SOO
ATTACK UPON LITTLE GIRL IS UNSUCCESSFUL
One of Two Thieves Remained in House for Two Hours After Assault and Robbery Had Been Committed--Other Flees
Sault Ste. Marie Evening News Tuesday, Oct. 24, 1911
Might Have Led to Lynching in Many Communities
A MOUNTAIN OF A MOLE HILL
"Social Call" Stamped as "Most Dastardly Crime Ever Committed in This Community"
Soo Times, Oct. 28, 1911
Several days ago a very sensational story of an assault on two little girls at Rocky Mount was told in the papers, and the man who was suspected was arrested, and he was identified by the girls, one of them 11 years old and the other 10. Nothing has been said of the matter lately, it was left like the sensational stories in the paper, right where it was the most sensational. The mob was after the Negro and it was uncertain whether the sheriff could protect him or not.
The sheriff was suspicious of the story when it was told by the children but the mob believed it and thought that they were doing their duty by their families and the race in trying to lynch the Negro.
It is understood that the children had been hearing and reading sensational stories throughout the country which have been very frequent in the papers recently and they thought that they would get up a sensation on their own account, so they made up the tale and only the fact that the sheriff was a level headed man saved that section of the country an outbreak of lawlessness.
The sheriff got the story from the children after some persuasion.
Florence, (S. C.) Times.
The dirt and squalor of the slaves was often spoken of, altho there was much difference between house servants and field hands in this respect. One hundred nineteen selected answers from twenty-six states indicate general improvement.
Our people have made great progress in this particular. We are realizing that cleanliness of person, home and general surroundings is essential to good health.
Habits of cleanliness are far above the average. The homes and surroundings and general appearance are clean, generally speaking.
As a rule our people do not use all the soap and water that they should but some very earnest efforts are being made to get them to form habits of cleanliness.
Many of the wives and mothers do the washing for most of the city in a most acceptable way. As compared with the Jews and Italian in the city they are decidedly superior in the matter of cleanliness.
The majority of our people present themselves to the public in a very decent manner.
As a whole they don't come up to the mark; but the better trained people here are very careful along this line.
They are growing better every day along this line of cleanliness. The ministers and teachers are doing more along this line than ever before in the history of this state.
Fair proportion have habits of cleanliness. That class, however, is not in number large enough to appreciably affect health status of the race generally.
The most of the people of the vicinity wear good clothes and they go neat and tidy. Also they are very neat in their homes.
Habits of cleanliness are very much improved over what they were five years past. People want to know and daily apply them more and more. Pleasingly remarkable. Can easily be denominated.
Habits of cleanliness have their bearing on morals; and if living conditions were better for colored people most assuredly their morals would be better. On the whole where conditions are favorable the habits of cleanliness are all that could be expected of them. We cannot make brick without straw even in this field.
There is a wonderful improvement among them as to cleanliness. They are more cleanly both as to their homes and person.
Not as good as it should be. Much improvement is needed among the uneducated class.
For the most part habits of neatness in home and business obtain.
The percentage of those who observe a fair degree of personal and home cleanliness is encouragingly large.
Our people are learning this rapidly and are building sanitary homes and keeping them in sanitary condition. There are few exceptions.
They are fairly clean because the city is demanding that everything be kept in a sanitary condition. There are some homes yet that could do better along that line.
They have made wonderful progress along sanitary lines.
The people here take a pride in adopting modern sanitary practice.
Tho, perhaps, if not contradictory, then somewhat paradoxical, yet it is a fact that the Negro has improved appreciably in habits of cleanliness while in morals and manners he has not.
Growth of self pride seems to go hand in hand with increase in cleanliness in small particulars. High standard here. Public assemblies display tastefully drest, clean people in numbers as large as 5000 at one time. Alley, drinking population below the standards of any whites in the city in filth. Bodies, clothes, houses, neighborhoods and relations all indicate shiftlessness which demands continued training to induce the
feeling of cleanliness. Our dictum to graduates is: "Wherever you go, clean up first, teach afterwards".
As clean as their neighbors will encourage them to be. Not as dirty as they seem.
In housekeeping and cleanliness there is a wonderful change. You seldom see many real dirty colored people. You see the most dirt among the very ignorant colored people.
The sanitary conditions of our people are poor on the public works and around some of the little towns; while in some of our cities they are pretty good.
There is little to complain of in this respect. I presume physical cleanliness is meant by your question.
Habits of cleanliness are growing better on all lines.
The more enlightened our people are, the cleaner they are inclined to be. Contact with the best class of white people has improved my race. In most parts fairly good, but much improvement can be made.
There has been a markt change in the last ten years toward general habits of cleanliness. They are as a rule clean. They delight to clean up and parade the streets. They are clean on the outside, clothing fairly good tho cheap. I have nothing to say on the subject of cleanliness. They are doing well along that line.
Not what it should be. As to the masses they are not so clean but about one third of them are clean.
That the Negro is making progress along the lines of cleanliness is evident to the most casual observer. He is tidy in dress, especially on Sundays, and neat in his home.
Great improvement both in homes and personal habits. Less snuff and tobacco is used among the women but no decrease among the men.
The majority that I come in contact with seem to be clean with their person and in their appearance.
They are not as clean as they could be under the circumstances because they have not been taught the importance of it. I think, however, conditions are better than when I came here eight years ago.
Advance in this particular is very encouraging. The homes of the people from kitchen up are up to the average in this community to that of his white brother. You will find the screens very much in use and the people are fond of the baths. Much work to do yet, however.
The people, as a rule, are very clean. A great number of the colored citizens of Dublin own their homes which are well kept. Dublin should be proud of the cleanliness of her colored people.
The more intelligent people are aiding the City Board of Health in
enforcing the laws of cleanliness.
In this section, the country people are more tidy than those in town, but all are improving in this respect.
Bath tubs and shower baths are becoming very fashionable. Most all try to be clean and appear well. Large numbers of hair dressing and manicure parlors are establisht among them.
As a whole, the race is superior in personal cleanliness and dress. I find many unsanitary homes tho.
Exceedingly good. No city of its size in the country can present as well drest clean looking people. A stranger notices this and soon gets the habit.
In the mining towns of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma poor. Better conditions prevail in Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri.
Are good with the majority of Negroes and this is growing better among the young race.
Outwardly good; but the laws of health and rules for cleanliness are not strictly obeyed by far.
We have a cleaner and healthier community than we had five years ago.
Great and daily improvement along this line. It is a rare thing to see a dirty child in a school of this city. Our people have begun to realize the true worth of the bathtub. Not fine clothes but clean clothes and clean bodies has begun to be the slogan of the humblest homes.
Still greater progress. No race in this section, under similar conditions, ranks higher.
Our people are arranging their homes so as to include bath rooms and are equipping them with the necessary paraphernalia to serve water and keep themselves clean. They are learning quite rapidly to be clean.
Ordinary. Some excellent.
Most of them have clean habits. This is due in a large measure to being servants and the campaign against tuberculosis.
There is a markt improvement along this line among the better classes. The poorer classes could do much better.
Exceptional cases are good but the average is poor.
I find that their habits of cleanliness are not wofully lacking tho they could improve.
The Negroes here have made considerable development along this line. They have very good homes, etc., yet we have the alley to contend with. The Colored Doctors' Medical Association is helping along this line.
Habits of personal cleanliness are splendid and taken as a whole I think they excel those of their fellow citizens.
Evidences of cleanliness can be seen in most of the homes.
Good. There are a few Negroes who still cling to the weekly bath but as a rule the sporty and the honest striving Negroes look after their bodies and clothes beyond their means in certain cases.
A little better. We have some that are all O. K. but they are in the minority.
The people are divided into classes with respect to cleanliness. The movement is toward better homes and greater cleanliness. The schools, with their bathing facilities, strengthen this movement.
Decidedly on the increase for the better.
Habits of cleanliness are necessary to fit a young man or woman for good society. This is generally being aspired for by young Afro-Americans.
There has been great improvement along this line. There have been so many lectures during the past ten years. The public school teachers are required by the Board to attend such lectures. Our people are clast as intelligent people. The children from the second grade up visit regularly the Public Library. A reading people cannot but improve along this line.
Ninety per cent of all the families here are exceptionally clean with their persons and their homes. Out of about thirty families only three or four are indecent as to clean linen.
Their showing in this direction is commendable.
Much carelessness among many but very good among many others. Progress so general that it can be constantly noted along this line. General personal appearance favorable. Generally well developt physically and healthy.
Comeliness the rule with few exceptions.
Among the improved, excellent. Worse than twenty-five years ago among the laboring people in the cities.
Good; far above the average of the same class of whites with whom
I come in contact.
These people are surprisingly clean, especially in keeping their homes. Many colored people take pride in the cleanliness of their homes and not of their bodies.
Very good. Improvement on this line and striving to do better all of the time to make themselves a nation.
Not as great among the people as we should like it to be. Bodily cleanliness is adhered to at times, but lacking greatly. Some put on clean clothing, bathing weekly, generally Saturday nights for Sunday, while others don't put on clean clothing at all unless compelled to do so. Sanitation and general cleaning up around the house is lacking much indeed. Some have neat and clean homes while others have not. This can be improved on much in this community. Practical sanitation is much needed and there are some who regard this as a very important matter and practice it in their lives.
Good for a rural section. It is said that the people here dress neater and look cleaner than you find them anywhere else similarly situated.
Very much improved. I speak from personal knowledge. I am in a position to come in contact with almost every family here.
Some among the poorer classes, perhaps because of poor accommodations for living, are not as clean as one would wish; but as a general thing I find homes exceedingly clean.
I think here while there is much room for improvement we are on a par with any nationality who have to labor in the same occupations as ourselves. The whites sometime raise the question but as far as I can see, and I have lookt closely, it is about all prejudice.
There are quite a few who are clean and tidy in their persons and homes and a great multitude who are not.
Just fairly clean, generally our homes are not furnisht with bath tubs. We are not provided with public baths and the daily sponge off is none too familiar with the rank and file of our citizens. Still, most of them put on a veneer of cleanliness when they go to church and other gatherings. They are gradually improving in the conditions of their homes.
Naturally reasonably clean and according to their means, I believe, surpass the other races here, i. e. white and Indian.
The colored people here are generally neat when they appear in public but their home surroundings are not always clean.
We are rising.
On the whole very clean. I would say that the average about eighty per cent.
My observation is that there is no difference between the Negro and other races of the same class.
This depends upon the class and the environment. If the class is low and the environment bad, you must expect dirt and filth. This is not peculiar to the Negro but to any race with similar conditions. The best classes and the middle classes are as clean as anybody.
Some very clean while others are to the opposite.
In this measure, the American Negro compares favorable with Negroes in England, Canada, West Africa and the West Indies from the point of class and education. Thru long years of social relationship, the example with the more fortunate members of the human race, the Caucasian, he has imbibed and exhibits traits of innate tendencies toward a love for what is clean. Hence, my comparison as the result of personal experience in the above-mentioned countries. I defy contradiction, that, taking it class for class, the colored people in America are in no way behind the whites in habits of cleanliness.
Fair, but the old fashioned houses make personal cleanliness difficult. Most of them maintain pleasant surroundings. The best is exceptiontionally good.
They are good in their habits of cleanliness; homes are nicely kept with some exceptions of course, and the women in town and country dress nicely and fashionably. One used to be able to tell just when a country girl struck town by her seven primary colors but not so now. The R. F. D. carries the style to the country as well as to the town.
The increast instruction given in the schools regarding hygiene and sanitation, and the attention given in the pulpit, press and on lecture platform to "Gospel of Cleanliness" and to matters involving the question of good health, and the removal of the belief that it is "Saintly to be sickly and sinful to be healthy and strong," are having good results among the rank and file of our people.
For the last ten or fifteen years, I have found this to be a growing habit among our people both in town and cities and the country places.
Good where the facilities are favorable. We have many communities where the houses are almost packt upon each other with almost no front or back yards. Cleanliness is not to be found in such places.
The sanitary conditions of our people are good. We have an infirmary owned and controlled by Dr. R. T. Burt which is a credit to the race. Proud to say the colored people are ahead of the white people in that
respect, there being not an infirmary for the white people in the city. Dr. Burt is called by all one of the finest surgeons in the country.
This is the most rapid advance that I have noticed in the race.
They are as clean as their occupations and means allow.
People here practice personal cleanliness and also take pride in caring for their homes, most of which they own. They have habits of beautifying their homes and churches.
Progress. More pride and attention are being manifested and progress made.
I know many who are personally clean and whose houses are kept in a beautiful fashion. Many who would like to be neat housekeepers are out at service and do not have the time or strength.
Are not what they ought to be. There can be no excuse for filth.
As to cleanliness, conditions are fair in this city among our people There seems to be improvement in this respect. The city enforces some regulations as to cleanliness also.
Of course, here the Negroes are divided again into two classes. Both as to their personal appearance and home life some are scrupulously clean, others are not.
Clean-up days have been instituted among the colored people and there are few yards that are not overgrown with beautiful flowers and fern. They vie with each other in their yards of beautiful flowers. Their homes are beautiful thruout.
About seven-eighths of the colored people here seem to try to keep very clean around them. There are some who are not concerned.
They are generally coming to this great virtue.
The colored people take pride in cleanliness.
Uncleanliness is forst upon them by their occupations and lack of the means of keeping clean. They are really clean as far as their knowledge of cleanliness and their means allow them to be. The Negro is not apt to appear as tidy as he is, when seen in his working clothes, but when the nature of his work is considered he is as clean as he can be. He has much to learn in this line for the modern idea of cleanliness is in advance of that of colored people generally; but the most uncleanly and unsanitary conditions are forst upon them.
The Public School system of our State has done and is doing a good work among the young; and race pride has taken root and produced a great people whose habits lead to cleanliness and virtue.
Considering their homes and advantages, they are exceedingly good.
Greatly improved both as to person, dress and homes.
The white Civic League takes much interest in the general cleanliness, hence, thru the Negro Civic League, many lectures and suggestions
are given by the leading whites.
The masses are putting more stress upon cleanliness. They are understanding that prolongation of life is guaranteed more to a clean body than to a filthy body.
Taking conditions of our city under consideration, the best class of our people are very clean.
Generally, people here are cleanly both in their homes and on their person.
In this particular with many it is all that could be desired. I am acquainted with a few who are not so particular as they might be.
I should say good. The habits of the older heads of cleanliness appear to have been good.
Good and still improving.
Medium, due to the fact that the city has no sewerage.
They are gradually growing more cleanly. They are growing quite rapidly in their adherence to sanitary laws.
There is, to my knowledge, one section where Negroes of careless habits live contrary to all habits of cleanliness; but in the main they are clean.
Not the best. Due to segregation, high rents, obliged to live in unsanitary districts and several families live in one house to enable them to pay their rent.
In most cases good. There are those as are found in every community who are filthy.
A great deal of training needs to be done along this line. Yet the outlook is hopeful.
Slavery meant compulsory poverty and the lack of incentive to thrift. The result was the encouragement of petty thievery. Among the house servants this took the form of taking food and clothes. Gradually this grew to be a tacitly recognized custom. After emancipation the "wages" promist house servants were arranged with the mutual understanding more or less clearly made that cold food and old clothes together with small quantities of other perquisites would periodically disappear. In this way the distinction between meum and teum grew slowly and vaguely among the freedmen and caused much harsh and unmerited criticism among
outsiders trained to the modern commercial code.
Our correspondents were therefore askt about habits of personal honesty among Negro Americans. We select one hundred twenty-two answers from twenty-six states and print them here.
Some are honest and some are not.
We can see the remarkable results of this virtue in the fact that many Negroes hold honorable positions not only on the farm but even in the government service. The court records are also more favorable.
The colored people are much more honest now than some years back. They are becoming much more reliable in the matter of paying their debts.
As a rule they will do to depend upon.
Not reliable at all.
They are not honest as a rule. We have some honest people here but the dishonest outnumber the honest by far.
All of the best families are real honest and a few of the other class.
I am sorry to say but I do not think that honesty stands as firm and prominent as it should.
As to their personal honesty I am inclined to the opinion that not more than seventy per cent of them are real honest in their general dealings. My opinion comes from personal contact and general observation.
Rated equal in comparison to other race, I say good. Conclusion from observation of cases in police court. Cases calendared are as a rule disorderly conduct or something more or less trivial.
Poor among all classes but improving wonderfully.
There is room for improvement along this line but the disposition to be dishonest has decreast wonderfully in the past ten years. Poor pay is partly responsible for a good bit of the dishonesty.
Very little. The Negro here is divided and it is impossible to look for personal honesty where each one of any race feels that his success depends upon the destruction of all else besides and that he has a right to a part of whatever the other fellow has, his own improvidence notwithstanding.
One rarely hears of dishonesty.
Those with whom I have had dealings are ninety per cent honest.
I don't suppose this city is any worse than the general run of cities. I think I can safely say that the larger per cent is honest.
The younger ones seem to have a higher sense of honesty than the older ones.
I think our police court records show us to be above the average in this respect and I can speak favorably of the race from this point of view.
Occupations circumscribed, wages small, cost of living high, standard of personal honesty low.
Severe conditions of competition engender small peculations and lying; but standard of dependableness higher than ever before.
Good. I know whereof I speak.
They are not honest to themselves. Therefore cannot be to their fellowmen.
Good. So much so that even in a town as Dunnelton where I've taught some people never lock their doors. It is a rare thing to hear of any one being arrested for stealing in this section.
Generally speaking the average person is not as bold with his dishonest habits as was the case ten or twelve years ago, while we have some exceptions both ways.
No. Here again the tendency is quick and easy money with the least effort.
I can say we don't have very many cases in court for stealing.
Decidedly honest considering their way of getting means.
Towards the white man is gradually improving but towards one another not much of a change.
Merchants say that in general they are more trustworthy than the whites, especially the women.
There is no doubt a general betterment, not as large as desirable, yet enough to mark progress.
The Negro is generally honest. As he accumulates he becomes more trustworthy and dependable.
Great development. The improvement is more noticeable among the women.
As a general thing we find that the colored people are very honest and have made a great improvement along this line in the last few years. On an average I believe they are ahead of the other races along this line.
They are not as honest and trust-worthy as they might be. A great
deal of this is due to the leadership of many of those who have had better advantages than the masses trying to take advantage of the weaker and less fortunate to build up their own wealth.
A conscientious regard for keeping his word seems to be much below normal in this community. Promises made are not lookt upon with as much seriousness as in some other settlements I have observed.
There are many colored men here who can go security on bank notes who are not in real possession of property. Their honesty has gained for them a pretty good standing.
This is a thing that our people seem slow to learn; but I am very glad to say that they are showing a great deal of improvement along the line of personal honesty.
A large number of "confidence men" have developt. They often have women confederates, but generally, with these two exceptions, they are honest. The waiters and porters and real estate agents make up the principal groups of "shrewd dealers".
Good toward the white but only fair toward each other.
Judging from my practice I should say ninety per cent are honest; my accounts will bear out this statement.
Good. On a whole the people are hard-working, honest people. Much given to extravagance of dress and entertaining. This has a tendency to impair them financially.
There is a growing tendency to individual pride and personal honesty.
I think they desire to be honest but cannot always act in accordance due to low wages, etc.
The people here are trust-worthy.
I find them about as honest, speaking of the masses, as other people.
Good. A large number carry snug bank accounts.
Has increast wonderfully.
For the past ten years I have taught in the public schools and have left my purse with sums as high as ten dollars in it lying on my desk and have left it unguarded often, yet never has it been toucht. The rogue in the room is a thing of the past generally. The colored servant is generally trusted by the employers.
As a general rule it is bad, more so among the young people. Something must be done to show our people that they should be honest in dealing with mankind. Some of them for a dollar will do almost anything or tell you any kind of a story to get a dollar. This must be stopt
before we can be a good race and reliable.
Evidences of personal honesty are manifested in business relations one with the other, viz,--the faithful carrying out of contracts, agreements, etc.
I don't consider our people actually dishonest but their love to ape the white man in his more expensive living, dress, etc., compels the little money they make to give out and then that is the cause of the trouble. He means well but after getting into debt as a result of these things he finds he cannot get out. This is found more so among the so-called better class. They do but little stealing.
The masses are not educated in square dealing.
There is much personal dishonesty among us here and I often feel that this is the Negro's greatest weakness in the far North. It certainly closes the door of opportunity to him in many places where he might otherwise enter. He is lamentably wanting in reliability.
Yes, I feel safe in saying that the coming young citizens have more regard for their word and honesty is more evident among Negroes generally.
Personal honesty is prevalent among the colored people whom I know. Dishonesty is certainly an exception to the rule.
Good. In only a few cases have the servants around white homes or at the places of work violated any trust imposed. Whites have taken advantage of the Negro's honesty and his abnormal wants. They sell him cheap furniture at high prices on time and lend him money at exorbitant rates of interest and many are kept in real need due to poor management.
The majority are lacking in it. There are some notable exceptions.
Vast improvement within the last ten years.
Personal honesty is a trait in the Negro lad that is growing, due probably to penalty for violated law inflicted by a prejudiced race and as a poison kills a poison thus the would-be suppression becomes an incentive and a blessing.
Since the general trend of our people is onward and upward religiously and intellectually, I believe that habits of personal honesty are unconsciously being formed and strengthened. They are trusted so completely by the opposite race that when one deceives they are shockt. While they claim all Negroes steal, yet, if they have ten servants, nine white and one Negro, the Negro is the trusty.
They are fairly honest but apparently the law is extreme with most of them. Within ten years only one Negro has been arrested and convicted for dishonesty.
Promises not too reliable. Too little value put on their word. You will note that ninety-five per cent is recently from the South and over fifty per cent is from the worst instead of thebest element of our southern folks.
In this he is the equal of any here. The chief of police informed me the arrests made each month were one or two out of a population of 500 and this was for drinking, none for stealing.
The people, tho poor, work hard, spend freely--two freely, but as a rule are honest. Not inclined to idleness and idle only, as a rule, when they cannot find employment.
Their honesty is unsurpast by any race of people. This information comes to me, aside from personal knowledge, from credit houses with which colored people have dealt.
Good in both classes. Few arrests for larceny either grand or petit, but many for drunkenness and disorderly conduct,--that is proportionately.
Extra good compared with whites.
Many do not regard their word or promise as anything to be kept. Do not like to come up to their obligations. I find many who do not like to pay honest debts, especially to one another.
Along this line the improvement has been rapid. We can say truly that the people are generally honest and reliable. Perhaps the cashier of the Merchants' and Farmers' Bank of this place, who is a white man, can give you a better answer to this question.
They are learning to be honest. In proportion to the numbers and opportunities for training, quality, I mean, they are as honest as others.
Excellent in places of trust and seldom betrays that trust.
I think, the percentage of petit thievery is too great. I think, too, that this is due to the fact that many Negroes think that the white race took all from them in slavery and that they are justified to get what they can from them now even by theft. Then too, the white race offers very little inducement to inspire the Negro to look upward.
Am almost afraid to say. The wave of graft and money madness
has also struck one section and I could not conscientiously say that there is any increase in that respect.
The per cent of our people who possess personal honesty is lower than it should be. They are not as truthful as they should be.
Just fair. The majority are not reliable in their negotiations and their business promises do not amount to much. We are backward in this respect.
A good number of our people are as safe as a bank. The masses are not honest. Much improvement needs to be made for our welfare. Women are more honest than men.
Of course most of the people with whom I come in contact are honest but the grafting of the city must have infected our people also.
My observations and dealings especially in connection with Jews, Italians and the middle class of white Americans, convince me that there is no essential difference between them and Negroes of the same class.
Are better than they were ten years ago.
While there is a good deal of dishonesty in every race, I believe if this race is placed side by side with others and note made of financial and other losses that this race would be guilty of taking less.
Good as can be expected under the conditions.
Honesty in the sense of honor needs continuous and careful fostering by the representatives of the people so as to prevent deceptive encroachments; while honesty from the standpoint of business inter-relationships generally holds its own encouragingly well. Especially so among the bulwarks of the race--the women.
The greater part of them pay their debts.
Excellent. I have no knowledge of a single case of a person having the reputation for dishonesty. Perhaps the explanation is that it is difficult to be dishonest here and not be caught.
I have had great experience with my people on the point of personal honesty and find that as a rule the people here have honest intentions even tho circumstances happen that they can't come up to their obligations. Give him a chance and treat him human and he will do all that is within his power to meet his obligations. I find that the high cost of living and the low price paid for labor are greatly responsible for the seeming dishonesty of the people of this community.
I am optimistic enough to believe that we are improving along this line also. It is true that we have as yet a long way to go before reaching perfection, yet that is not alone the case as to the black man. Shady
transactions and graft as they exist among white and black these days are being given much notice in the press; and far too many among all people are failing to respect the vast difference between the "Meum and Teum" as regards property. But a candid and unbiast observation of the state of affairs as they exist forces me to believe that our race is really making more advancement along the line of recognizing and respecting that difference than are the whites.
The percentage of honesty is far greater than it was ten years ago. This is my experience and I have been interested in the subject for years.
Exceedingly good. They hold many positions of trust with credit to he race. All of our mail carriers are colored men and all of our sick nurses are colored ladies.
Generally good, many exceptions.
As a rule, honest. White people credit them for any reasonable amount and it is a rare thing that there is any trouble given. As to stealing, this town is almost free from that. A few years ago there were two Negroes and one white man nabbed on account of stealing and house breaking and since then there is but little stealing here.
Somewhat below the average. It will grow with other things.
When put under special trust they rarely fail to be true.
I know many whom I regard as eminently trustworthy. The distinctions between meum and teum are not as clear as might be, especially in small things.
Standard not so high as it ought to be.
Needs to be improved, could be better. When one is not honest to himself it is impossible to be honest to others.
The standard in this respect is not as high and hence not satisfactory as it should be. However, many of our people are the very soul of honesty and I am confident that the future will find much improvement along this direction.
Collecting from students and parents, I can say that eighty per cent of the colored people are honest.
Not much abuse of honesty--a pretty fair dealing set of people are found here and confidence of both races enjoyed.
About two-thirds who try to pay up and be true to their word.
Totally disregarded in all business affairs.
As a rule good. This applies especially to the lower class people. It is a fact that the only Negro bank here has gone to the wall. Many of the Negro business enterprises have gone down as a result of dishonesty. Our leading doctor and several of our leading colored wealthy men are now in the courts charged with stealing church money. It is a common
saying here that "You must do this fellow or he will do you."
Here the Negro fails. The word has no meaning to the average Negro.
As a whole the colored people are honest. It is wonderful to what extent the servant class is trusted by their white employers. If it were not for their honesty they would not be tolerated. Where a Negro appears dishonest, it is more the fault of the economic and socia conditions forst upon him than because of any real defect in his morality. A study of the criminal Negro reveals more delinquency on the part of modern society to give the Negro a chance to be honest than it reveals any disposition on the part of the Negro to be dishonest. He is forst into what often appears dishonesty. The true morality of the Negro is found largely in the awful conditions under which he is forst to live.
They are reliable.
There is a making for better in all walks and with all classes among our people. They have learned that they must be honest if they would have a place in the world among men.
Getting better. They have not reached perfection yet, but there is a vast improvement. Defalcation in positions of trust are the exception. Petty thieving is on the decrease. The average man's word means more than it used to.
The general average is not so good. Tho there are some that are safe and most worthy.
This one feature is to be especially complimented. When you can hear many hundreds of Negroes say "Charge it to me" at the leading institutions in the city it means a lot.
This is my thirtieth year in the college room and in that time there have come to me more than ten thousand pupils. I am pleased to add my personal testimony to the fact that the Negro is improving in integrity honesty and sobriety.
Bad pay masters make dishonest people. The Negro race is honest
Some absolutely trustworthy, but a very large part are careless about paying debts, keeping contracts, meeting engagements, etc.
Depends upon the environment.
The following statement from the banker at this place answers your question: "I have loaned colored people thousands of dollars and I have never lost a cent either on a loan made to a colored person or on a loan endorsed by one".
My experience does not justify me in thinking that there is more honesty among those whom I know than there was twenty-five years ago.
Not able to say much on this line. The business men seem to not run accounts, the people are required to pay as they go and I don't know
whether it is from dishonesty or from the fact that it is a strict cash business which is easier and safer.
So far as my observation serves me, the Negroes are quite honest. It is rare indeed to read of dishonesty among them here and the papers usually publish everything disparaging concerning the Negro.
Fair. Attempting to meet a false standard of living often contracts debts which they cannot pay even if they have the inclination to pay.
With himself good. I think with the trust of others he thinks all others are dishonest. He has some traits which lead up to personal dishonesty, altho I think he is in a fair way honest with himself.
Africa is distinctly the land of the Mother. In subtle and mysterious way, despite her curious history, her slavery, polygamy and toil, the spell of the African Mother pervades her land. Isis, the Mother, is still titular goddess in thot, if not in name, of the dark continent. This does not seem to be solely a survival of the historic matriarchate thru which all nations pass. It appears to be more than this; as if the black race in passing down the steps of human culture gave the world not only the Iron Age, the cultivation of the soil and the domestication of animals but also in peculiar emphasis the Mother-idea. Schneider writes: "No mother can love more tenderly and none is more tenderly loved than the Negro Mother". Robin tells of the slave who bot his mother's freedom instead of his own. Mungo Park writes:
"Everywhere in Africa I have noticed that no greater affront can be offered a Negro than insulting his mother. 'Strike me,' cried the Mandingo, 'but revile not my mother.' "
A student of the present Gold Coast life describes the Headman as head of the village:It is the duty of the Head of the family to bring up the members thereof in the way they should go; and by "family" you must understand the entire lineal descendants of a head materfamilias, if I may coin a convenient phrase. It is expected of him by the State to bring up his charge in the knowledge of matters political and traditional. It is his work to train up his wards in the ways of loyalty and obedience to the powers
that be. He is held responsible for the freaks of recalcitrant members of his family, and he is lookt to keep them within bounds, and to insist upon conformity on their part with the customs, laws, and traditional observances of the community.
It is a difficult task that he is set to, but in this matter he has all-powerful helpers in the female members of the family, who will be either the aunts, or the sisters, or the cousins, or the nieces of the Headman; and as their interests are identical with his in every particular, the good women spontaneously train up their children to implicit obedience to the Headman, whose rule in the family thus becomes a simple and an easy matter. "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." What a power for good in the Native State System would the mothers of the Gold Coast and Ashanti become by judicious training upon natives lines!
Upon this African Mother-idea, the westward slave trade and the regime of slavery in America struck like doom. Sex statistics of our early census reports indicate in a numerical way the social dislocation which the slave regime brot to the Negro population of this country. But beneath this numerical indication of social dislocation lay polygamy, polyandry, concubinage and moral degradation.
The crushing weight of slavery fell heavily on black women. Under slavery there was no legal marriage, no legal family, no legal control over the children. To be sure custom and religion here and there supplied what the law denied, yet one has but to read advertisements like the following to see the iniquity which lay beneath the system:
"One hundred dollars reward will be given for my two fellows, Abram and Frank. Abram has a wife at Colonel Stewart's in Liberty county, and a sister in Savannah at Capt. Grovenstine's. Frank has a wife at Mr. LeCont's Liberty County; a mother at Thunderbolt, and a sister in Savannah.
--Wm. Roberts.Walthourville, 5th Jan., 1839."
"Fifty dollars reward--Ran away from the subscriber, a negro girl named Maria. She is of a copper color, between thirteen and fourteen years of age--bareheaded and barefooted. She is small for her age--very sprightly and very
likely. She stated she was going to see her mother at Maysville.
"Fifty dollars reward--Ran away from the subscriber, his negro man Pauladore, commonly called Paul. I understand Gen. R. Y. Hayne has purchased his wife and children from H. L. Pickney, Esq., and has them now on his plantation at Goose Creek, where, no doubt the fellow is frequently lurking.
The Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky said to the churches under their care in 1835:
Brothers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives, are torn asunder, and permitted to see each other no more. These acts are daily occuring in the midst of us. The shrieks and agony often witnessed on such occasions proclaim, with a trumpet tongue, the iniquity of our system.
There is not a neighborhood where these heart-rendering scenes are not displayed. There is not a village or road that does not behold the sad procession of manacled outcasts, whose mournful countenances tell that they are exiled by force from all that their hearts hold dear.
Such a system was bound to have its evil effects upon both sexes of the slave population. Certainly the greater burden was felt by the women of the black race.
Alexander Crummell in writing of his darker sister said:In her girlhood all the delicate tenderness of her sex has been rudely outraged. In the field, in the rude cabin, in the press-room, in the factory, she was thrown into the companionship of coarse and ignorant men. No chance was given her for delicate reserve or tender modesty. From her childhood she was the doomed victim of the grossest passion. All the virtues of her sex were utterly ignored. If the instinct of chastity asserted itself, then she had to fight like a tiger for the ownership and possession of her own person, and ofttimes had to suffer pain and lacerations for her virtuous self-assertion. When she reacht maturity all the tender instincts of her womanhood were ruthlessly violated. At the age of marriage--always prematurely anticipated under slavery--she was mated as the stock of the plantation were mated, not to be the companion of a loved and chosen husband, but to be the breeder of human cattle for the field or the auction block.
Yet thru all this mire the Negro woman has come; and in thousands of cases has demonstrated superior qualities of character, intellect and ability. The names of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Phyllis Wheatley stand out in the early records of the race.
One of the early workers in the Negro Church, Mary Still, writes quaintly in the forties:
When we were as castouts and spurned from the large churches, driven from our knees, pointed at by the proud, neglected by the careless, without a place of worship, Allen, faithful to the heavenly calling, came forward and laid the foundation of this connection. The women, like the women at the sepulchre, were early to aid in laying the foundation of the temple, and in helping to carry up the noble structure, and in the name of their God, set up their banner. Most of our aged mothers are gone from this to a better state of things. Yet some linger still on their staves watching with intense interest the ark as it moves over the tempestuous waves of opposition and ignorance. ***** But the labors of these women stopped not here, for they knew well that they were subject to affliction and death. For the purpose of mutual aid, they banded themselves together in society capacity, that they might be better able to administer to each other's sufferings, and to soften their own pillows. So we find the females in the early history of the church abounded in good works, and in acts of true benevolence.
The sacrifice of Negro women before the war for freedom and uplift is one of the finest chapters in their history. Such women it is, added to thousands of humbler black "Mammies", faithful servants, toiling housewives and self-sacrificing mothers, who have builded the womanhood of to-day.
In 1900 there were in the United States 4,447,447 females of Negro descent, of whom twelve thousand were children, about a million were girls and young women under twenty years of age and two million grown women. As a mass these women were intelligent,--only a third of those from fifteen to twenty-five years of age being unable to write. While their grandmothers had married at twelve and fifteen, thirty per cent of those over fifteen were single. In 1910 there were 4,941,882 Negro females in the United States of whom two and one-half million were grown. Of those ten years of age and over 30.7 per cent were illiterate and only 16 per cent of those
between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. Marriage was more normal among them, 26.6 per cent of those fifteen years of age and over being single.
The economic foundation of the family, the abilty to support and keep the group intact is not yet certain, not simply because of moral laxness but principally because of low wages. This explains in large measure the fact that among Negro women in 1900 one woman in six was widowed or separated from her husband, while among whites there was but one in ten. In 1910 this condition had improved slightly. The corresponding figure for Negro women being 15.9 per cent.
That the Negro woman is compelled in so many cases to help in the support of the family, is a fact often overlookt by the casual observer of Negro life. In 1900 there were 1,832-818 Negro homes in this country. Out of these walkt daily one and one-third million women and girls over ten years of age to work--four out of every ten as against one out of each six white women. These then were a group of workers fighting for their daily bread like men, independent, approaching economic freedom. They furnisht a half million farm laborers, 70,000 farmers, 15,000 teachers and professional folk, 700,000 servants and washerwomen, and 40,000 in trades and merchandising.
Add to these those engaged in miscellaneous work and 200,000 school girls and we have nearly a million and a half. Subtracting the old and feeble, the defective and the idle and we have probably less than one and a half million housewives to manage nearly two million homes. This is a sad deficiency and it tells for harm. Black mothers who ought to be home training their children are away at work. Girls who ought to be at school must help earn bread and butter. But while toil holds their brothers in the small towns and country, higher wages call the sisters to the city. The result is that in cities like Washington and Baltimore the Negro women outnumber the men ten to nine.
It can be said without danger of contradiction that considering
their poverty and lack of legal protection, no modern women have maintained and achieved greater purity of life and strength of worthy purpose--and this too without taking into account the horror of their past deliberate and forst degradation. Not only this but to-day this group is developing a social leadership and a sense of deep social responsibility. A glance at their work is almost bewildering. Not only do they furnish two-thirds of our teachers, an overwhelming majority of our church workers and no small proportion of our business folk, but they are the ones who, turning from the beaten paths to bread and butter and livelihood, have taken up definitely and successfully the inner burden of social reform. Their work takes the form of general charity, Women's Clubs, Old Folks' Homes, Orphanages, Hospitals, Christian Associations, Literary and Art Clubs, Day Nurseries, Settlements, Kindergartens and Civic Reform. It is a fact worthy of special note that much of the real work of social uplift and moral awakening to-day is being carried on by Negro women.
The census statistics show gradual improvement in home conditions. The disparity between the numbers of the sexes is less. In slavery days it was abnormal, there being only nine hundred sixty-seven colored women to every thousand men in 1820. Directly after the war the disparity went the other way and there were one thousand thirty-nine females to a thousand males of the Negro population. Since that the number has become more normal, being a thousand twelve females to a thousand males in 1910.
The figures for marital conditions in 1910 are:
|Married||Widowed and Divorced|
The figures for 1890, 1900 and 1910 show a general improvement in marital conditions among Negro Americans. The following table is compiled from the census reports:
|15 Years and over||64.0||60.2||60.0||73.1||69.9||69.8|
|15 to 19 Years||2.3||1.8||0.9||18.1||16.6||15.0|
|20 to 24 Years||39.6||35.1||34.2||64.8||60.0||61.7|
|25 to 34 Years||74.5||71.6||74.7||85.3||82.4||84.8|
|35 to 44 Years||87.5||86.5||88.5||92.8||91.9||92.4|
|45 to 64 Years||93.7||93.3||93.9||95.4||95.1||95.2|
|65 Years and over||95.5||95.0||94.3||95.9||95.2||95.3|
Some answers to our questions as to home life among Negro Americans follow:
It is very good. The young people are making a more rapid progress along these lines than the older people in this section.
Very good but not as it should be.
In this particular great improvement is being shown. The size and appearance of the house, habits of cleanliness and industry and general intelligence all show a commendable degree of advancement.
The home life of the colored people of this city has wonderfully advanct in the last twenty years. They are building good and comfortable homes many of which have the latest improvements.
The home life of these people is especially notable for the maternal devotion which usually keeps the family together. The home life of the better class compares very favorably with that of the average white American family.
Family ties are alarmingly too loose, concubinage too common and divorces too popular.
They don't seem to know how to deport themselves in their home life in order to be happy and to have things in good shape around them but they are growing better.
Fair in some instances. Generally does not measure up to this rating.
There are several people here who own land and homes of their own. Some of them have very nice homes and nice conveniences around them.
Generally live in one room cabins.
Varies according to economic and intellectual conditions. Our colored people are growing encouragingly in good life.
Not what it should be but getting better.
More in evidence and becoming of greater moment in the thot and plans of the average Negro.
The home life among colored people in the South is so much like that other employment, farming, in which many of us are engaged without a clear knowledge of the rules governing it. For reasons which we will not discuss here, home has not meant and does not mean to the average colored man what it means to some others living under the same flag.
On a whole they live happily with few separations but a vast improvement can be made in building good homes.
Perhaps this is a line in which we will see most improvements in the cities and communities near the various industrial schools. Many ignorant people have comfortable homes and the home life is usually commendable.
Better homes in both town and country give us the best evidence that there is improvement along this line.
Marvelously improving from day to day. Education and increast earning capacity together with other things have lifted the ideal of home life among the Negroes thruout the South.
This among the religious and educational part of the Negro people according to my experience is fairly good, but much improvement is needed among the less fortunate.
Nearly every family owns a home and in many instances more than one so that a natural love of order, etc., is maintained.
About seventy-five per cent of the people lead fairly good sound congenial home life, care for their children and try to make home happy.
The majority of the people live well. Most of them own their own homes.
A great deal of the property of the city is owned by colored people.
Their home life is one hundred per cent better than it has been.
Very much up to modern requirements.
The majority of our people are lovers of home and while property is high yet they are making the struggle to make the home-life pleasant and agreeable. Recently in our daily paper an article appeared stating
that we owned more property for our numbers than any other race.
There is little real home life due to long working hours and large numbers of secret organizations which take both men and women away from home. Their small wages prevent home from being made attractive.
Every grade and condition of home-life is to be found. The fundamental sacredness of home is absent, however, in even the best. Pride of appearance extends to size of house rather than to condition; but the interiors are artistic and in many cases the reflection of keen artistic sense of owners. Desire for pleasure and lack of opportunities to labor for high returns change many homes to lodging houses with the attendant evils to young girls. Owned homes and homes on principal streets grow by leaps and bounds. No suburban life of any account.
Better classes of colored people have good home life. Among the lower elements it is deplorable.
They seem to take a great interest in home life.
Seem to be all one would wish according to their condition. Quite an interest manifested in getting good homes and all the things that go to make life happy.
The Negro home life is far from what it ought to be and that is very evident in the conduct of his children. Taking the Negro as a whole you find very rare cases where the father and mother are both proper examples for their children.
The Negro men in my community are among the working class and they spend all their leisure away from home while the women seem to be interested in home life.
The greatest change can be seen in home life. More persons are being built some very pretty homes; others comfortable. Children are being taught to love the home and respect their parents.
Industrial, economic home life is very encouraging.
The most of the people own their own homes, from forty to one hundred sixty acres and are making their living at home.
Most colored people here own their homes, which are very neatly kept in most cases.
A true and pure home is the crying need of this place. There is need of a proper conception of the relations of all the members of the household.
They are trying to get homes and care for them.
Their home life seems to be very fair, with the majority of our people having their own stock and vehicles and some with their own homes
As they become home owners home life is showing constant improvement.
Too careless. Much rather the outer world see their greatness than use scant means at home where they are needed.
The Negro is building better and more attractive homes. Landlords are recognizing the fact that Negroes no longer live in any sort of hut and are building better tenements. I suppose this has some bearing on the subject of home life.
This is good in the majority of people in Atlanta who are striving to climb. There is great improvement in this line, but it seems to have little effect on the young in the homes.
He has more respect for the marriage vow than in former times; home and surroundings in general are more comfortable; therefore, home life is more ideal.
The average person seems desirous of having a nice well furnisht home.
Each year shows new interest and progress in home life.
Very fond of home life and they seem to strive to make home life more happy.
Most of the folk are renters and take little interest in where they live and how.
Their home life is not what it ought to be because in the main they are without homes of their own and do not try to improve their homes or home life.
Home life is not ideal, by any means. The conduct of the children in the school rooms and on the streets is the greatest proofs of this statement. Parents being in service has much to do with the great deficiency.
There is a decided improvement and progress is being made still. They do not pack in such small quarters as they used to.
They, for the most part, have well furnisht, well kept houses. There is almost always music but seldom a proper supply of good books. Few comparatively subscribe for a daily paper.
Miserable; fifty per cent of which is due to poverty and lack of time to develop same in the struggle for an existence.
Negro home life at best is never ideal. It is too soon for him to boast of a family tree. I believe he measures up with many of the more favored races; is far superior to the various nationalities coming to our shores. His married life is on the up-grade. Behavior is very good considering the short time.
Is not what it should be but much is being done by the schools in the
vicinity; such as the extension work of Western University.
In many cases an unwholesome one. Kansas is a prohibition state and the temptation to sell liquor in the home is very great.
They are greatly improved in regards to the comfort and government of their children on a whole.
Much improvement in the home life of the masses of our people.
Home life is becoming more cheerful and delightful.
Most families are industrious, prosperous and own homes with pleasant surroundings.
They need a little training on that line that must be done from the pulpit and the school room.
The past ten years in this city has been an era for acquiring homes on the part of the Negro population. They are taking pride in making their homes the center of their social and intellectual life.
Some of our people do not take the pride that they should in the home life. Some say they don't want any home and will let anything do and will try to have absolutely no progress along that line.
Far from the ideal but improving yearly.
Not improving much among the masses of our people. It is growing better and better among the trained.
In particular do we find evidences of progress along this line. Homes are more comfortable, hygienic and sanitary conditions show markt improvement.
We are learning the needs of the bath tubs, wire screens, etc., for the home.
Much better than it was five years back.
Simple but not very attractive, owing to a lack of proper knowledge.
The home life of the people of this section of the country is good. About half own their homes and are very industrious.
Exceptional cases good but the average is poor.
This is a city that is rather characterized by attention given to home life.
The home life among the Negroes here is about as good as any large city in the Union. About forty per cent of the colored population is fairly well housed.
We are rapidly cultivating the highest ideals of home life and learning more and more the great responsibility imposed in the care and rearing of children.
Thirty per cent pretty fair, twenty per cent poor, fifty per cent indifferent.
They can greatly improve in their home life especially as it pertains to the mutual respect and honor of husband and wife and the careful training of their children.
Generally over crowded and living in poorly kept and dirty sections. A very large number of Negroes here own homes and have modest and otherwise very attractive homes. A large number here are forst to live in very undesirable sections because of small wages.
St. Louis is a city of homes. The home life of those I know best is admirable. There are others with whom home life is not exemplary.
Is not keeping pace with other improvements.
Is improving. For a long time there was this complaint: few children were found in the homes of people of intelligence. There is great improvement along this line but most of the mothers are very young. They need mothers' clubs to instruct them for they send their children to school without any breakfast and give them money with which they buy pickles and doughnuts.
All homes except two or three are well kept. About eighty per cent own their own homes. They are peaceably quiet. Almost every house has a telephone.
Owing I think to the narrow quarters in which most of the people must live, home conditions are not good.
Improving among the home-buying element.
In most cases good and in some cases exceptional.
Improving constantly and yet there is a large margin left for further improvement. At least a third own homes, but many are careless in their keeping of them. Just at this time there is a new awakening among the people in the matter of purchasing homes. This they do mostly thru Building and Loan Associations.
The average colored man and woman in this city, as far as my observation goes, takes very little advantage of home life. I have come in contact with very few families in proportion whose home life is ideal.
Their deportment on this line has improved very much indeed. They are looking ahead for better things.
Is far from what it should be. It is poor and meagre. Many have no personal pride and the home is not what it ought to be. Decoration
and adornment is lacking many a home. We find some homes that compare favorably with any home in town and city, rich or poor.
Sad lack of home discipline.
The homes are good--far above the average rural home. They are well kept and furnisht and many families own two-story dwellings painted inside and out.
The home life of the people of this town is fairly good; of the people of the rural districts and most of the county--very good. I refer to the county because I come into close contact with people all over the county.
Our city is called the city of homes and there are some very beautiful ones. Those who can find good homes usually keep them good.
On this subject, as far as their means will permit, they score as high a percentage as any in the country. I think the whites here have the greater number of divorces.
They are in the dark.
In poor condition--most generally with the untrained.
There is absolutely a betterment along this particular line.
None too good. Conjugal infidelity is common both with spouses and divorces from that cause are very rare. Many of our people come in here from those parts of the South where it is not considered a disgrace for a young woman to bear an illegitimate child.
Much improved but too much freedom and not enough exactness and punctuality.
There is very little real home life among the colored people in this city because they have to live in tenements and flats. I speak of the masses, not the exceptions.
Very much improved. Better perhaps than the home life of the same class of whites.
I don't believe there is a race that loves home life much more than the Negro.
I know of instances where a comparatively poor family has taken some sick person or friendless one in to share their shelter and food.
The males have many outside attractions, such as amusements, social life and lodges. On the whole, home life for the females is normal.
Both good and bad. Most of our people in this state do not pay
sufficient attention to home life. Some few are making great efforts to improve along that line, others are almost totally indifferent.
Camden is noted for the anxiety of the colored people to own their own homes, and I think I am correct when I say that the majority of the town people own their homes and as a rule they are kept very nicely.
In this respect we are making only a very limited improvement in my judgment, altho I believe we are making some advancement in promoting and strengthening the sanctity of the home. For while the number who seriously fail in this respect is very large, there are evidences that as a whole we are making some headway in making the home in truth what it ought to be.
This is very good because many of them have their own homes and live in larger and better houses in town, cities and the country.
In the congested districts mentioned above--and many rural tenants locate there--the home life is very poor and disorderly.
Good and compares well with that of the best communities. A large percentage own their own homes which are beautiful and well kept.
In the majority of homes the men seem not to realize their responsibility.
As a rule when young people marry they begin to build up a home and rear their family. The town does not afford work for the men the year round and this makes it difficult to have the homes as they should be. The majority are happy and agreeable.
A decided progress shown. There is a growing pride and ambition to have better homes. These are signs of better living.
Becoming better, especially as shown in the children of our graduates.
Far below normal; many are impure and their habits of life are too bad for the public to know.
Parents could be stricter on children.
Very particularly guarded. A great rivalry exists in trying to make the homes inviting and cultured.
Practically thirty per cent property owners whose home life is fair but that of the remainder is questionable.
Turbulent, or there would not be so many divorce cases.
He does not understand the value of home. But little attention is given to this most essential of all his needs.
Simple and inadequate in too many instances. Hard work and late hours returning home and early hours to work undermine the home life. But the colored people are home loving and do much to have good homes. Economic conditions outside the home handicap the Negroes' homes.
Judging from the girls who come here, I should think that they did as they pleased and had no proper government.
Is broadening. Home-getting and home-keeping is the chief ambition. Happiness generally reigns in the home.
Home life is not what you would call ideal, but a majority are learning the importance of proper environment in forming character.
Rather better homes, cleaner and more comfortable.
Fairly good, most Negroes here own their own homes, and take a certain amount of pride in them.
Out of three thousand seven hundred seventy Negroes in this city, more than ninety-eight per cent read and write; eighty per cent own their own homes and among them are many nice ones.
Sad conditions--constantly moving, renting and mortgaging.
He is improving here very markedly. The roaming disposition is giving away to building up the home and making it more attractive.
Better homes and surroundings may be seen in the city and country, which indicate better home life.
Improvement. Often unlettered parents use advice of children in lower grades at school.
In those families where the parents are educated, the homes are as they should be--on a high plane. In lower classes, it is coarse and crude. There are exceptions to the latter.
Morally good. They devote their time mostly to work in and about the home.
Medium according to surroundings. This is a furnace and publicwork town and women give most of their time to cooking and carrying meals, washing and ironing; consequently they have no time to care for their homes.
Is improving but not enough buying of homes.
Home life is improving rapidly especially during the past five years.
Decided improvement. Great interest is shown in purchasing homes, beautifying and keeping them.
Too much time is given to dressing, eating and hunting amusements to spend much time in trying to inculcate the principals of truth, virtue, honesty and cleanliness.
Poor. Have but little respect for home or how they live. Small rooms poorly ventilated. Have but little for the uplifting of those dependent upon them.
Compare favorably with all races in other parts of the country. The average American home life is below what it should be.
The children of the slave families did not belong to their parents and discipline was lax. The selected answers which are here printed indicate present conditions. These answers come from twenty-five states.
Is not as good as it should be.
Better families look after children well. Others are somewhat neglectful.
A deeper interest relative to the education of children is now being manifested. They are sent to school rather than to work. Sometimes a great sacrifice is made for the proper rearing of children.
Generally speaking the rearing of children is well done tho many fail thru ignorance and lack of character.
Greatly neglected in this city. Many parents allow their children to run at large at late hours of the night. They assemble in dives and hang around the corners in great numbers, especially the boys. Many of them are becoming gamblers and idlers.
The children are neglected in many cases from lack of facilities to rear them properly, inadequate schools, necessity of the parents to work and spend little time in the home.
They delight in education. Children have access to three good schools which run from eight to nine months in the year.
Four fifths of the children are improperly reared. The parents in equal numbers have never had the proper training themselves.
As a majority they are allowed to go too much undisciplined.
These people are gifted in loving their offspring to such an extent as not to bend them in time, so to speak, consequently so many stray.
The education of more fathers and mothers proves to be of much improvement in the rearing of children.
They are very careful in the rearing of their children. Some of them teach them how to work, send them to Sunday school and church and to the day schools.
Varies according to economic and intellectual conditions. Our colored people are growing encouragingly in the rearing of their children.
Improving but very slowly.
Rearing and training of children is the most difficult problem of any people and because of the colored man's financial and political status and because of having to battle with conditions which are imposed upon him
the work of properly rearing his children has been far from satisfactory either to himself or to his best friends.
A little too careless and not taking the proper interest in schools.
Not very good. Few are being born and they are not provided for as they ought to be.
I fear that married couples are not inclined to rear large families as used to be the case with our fathers in the past. This is not due to natural conditions but to the crime of abortion in many cases. This is especially true of those who live in cities.
The fact that all the schools both public and private are each year overcrowded must indicate a corresponding interest in the home care and concern about the child.
I am not prepared to answer this question. I have given this subject considerable thot but am still undecided as to whether the Negro of my community is rearing his children in a way that could be improved under circumstances or not.
A very great falling off along this line. Children are allowed to be idle and slothful.
This needs much improvement among all classes.
There is a tendency to permit children to have too many liberties before they are really able to see for themselves or really know what are the consequences that result from too early taking upon themselves the responsibility which belongs to mature years and I believe the parent is wholly in error.
Think they are a little careless along this line as a majority; yet we have ample provision for schools, etc.
Some of the children are well reared. A large per cent of them attend Sabbath school and church, also the city schools. A great many of the children have little restraint and are allowed to run the streets.
It is not as good along all lines as it should be. While there are many of our people who try to raise their children right others let them come on as they can.
They bear children freely.
There is a decrease, I am sure, along this line. Some large families are left but not as many as formerly. The high cost of living and medical aids given women to prevent increase are the causes partly at least.
Children are much on the streets and in cheap places of amusement and are harmed.
This, formerly considered the duty of parents, has been delegated to
the public schools. Our children are longer in contact with their teachers and under their influence than with and under their parents. Modern conditions.
All grades of care and neglect are to be found in the children of the same schools. Proper feeding and hygiene are the deficiencies. Children of Negroes are dependent upon the schools to a greater extent than the whites for all ideals of living, even in the best homes. Too much dress and cheap pleasure and too little formation of right habits characterize the people as a whole.
Better classes of colored people rear their children properly. Among the lower elements the children are not reared properly.
Seem to be losing ground with quite a majority of our people.
Not as good as it ought to be, thanks(?) to their leadership(?).
Most children these days get no home training and the example of their parents is such as is sure to corrupt their morals and manners.
If there is any one thing that should be establisht it is a school to teach our people how to rear their children. For God knows they don't know and don't care.
They are somewhat careless with their children. The principle of their training comes from mothers and when the boys reach a certain age they are beyond her reach.
Children are being reared properly and sent to school. Mothers are one hundred per cent more intelligent than they were years ago, so I think they can rear the young better.
Very little stress is being put on the rearing of children and home culture.
Little attention is paid to the proper rearing of children in many homes.
We do not. We turn them loose and let them go as they want to go.
He is taking greater interest in his children.
Anxiety is exprest by all to have their children come up under better conditions than their parents. Heretofore, parents have said that as they were raised the same conditions were good enough for their children,--but that idea is not the one now.
On a decline. Leave the children to assume duties beyond their abilities which ends disastrously.
Much care is exercised in many cases while some are careless.
There are but few or no children in the families of the younger set of educated people; but the children as a whole are given a better education and stay in school longer than in former years. There are two orphanages in the city.
I must admit that along this line there is slow progress yet nothing to cause hopelessness.
Very careless. Seems that they are taking new steps along this line.
Domestic influence is more wholesome, parents are more intelligent, therefore, children are receiving better training.
Less are being born but more care is given. Negro parents need to know better how to treat their children.
I do not think that parents are quite as strict with their children as they were when I was a child.
Another field for improvement. The condition of the working people hinders them in the rearing of their children. Among the better class it is good.
Improving rapidly along this line. It seems that they take great care in observing the health rules and have made great improvement along this line.
Not much care is taken along this line. Many mothers work out and children are left a great deal to themselves.
They are being educated and trained in better habits.
They are generally trained in schools and parents are rigid in having their children mannerly.
Entirely too lenient in rearing their children and hire them out to work too young.
Rapid improvement; care more for children; keep them in school and send them to Sunday school.
Parents don't seem to be taking enough time to teach children what they ought to know and to encourage them to do what they ought to do. They tell them and just pass on, and then wonder why they do not get better results.
Reared in the streets. Some of our best citizens hardly know what their children are doing.
Not much rearing the children in the big cities; often children are what their parents wish them to be thru pride. Of course, there are many families in large cities who are earnest and direct their children properly, but they belong to a pitiable minority.
About the ordinary; some spoiled and over-fed; others neglected and go unwashed; nothing unusual.
There is a great laxity. Not enough education, especially in the higher branches. Too great a stress on dressing.
Good. Family normal. No race suicide. The slogan is: "Fewer but better children".
Upon the decline. Smaller families in most communities.
Very much neglected. Small houses and large families make a very perplexing problem.
We are spoiling our children with over indulgence.
They raise themselves.
They drift to the city too soon. They should be put to work.
Altho many of our children are neglected and allowed to run to the moving picture shows and public dances at night unaccompanied, yet the "Parent-Teachers' Association" is making a winning fight to give assistance to incompetent mothers.
Bad. Parents think too much of them when they are young and when they become men and women they are looking for some way to beat thru the world.
Below par. On account of not receiving that training which pertains to their religion and education. A four months' school term and no effort to have it lengthened is put forth by parent or church.
As the race improves in education, there is a tendency toward fewer children, but they are rearing the few they have better.
Among the lower classes, the children are left entirely to the teachers.
Children are loved too dearly, if that is possible, and are allowed to get beyond control.
Finding difficulty along this line. For many instances, the mother is away all day from home. Yet the conditions along this line are very fair.
More wholesome environment than formerly.
Not so carefully raised as in former years. Parents of the second generation after slavery do not seem to be so expert in that art as their ex-slave parents.
It is really pathetic to see the sacrifices the humble Negroes are making to educate their children. There is very little companionship; while the parents work and strive to improve their children's condition, they very often take them in their confidence and talk with or advise them to live honestly and uprightly.
Children are given too great liberties. There is not enough of the wise restrictions that aid positively toward the building of character.
Just waking up to the great importance.
Fair, but girls are cared for more than boys which is always a danger. Out of two hundred school children less than a dozen illegitimate ones among them.
Some of the best women we have in morals and education, are the poorest housekeepers. They are just now beginning to appreciate being taught sewing, cooking and manual training in the schools. They are not the equal of the older people in rearing children.
I know of only one family where the children were desired. Ninety per cent were either accidental or incidental. Very little pride. Sixty per cent are legitimate. Very little interest taken in them.
Very little; domestic services and "day's work" make it difficult for them to give the time they should to their children.
Most of the parents are rearing their children well, failing however, in many cases to teach them respect for elders and reverence for God.
Conditions in this direction could be improved. They are not all that they should be but the many exceptional cases found form the basis of hope for the others.
Our people here marry early in life and as a rule have large and rapidly increasing families. There is probably no effort among any of them to prevent or to hinder rapid increase of children. There is much parental negligence and many of the children do not receive the proper home attention.
Discipline not as severe as formerly. Method of moral suasion more generally followed.
Like all other people except the Jewish, Negroes are not taking the proper interest in their children. Result: the children become immoral before they are matured.
As a race their one idea is to keep them healthy long enough to go to work for parents; there is no pressure brot to bear to force the child or encourage children to remain in school.
Many are by far too easy with them. Even our curfew can hardly keep them off the street at night. Their entertainment is left too much for their selection.
The teachers and preachers need to thunder forth a change. There is too much laxity, children are not taught to obey their parents and superiors as they should; they are allowed to go and come too much at will without reporting to superiors; to visit pool rooms, saloons, dances and places of cheap notoriety.
The children are left to themselves.
Their children are not cared for as they should be on account of our mothers being called from home much of the time to help make the living.
Educational interest is slowly but gradually growing. Ninety per cent of our children of school age are in school.
A radical change for the better has been wrot in the last ten or twenty years. More home interests and instructions should be given.
It is very difficult for the average colored people in this city to rear their children. They have no places in which they may play except the parks and streets; often the parks are far away.
A tendency not to have children; but when they have them they make an honest effort to educate them.
The children have very little of a father's care and on a whole not enough of a mother's.
Some few properly reared. Most are allowed to come up as best they can; to have their own way. A majority of our boys and girls do not attend school. A large number do not attend any Sunday school.
I should say they are totally ignorant and this is one of their weakest points.
Children are very well cared for and attend school very largely but there should be some improvement along this line.
Imitating the whites in desiring small families. The high cost of living and the increast number of what were formerly regarded as luxuries, that only the rich were to have, but now must be supplied in even the more humble homes, had the same effect among our people as among the whites in making many of them consider a large number of children a burden. More colored children have school training and home instruction now than at any former time.
This is better because they are better trained, clothed and fed. Not brot up in one-room houses.
Quite a number of mothers in service thus leaving children to care for and rear themselves during the very time they need watching. Many children attend school from such homes having to prepare themselves. In many such cases the children are taught at home to defend themselves at all hazards.
The children of our town as a whole are well cared for. I regret to say that I do not think there is enough attention paid to the rearing of
the boys in our town and many other towns I have visited. We have a splendid school system but it carries only nine grades. Every year we have from twenty to twenty-five very young children to finish school that might otherwise be held in school longer.
They are making a hard struggle to bring their children up right.
Children are rearing the parents. The rule seems to be "Children make your parents obey you".
People are too slack in the rearing of their children; seem to have no rule to conform to. Do not see after them especially but send them to school until they are fourteen or fifteen and for the most part to Sabbath school; but after that age they go to the amusement halls, the cafes etc.
Suffer from ignorant and incompetent parents. Do not get proper physical, mental and moral training. Poor and but little parental government. Much carelessness and neglect in essential things. Need of reform.
The homes where children have the care and training which they ought are comparatively few but increasing in numbers.
Is a complete failure. Lost almost without a remedy. Indeed a sad state of affairs as the children are permitted to run the streets at will.
Some are rearing their children with great care as regards the cardinal elements of truth, honor, virtue and usefulness; many others extremely careless. Some homes are without children.
Receives great attention among the people of our race and every school is supported by strong mothers' clubs who go side by side with teachers in the welfare of the children.
Only about one-half who seem to pay the right attention; some of them dress their children all right and try to school them and teach them how to work while others work themselves and let the children stray and go where they please.
Not so good in many. I think this is because of the conduct of the children in the high school and the grades; also from their actions in the street.
The Father's Club is doing a grand work. Pastor and people alike have united to see that the children are trained in the home and that good instruction is gently given them.
Smaller families or no families at all seems to be the general rule.
Not strict enough. Children are given more liberty than is good for them.
This is fairly good altho there are some who do not take the proper interest along this line.
The teaching of the leaders and especially of teachers is having more weight in our state. So that there is better family government. Parents are firmer in seeing that home regulations are obeyed.
The children are too frequently allowed too much latitude, but this is a weakness of the time among white and colored.
Parents seem anxious to put children forward and lose sight of the necessity of exacting strict obedience and respect to all.
Children have good educational advantages of which they avail themselves up to the grammar grades. Seventy-five per cent don't go beyond the grades.
Among the educated parents, the majority of the children are being beautifully reared. Some of the families are large and some small. There are ignorant families where the children are being neglected. This is easy to account for.
The children are comparatively behind as they have no high schools and the city school is run on the same basis as the county and district schools, from four to six months. Many are ill-mannered.
Parents are not giving the attention to their children that they should so as to have them grow up the most useful men and women. In the sections where it is possible to secure homes, that is, purchase homes, the conditions are much improved; but here in the coal fields where it is impracticable to purchase homes, the people have made but slight improvement. There is a large orphanage at Huntington, W. Va.
We have here a parents' union in which we aim to discuss the practical things of life such as amusements, associations and dress, in fact any phase of life which will benefit the child.
But very little done. Children left very largely to themselves. Lack of parental restraint. Mother and father so busy trying to secure a livelihood, children not thot of until the close of the day.
They are almost a failure in the rearing of children. Giving them too much liberty allowing them to roam the streets and keep late hours.
Few persons pause to consider how difficult is the problem of amusement for young Negroes in America. First, they are frankly shut out of most places of public amusement and most Negro parents are afraid to send their children where they would be admitted for fear that some veiled action or word would poison their pleasure. Secondly, these naturally joyous, dancing, singing people have received a puritanic training which continually thunders against "worldly" amusements. Small wonder is there that our answers here
are strangely contradictory and that they reveal astonishing moral attitudes.
Fairly good. There is no such thing as dancing in this section of the country.
As a rule the young people do not have a sufficiency of wholesome amusement. Hence, their minds are often wrongly influenst.
Very little wholesome amusement if any is provided for the young people, hence, they seek the amusement which is not best for them nor for any race.
Wholesome amusement for young people is insignificant when compared with the hurtful amusements, such as gambling, drinking intoxicating liquors, frequenting what is known as "Honky-tonks" etc.
The majority of them seem to take more delight in the unwholesome.
The communities are in poor condition as to wholesome amusement.
As to the wholesome amusement for the young people we use such as the Christian endeavor, Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. and libraries.
None, save what children from their own resources create at school.
Some of the people have musical instruments in their homes to amuse the young people. They give entertainments for the young people, and also have a society for the young people.
Very much needed. Very poor opportunities in this. Amusement places "for whites only" except cheap shows.
The lack of wholesome amusement among our people is having its unwholesome effect upon the church. The tendency also is to lessen the charms which a well ordered home should have for the child in its formative period.
I find that steps are being taken by many intelligent leaders to furnish the young people with wholesome amusements. Many are making the effort to eliminate the dance by the skating rink and such other amusements as will take up their time at times when they usually go to the dance halls.
There is almost none. Here is the greatest avenue for the service of the social worker.
We are wofully lacking in this. The most of the amusements for our young people are furnisht by white people whose interest is financial returns.
They are beginning to see the need of wholesome amusement for children.
In churches only.
There is no general movement in this direction but we feel the need
of it and with the co-operation of the teachers another year we mean to start a work of this kind. Most young people are not among the uneducated class.
This important work is far below what it should be among the best of us.
The amusements are few, if any. The Y. M. C. A. does not afford any. There are no play grounds or public parks. The theatre is about the only place for amusement. This not very wholesome.
A beginning has been made along this line but lack of means is hindering progress.
Fraternal societies occupy much of their time. The theatre and dance halls form some amusement but ought to be engaged in by the young under parental guidance or ministerial advice, especially the dances.
Y. M. C. A. and churches are seeking to furnish wholesome amusement, but the masses are not attracted.
The cheap picture shows more than neutralize the good done by the recent institution known as the play-ground.
School play-grounds are in existence but sex contact spoils most of their results for children over twelve. Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. are engaged in work which are giving better opportunities for adolescents, but fundamental racial feelings are being disregarded for imitation of methods in white institutions of same kind. Culture clubs exist among classes but are offset by cheap dances which attract splendid female possibilities with the usual results. Syncopated music with its sensual stimulus is in every house with a piano and dancing at any hour.
Our people are fairly well equipt in this regard but we are in need of more playgrounds.
Better classes of colored people have wholesome amusements. Among the lower classes the amusements are not wholesome.
Woefully deficient. Too much time devoted to getting ready for heavenly citizenship; too little for earthly citizenship.
There are no special arrangements made for amusements for children in and thruout this section. Hence, they seek their own amusements.
The church should furnish such but alas it seems that the church has partially joined the rag time amusements which seem to be the only kind which will draw a crowd. To build churches our people seem willing
to sacrifice all.
What a fair-minded person would call none for persons between the ages of twelve and twenty years.
Vaudeville theatre and moving pictures are among the chief amusements of the young people.
The young people are free moral agents and are zealous in keeping up with every questionable fad that is brot into the city.
Very little amusement for young people.
The greatest amusement here for young people is dancing and I do not consider this wholesome.
There is nothing in an organized way. The ballroom is the most popular amusement; also cards. A good effort to do something in this line has been undertaken.
Not being furnisht as it should be. Hence they amuse themselves with things that destroy them.
Leads our people away from education and refinement.
We need amusement for young folk. The manner of dancing and playing cards has misled many.
Only two playgrounds and these only recently establisht. No parks for them. They live in the streets or closed up in the homes. This is a condition found in practically every southern city.
Little or no wholesome amusement is held out to country children aside from hunting, fishing, etc. The Negro children hardly consider this amusement. Where the sexes are brot together socially they are off when it comes to wholesome amusement.
Our people go on too many excursions.
I don't think as much attention is given as should be to provide the young people with wholesome amusement.
Housekeepers are supplying their parlors with pianos and organs and are lavish in granting innocent amusements.
Very little effort in general is put forth to better conditions along this line. No group seems to be especially interested in this phase of development. Some individal efforts are being made to do something.
The churches and Sunday schools and the Y. M. C. A. are furnishing a great deal of wholesome amusement in some places and the others are seeing the need of doing so.
None that I would call wholesome save a few selected church entertainments and settlement affairs.
Movies, I believe, have an unwholesome effect upon the young people. Roller skating, rag-time music, cabaret songs, and ugly suggestions of the big city are all pernicious. The dancing clubs in the big cities
are also vicious.
A little short on this point, I think, but thru public playgrounds connected with some of the schools, the junior department of the Y. M. C. A. and a constantly growing number of home-purchasers the condition is growing better.
Wholesome amusement has been so unwelcome that pleasing amusement has overwhelmed it.
The Mothers' Club and the Association mentioned above are trying to supply this great need, knowing that children are truly social beings.
The Dunbar Athletic Club devotes a good bit of its time to provide wholesome amusement for the young. The children are trained in many athletic sports and have several meets a year.
Very good, but more stress should be put on them for the purpose of counteracting the improper amusements.
Practically none, other than incidental amusements of the church and school. Tendency to theatrical and house and ball dances harmful.
In the abstract, all public amusement (of which there is much here) is open to the race; yet, nevertheless, there is need and want of something more racial in character to bring them more closely together in social contact and intercourse.
None. Nor are there any arrangements being made. No choice as to the kind. Twenty-five per cent do not go or allow their children to go.
I know of nothing that I could call wholesome.
None. A moving picture place is their resort; that has a Negro gallery.
No play grounds, clubs nor a decent hall in the town.
There is much being begun. The public dance hall is still the chief place of amusement.
Does not receive the attention that should be given it by the parents here. Very often as a result boys and girls are thrown with bad associations which have their demoralizing effects.
I think that we are a sleeping people when it comes to amusements for young people. Little or nothing is being done. Personal efforts were abandoned for lack of support.
Very little--too much of the unwholesome; the public dance hall, so-called dancing class, is the worst.
Illiberal regulations must be abolisht. Standards of many Christian bodies make hypocrites of the youth.
Many and a variety of which they readily take an active part. Athletics among boys greatly encouraged and willingly and strenuously strive to excel.
Slow on this line, but they have improved. Somewhat better for the past ten years.
No definite kinds--sometimes baseball, tennis, croquet, socials, etc. A few have them but this is greatly neglected in the home. Therefore the streets and public places draw many of the young people to resorts of low repute and demoralizing habits.
Partly answered in the preceeding. There is lack of wholesome amusement and we can hardly blame them for their selection unless we present something else.
We have here a Y. M. C. A. which is being well patronized by them. The women, too, are making efforts along the same line.
Real advancement--popular lectures, concerts, etc.
We encourage such games as baseball, tennis, croquet, basket ball and the indoor gymnastic exercises generally. Our greatest struggle in this direction is to counteract the influence of the dive Negro as seen in the music and dancing.
The "Nickelodium" is the only amusement and often the children are compelled to seek their own amusement.
There are many clubs and centers for such but they need careful direction.
None but dancing, moving pictures and a low life of vaudeville, which is running riot here at the present, given by the better classes for the benefit of their institutions and which include all types of dancing.
The low dance hall has almost entirely disappeared before the commonly used vaudeville theatre and moving picture shows.
Unfortunately for the colored people in Philadelphia such amusement is limited. Racial barriers act as retarding forces in the attaining of such desired goals. The Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. are timely growing in numbers and in financial strength and so will soon be able
to offer a variety of healthy pastimes. Some of the theatres and dance halls accommodate colored patrons while others do not. The public parks discriminate very little.
Moving picture shows maintain a high level. Vaudeville does not edify. Shows generally fair. Concerts and lectures uplifting.
None whatever. No reading room, no Y. M. C. A., no Christian Endeavor or anything whatever to inspire the young and therefore, considering all things, Camden people succeed wonderfully well.
The development of a true home life and the increast personal care given to the young in the matter of educating them in mind and heart, both are, in my opinion, showing themselves also in the growth of a proper sense of the necessity that suitable and helpful as well as instructive and developing amusement be provided; such amusement as will polute not the mind and corrupt not the heart will attract and sustain the interest of the child.
Some are very strict. There is absolutely nothing that could be called wholesome amusement. Our best young people cannot mix with them at all, they are conducted in such a bad manner.
Not so much being done as might be done considering the increasing number of children who are not obliged to go into service early.
Very little done--a great need in this line.
Have about gone into rag-time. No one has charge of affairs except the Police Recorder.
The places for wholesome amusements are few, especially for our people.
Social centres are in vogue thruout the city for pastime and amusement for our young and work a great benefit in training the young how to amuse themselves in wholesome games.
Poorest sort--poor concerts, moving pictures, etc.
None save that provided by church and school.
Dancing, ball playing.
Moving pictures and shows.
Question not yet reacht. We have failed a long time along these lines of giving our young inviting fields of pleasure.
Literary meetings and church socials.
Not enough of it. The children now are amused by contact as it were at so much per moving picture show, theatre, entertainments of various and questionable kinds.
The children select their own amusement. The public schools furnish various games, such as basket ball, tennis, base ball, etc., and our church is attempting the same.
They are adopting a system of amusement as a substitute for rougher or coarser amusements with better results.
Here is a weak spot. It is hard to get the church people to see things with our new light.
Moving picture shows with vaudeville for those who delight in such things but the better class of our people are religiously inclined.
Has received but little attention but thru the Parents' Union we hope to arouse the parents. Indiscriminate nickelodium attendance is common here. Parents are careless about attending different places of amusement with their children.
None whatsoever. No playgrounds, parks, gymnasiums even, connected with the school.
They are very poorly planned. Anything almost to be on the go. There are but few. Too much night carousing, no outdoor or fresh air amusements.
In many sections they are few and far between. The dance halls are the curse of the day.
A last measure of the family and group tie is the care bestowed on the old. From early times Negroes in the United States have establisht old folks' homes and have now perhaps a hundred such homes thruout the nation. Our correspondents send these answers to our question concerning the care of the old people.
Much attention is given. Have old people's homes here for colored supported by the colored people.
Most of the old people are cared for by relatives, friends, or some charitable institution. Many of them have acquired enough to maintain their own support.
Each family is caring for its old people.
Nothing is being done for the old people by way of caring for them.
A committee of colored citizens have establisht an Old Folks' and Orphans' Home and an attempt is made to care for the old people.
The old people are cared for by the family and city.
There is no organized effort to care for the old people nearer than the city of Birmingham.
Old people who have homes or people who are able to see after them are cared for by their people. As a rule the old people who have not someone to care for them see a very hard time.
Those of the church are seen after.
There are several old people's homes being provided for and charitable donations for the benefit of the old people.
Poorly cared for old folks' home. Individuals take good care of aged parents in their respective homes.
The people are very nice in caring for old people. They have a society to help the people, a sick committee to visit and see after them and they take up collections in the church for the old people.
Our home with about six inmates.
Women's clubs here do a most commendable work in this respect, especially the Dunbar Club.
The churches and a number of benevolent institutions are turning their attentions more and more to this most needed work. Our local church here has a treasury from which it disburses monthly a stipend as to its worthy poor old people. The love and care are growing proportionately in the home and church as the people are being educated to it.
The principal way which I know of for caring for old people is in the various old folks' homes establisht thruout the country. Several cared for by contributions from churches and some by local contributions including money and clothing, supplies, etc.
I can point to a good many Old Folks' Homes started and maintained by colored women. Dozens of cases of young people giving up education and pleasures for aged parents come under my notice annually.
Very little is done along this line. We have an Old Folks' Home and Orphans' Home for the care of the aged and distrest but it is poorly provided for as there is no general awakening with interest in the care for the aged.
They are beginning now to reverence old age more and to make provisions for old people.
Very much neglected.
Our Women's Club and one or two of the churches assist the aged.
Much of it is done by the individual family. Very little organized work for that purpose. One Old Folks' Home.
There are homes built for old and decrepit people, also charitable hospitals.
There is a home for the aged but few ever go out to be cared for. At present there are no inmates.
Many organizations and the public at large seem to regard it their duty to contribute to this purpose.
Nothing at present is being done along this line. Six years ago a home was started for such but about a year ago was closed for lack of funds.
There is a good one of some ten years' standing in New Haven.
Home for aged women supported by colored people but no provision made for the aged men.
Ancestral worship is a cult which is not yet affected by our people. In return, for the missionaries of the Gospel sent to them, we hope that China will send to us, who will teach us the meaning of the fifth commandment.
Commendable efforts are made to care for the aged and indigent but much is needed to be done in these matters.
No provision made in this community for the care of old people and no effort being made to that end.
This subject seldom enters into their religion. They do not even take care of their worn-out preachers, but appropriate these funds to suit their own conveniences.
Very little, if any, as yet. There is a plan now on foot in this community that will soon have a comfortable home for the old and helpless.
The old people are cared for in an Old Folks' Home which is supported by the people here.
A philanthropic association by the name of the Buckingham-Smith Association left considerable cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc., all of which is very valuable to the old colored people of St. Augustine. The value exceeds over a half million but it is now in the hands of a white man who gives a small pittance to a few now and then. This gift is worthy of investigation but the colored people here seem afraid to tackle it. The leading whites say that something should be done about it.
They die here before they get old. Notwithstanding, Pensacola has begun to operate an Old Folks' Home and Orphan Home.
A growing necessity. The white people are saying the Negroes were better cared for in slavery than now. Too much shiftlessness characterize the youths of to-day. We should wake to our sense of duty.
We have two homes for old people; one dependent upon the general public and the other supported by the Steward A. M. E. Church.
Everybody is in societies which care for them.
There are quite a number of societies that are doing real good work in looking after and caring for the old and needy.
No place for old people supported by the city. The Carter Old Folks' Home is the only place in the city. It is largely sectarian in its admissions; not wholly so, however, I am told.
The old are pretty well cared for by church and society.
Good. Old Folks' Homes are being establisht in many places.
I know of only one place for the care of old people as an institution.
In the homes the old people seem well cared for.
No arrangement is made for them. They are left to individual care of whoever may do for them. A number are cared for by their former white employers.
I know of several homes for the old, both North and South, and I think our race is as generously supporting them as any other race.
We have an Old Folks' Home.
There seems to be a growing pride in the Old Folks' Home. The churches are establishing them and the Women's Clubs as well.
Dependent upon charity; no organized effort.
Cared for as best we can under present conditions. No home for them--yet they do not suffer.
I really believe better efforts would be put forth in this respect if the Negro's salary was better. His spirit is willing but his pocket weak.
No hospital nor home for the aged and helpless. Lodges and other charitable organizations contribute to the needy.
We have a home for the old and infirm which is fairly well supported by the race.
There are two homes in New Orleans for the old people: "The Lafon" and "Faith Home". In my home, committees are organized to erect an Old Folks' Home.
There are many benevolent societies whose mission is the care of the old and helpless. The churches are doing much along this line.
Homes for aged conducted by the M. E. Church and another by Bethel A. M. E. Church. Then there is still another shelter or home for the aged.
Mothers, fathers and relatives are seldom neglected altho they are not as well lookt after as are the Hebrew parents. This should be lookt
I know of only one home not conducted under auspices of some church.
They are caring for old people all right in my churches.
An Old Folks' Home managed by a club of Christian women; non-denominational. They have a small home and a few old people in it.
An Old Folks' Home is maintained, but it is not at all creditable to the people.
An old and invalid hospital home. In place of the old people going to the poor farm, we get the County Courts to let us have them in the Hospital and give us what it would cost to keep them at the poor farm and we beg the rest of the money necessary.
Little generally done. As individuals, our people are proud and care for their old in a very creditable way. Our people remain young and we have very few real old and helpless people.
A home with limited improvements is being developt in Newark.
In a community so small as this, the number of old people is, of course, not large. There is no "Old Folks' Home" here; yet, I know of none of the old people here that are not fairly well cared for. The churches here, regardless of color or race, look out for such.
Great interest manifested in the past ten years due, I think, to the fact that white people are gradually withdrawing their support along this line.
Seemingly indifferent except among the colored Catholics and Episcopalians.
Quite dutiful in way of Old Folks' Home.
I have noted in many places that great care is given the old.
All things considered, I think we are to be commended on the care given. I can call to mind a dozen families who are caring for their aged parents respectfully and not one where their parents are on charity. There are a few of the other kind however.
This duty is performed very largely thru the church organizations.
Some commendable enterprises are on foot for caring for the aged which is very commendable for the colored people. The Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored People is located here.
Philadelphia has, perhaps, the best home for old folks in the country. The churches are beginning to provide for their aged.
Satisfactorily met with. Churches and small charitable bodies make provision for the aged. This is a beautiful contrast to the lamentable neglect observed twenty or more years ago and as is met with in uncivilized countries.
The state maintains an institution. Our people have a home in Providence, which is supported in part by contributions from clubs run by leaders of the race.
The lessened number of our old people proportionately now found in poor houses and on the streets as beggars, and as subjects and objects of public charity, convinces me that they are being cared for more successfully by their own relatives than was the case some years ago. Many of the secret societies and charitable orders among our people too, are largely supplementing what is being done in private homes for the support of the aged.
They are establishing and maintaining an Old Folks' Home.
Not much provision. Even the county does not provide a place for them, altho it will appropriate a small sum for their maintenance if they are in some home. Some lodges provide a home for the old and orphans. They are generally very kindly cared for by some member of the family or friend.
In the main, by the various benevolent organizations. There is no special suffering here. All things considered, they are lookt after very well.
Nothing systematic. Personal response as occasion calls is most gratifying.
The fraternal and benevolent societies and church organizations are doing much in this direction, the sick and feeble being cared for and the dead being buried.
Greater interest being taken. Old Folks' Homes being establisht.
Lookt after by various charity clubs but there is not an establisht institution in the city to care for the aged. That has been and is shamefully neglected.
Outside of societies, there is little care for the aged.
On a whole, there are a few old paupers among our people considering the large number of aged Negroes. Fine examples of filial loyalty to aged parents and relatives are not rare.
Most excellent. Now, more than ever, the Negro's Home is an old folks home as well as an orphan asylum.
In Texas, our people are becoming aroused on this subject. While several meagre attempts have been made to help the aged, last week the Baptist Conventions of Texas raised several thousand dollars to construct a building. Ten acres of land paid for here in Houston, Texas.
My observation is that while many old people are neglected, in the majority of cases they are better cared for than formerly.
There is no organized charity but the aged are taken care of by their relatives. I do not know of a single case where an aged or helpless person has been neglected.
I know of numbers of old people who have been helpt and cared for. I have in mind also the caring for older parents by the children.
Only family care. No institutions.
A healthy sympathy is growing. The needs are being fairly well lookt after thru relatives, benevolent societies and the Church.
Our publication of ten years ago, The Negro Church, went so thoroly into the subject of the history and function of the Negro church that little needs to be added. In 1906 the United States government publisht a census of churches. The following tables were compiled from this government report. They present statistics of interest to this study.
|DENOMINATION||Number of Organizations|
|All denominations, consisting in whole or in part of colored organizations||36,770||23,462|
|Denominations consisting wholly of colored organizations||31,393||19,158|
|Baptist National Convention||18,534||12,533|
|Colored Primitive Baptists in America||797||323|
|United American Freewill Baptists||251|
|Church of God and Saints of Christ||48|
|Churches of the Living God|
|Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Friendship)||44|
|Church of the Living God (Apostolic Church)||15|
|Church of Christ in God||9|
|Voluntary Missionary Society in America||3|
|Free Christian Zion Church of Christ||15|
|Union Amer. Methodist Episcopal Church||77||42|
|African Methodist Episcopal Church||6,647||2,481|
|African Union Methodist Protestant Church||69||40|
|African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church||2,204||1,704|
|Congregational Methodist Church||--||9|
|Colored Methodist Episcopal Church||2,381||1,759|
|Reformed Zion Union Apostolic Church||45||32|
|Reformed Methodist Union Episcopal Church||58||--|
|Evangelist Missionary Church||--||11|
|Colored Cumberland Presbyterian Church||196||224|
|Denominations consisting in part of colored organizations||5,377||4,304|
|Advent Christian Church||2||--|
|Seventh-day Adventist Denomination||29||--|
|Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists||--||15|
|Churches of God in N. Amer., Gen. Eldership of the||15||--|
|Disciples or Christians|
|Disciples of Christ||129||277|
|Churches of Christ||41||277|
|United Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South||--||5|
|General Council of the Evangelical Church in North America||1||--|
|Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of America||6||5|
|Methodist Episcopal Church||3,750||2,984|
|Methodist Protestant Church||64||54|
|Wesleyan Methodist Connection in America||22||--|
|Moravian Church (Unitas Fratum)||2||--|
|Presbyterian Church in the United States of America||417||233|
|Cumberland Presbyterian Church||1||--|
|Presbyterian Church in the United States||44||45|
|Associate Reformed Synod of the South||1||--|
|Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America||--||1|
|Protestant Episcopal Church||198||49|
|Reformed Church in America||2||--|
|Reformed Episcopal Church||38||37|
|Roman Catholic Church||36||31|
|United Brethren Bodies|
|Church of the United Brethren in Christ||10||--|
|DENOMINATIONS||ORGANIZATIONS REPORTING SEX||COMMUNICANTS OR MEMBERS|
|REPORTED BY SEX|
|Number||Per Cent of Total||Total Number||Total||Male||Female|
|Number||Per Cent||Number||Per Cent||Number||Per Cent|
|Baptist National Convention (Col.)||18,034||97.3||2,201,549||2,201,599||97.3||822,162||37.3||1,379,387||62.7|
|African Methodist Church||6,486||97.6||494,777||481,997||97.4||177,837||36.9||304,160||63.1|
|Methodist Episcopal Church (Part)||3,183||85.9||308,551||271,821||88.1||102,740||37.8||169,081||62.2|
|African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church||2,156||97.8||184,542||180,501||97.8||67,096||37.2||113,405||62.8|
|Colored Methodist Episcopal Church||2,309||97.0||172,996||169,252||97.8||64,988||38.4||104,264||61.6|
|Roman Catholic Church (Part)||33||(2)||38,235||35,430||92.7||16,838||47.5||18,592||52.5|
|Colored Primitive Baptist in America||329||41.1||35,178||17,881||50.8||6,386||35.7||11,495||64.3|
|Baptist Northern Convention (Part)||98||90.7||32,639||29,802||91.3||10,694||35.9||19,108||64.1|
|Presbyterian in United States of America (Part)||356||85.4||27,799||23,898||86.0||8,935||37.4||14,963||62.6|
|Protestant Episcopal Church (Part)||151||76.3||19,098||15,487||81.1||5,414||35.2||10,041||64.8|
|Colored Cumberland Presbyterian Church||196||100.0||18,066||18,066||100.0||8,405||46.5||9,661||53.5|
|United American Freewill Baptist (Col.)||135||53.8||14,489||7,835||54.1||3,438||43.9||4,397||56.1|
|Disciples or Christians (Part)||168||98.8||11,233||11,179||99.5||4,414||39.5||6,765||60.5|
|Free Baptist (Part)||175||88.8||10,876||8,951||82.3||3,397||38.0||5,559||62.0|
|All other Bodies (26)||604||94.5||43,051||42,059||97.7||16,734||39.8||25,325||60.2|
|DENOMINATION||Number||Per Cent Distribution||Increase from||Rank in Number|
|Baptist National Convention (Col.)||18,534||12,533||50.4||53.4||6,001||47.9||1||1|
|African Methodist Episcopal Church||6,647||2,481||18.1||10.6||4,166||167.9||2||3|
|Methodist Episcopal Church (Part)||3,750||2,984||10.2||12.7||766||25.7||3||2|
|African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church||2,204||1,704||6.0||7.3||500||29.3||5||5|
|Colored Methodist Episcopal Church||2,381||1,759||6.5||7.5||622||35.4||4||4|
|Roman Catholic Church (Part)||36||31||0.1||0.1||5||(2)||15||13|
|Colored Primitive Baptist in America||801||323||2.2||1.4||478||148.0||6||7|
|Baptist, Northern Convention (Part)||108||406||0.3||1.7||298||73.4||14||6|
|Presbyterian Church in U. S. A. (Part)||417||233||1.1||1.0||184||79.0||7||9|
|Protestant Episcopal Church (Part)||198||49||0.5||0.2||149||(2)||9||12|
|Colored Cumberland Presbyterian Church||196||224||0.5||1.0||28||12.5||11||10|
|United American Freewill Baptist (Col.)||251||--||0.7||--||251||--||8||--|
|Disciples or Christians (Part)||170||277||0.5||1.2||107||38.6||12||8|
|Free Baptist (Part)||197||5||0.5||(6)||192||(2)||10||14|
|All Other Bodies (26)||724||368||2.0||1.6||356||96.7||--||--|
It is trying to do and is doing much good.
The church is doing well but since it is such a potent factor there is still room for improvement. When other institutions fail in their appeal the church can wield an influence.
Most of the churches do nothing for the colored citizens generally--and little for their own denominations aside from annual picnics, occasionally supervising a colored lecturer but not settlement work outside of their own churches of any note.
Nothing. She is asleep.
The churches are making an earnest effort to improve the people along these lines but are progressing very slowly, by reason of the fact that the majority of churches are being led by ignorant but zealous ministers--zealous avariciously, spectacularly and superficially.
The church is not doing very much along this line.
The churches are beginning to work to educate the people along these lines.
I think really, churches should be the principal means to rectify these conditions. They are somewhat asleep.
All branches of the Christian churches thruout this section seem to have awakened along the lines of caring for the unfortunate old and young.
Not as much as might be expected. More intelligence and a better quality (not a bigger quantity) of religion is needed.
In the church we have a regular department which makes special provision for its worn out ministers and the widows of deceast ministers. The results are not as satisfactory as we would have them but we are far from doing nothing. Thousands of dollars are distributed thru this one department every year to widows and orphans of our church. This is true of other churches right here in this state and southland.
The church is doing some good work.
All it can but it seems that very little good is done.
Many churches have benevolent societies connected with them. The lodges are taking the lead in this respect, however.
Sorry to say that the church seems backward along these lines. The Negro minister has not yet been trained for social service. He is a slave still to the old individualism. At present the school is the chief agency along these lines.
As such, the churches are doing nothing along these lines and becoming more interested in worldly things.
The churches, I think, are doing much to improve the above conditions.
Some of its duty but not all. There is a vast room for improvement.
Nothing. Our pastors are advising all the time but the people are far from us so we can't do anything but tell them and give the plans. The regular societies connected with all the churches do their part. Nearly every church has its special young people's society and occasional concert or social--that is about all. The churches mostly content themselves with frowning upon conditions without taking the lead in substituting better ones.
The churches are trying to do what they can to effect for good the lives of those within their reach. Their influence is far-reaching.
The church is assisting nobly in all this general work of uplifting.
Altogether too little. Individuals are helpt but many I fear go unaided. The large Episcopal churches of this and other cities spend much money in rendering help but the smaller ones fail to do the little they might do. Aside from ordinary church work we have Saturday morning classes for girls in sewing and physical culture with paid teachers; Saturday afternoon classes for boys in electrical experiments, photography and physical culture; weekly free socials for young people. We continue to support our poor.
All that is in its power.
Rather, what effect have these conditions on the church? The church is less concerned about the improvement of morals and manners and personal honesty, the home life, the rearing of children, etc., than about getting money and preaching the gospel of materialism.
Ministers as a whole are active social forces but the church as an institution is hardly maintaining its own as compared with ten years ago.
The young peoples' societies are largely literary in their nature and the Sunday school is perfunctory. Intensive study of Bible history is neglected and little interest is manifested in social activities outside of the church as a unit of property. Even church weddings are less common. Catholic and Episcopal churches seem to be striving to imitate the activities of their parents. Moving pictures and spectacular entertainments take much time formerly given to church activities. The Negro Protestant church needs to learn the truth uttered by Van Dyke somewhere, "The man who aims to save his own soul is on the road to
Heaven but will never arrive; while he who serves his fellows cannot miss the goal".
The church is doing its part and in many instances more than its part along these lines.
Some of the churches are doing some good while most of the smaller ones only preach Heaven and Hell and never tell their people how to live each day.
Failing sadly taken by and large.
Nothing worth while.
All she can do to better the conditions.
Nothing. The churches now are clamoring for money, money and are neglecting even the souls of men.
The church is failing miserably in every one of the above questions and should be severely held responsible. They fail to take proper action in matters pertaining to the best welfare of the people. The majority of the ministers are far from what they ought to be and the people very often complain to no purpose.
The church is a potent factor on these lines and is doing a deal of good in the uplift of our people.
Some churches are working faithfully while others are dead or dying.
The churches are helping all these organizations whenever called upon to do so. They also help the orphanage and rescue home for way ward boys and girls.
The indifference of the church is the result of its heavy denominational alliances. The minister theoretically exhorts, criticises, and denounces; but actively he is very busy in getting the money from any source to meet the claims of his denomination. Hence, the church is not doing anything along local lines but complaining and resenting insinuations.
Contributing to an undenominational city home for infirm also to Baptist State Home and then caring for our own aged by a Poor Saints' Fund, a free dinner on the first Sunday in each month, two benevolent and burial societies for members of the church.
Practically nothing. The spiritual life of most of the churches we regret to say is at a low ebb.
Untold good toward helping to better their conditions on all lines.
Nothing. The societies have taken them away from the church and we can't get them to see that the souls of them are in need.
The church does not take, I think, altogether the right step on the lines of care. Why? Because we have too many poor preachers who
look too hard for themselves and do not think of their friends.
I think the churches are carrying the greatest part of the burden.
Nothing. The pastors of the churches seem to have the idea that their only mission in life outside of making a loud noise in church service is to raise money for themselves. While this is not the case always the majority of them act in that manner and this is the bane of our peoples' progress as the ministers exercise the greatest amount of influence.
I think the church is doing the best it can along these lines.
The Methodist churches are doing nothing. The Baptists are doing a little; and when we take into consideration the great number of our people to be reacht, their work is but a drop in the great bucket. Here is where I think our churches are practically failures. Oh, the improvement that is needed in this line! And the strange thing about the whole matter is that so few ministers take time or have the time to think of these great questions that to my mind are to be found at the very bottom of the church work.
A little something, not much; but what is being done in this part of the Lord's world is being done by the church.
The church is doing most along these lines by establishing institutions of learning and the many small domestic schools which it maintains. The Negro pulpit is well up on teaching religion but deficient in the science of hygiene and the rules of right living.
Very little as the minister is almost alone so far as this work is concerned.
The churches seem to be doing all they can along these lines; the "higher-ups" ought to feel more in sympathy with those who are not so fortunate.
The church is the greatest force along many of these lines.
Untold good along these lines. We have very nearly all first class ministers in town and they are doing good, by meeting once a week and discussing the many things mentioned here.
Taking a very little interest.
Lending their support quite freely to charitable institutions.
Nothing. City and state authorities protect places which are breeding crime and criminals and the preachers have made no organized effort to destroy these places.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing because they are too busy trying to see who can build the finest church and fighting among themselves, especially the Baptists. The Methodist some better, yet, not what they should be.
Cannot say as I believe in any religion that has a Jim Crow attachment.
Making some effort but accomplishing less than we would expect.
The church may be moving on. It does call for penny collections to devote to worthy charity but there is some doubt prevalent as to whether such collections are always devoted to the causes for which they are raised. The churches are still the great sun of Negro life. I think too much is intrusted to the preachers.
Not so much as possible, that is in my opinion.
Nothing to my knowledge.
The Missionary Baptists of the state have just establisht a home for superannuated ministers and their wives and for worthy aged of that denomination. Once a month, the representative of the Alpha Home located here (Indianapolis) takes up in various churches a collection for that institution, which is establisht for aged colored women. Formerly, the superannuated and aged women were left to the poor house and public hospitals.
Practically nothing. Ladies' Club doing excellent work. Civic League also is especially interested in this work.
Church leaders are selfish. Money getting is their chief interest. The Baptist church has a home for the aged but is neglecting it.
Here and there may be found a church which is wielding a definite, wholesome influence upon the community. There is a great field for constructive work by each church.
I think the churches are doing their best along this line.
Not doing its full duty along these lines, yet, I find it taking a more positive stand for the general uplift of the people. To me the future seems bright.
Just enough to be well reprimanded and enforced to do better.
Some are doing much but most carry heavy debts and are trying to out do each other in raising money and erecting great church buildings.
Some excellent work on or along this line.
Not as active in actual work and endeavor as it should be.
Not much. Preachers mercenary.
Many are being helpt in all churches and yet, not as they should.
Great good, both religiously and morally. We have one main hindrance, that is, a deficient ministry. We will rejoice when the time will come that our ministers will be better prepared.
Take great interest in the work as to the interest of both old and young. The Methodist churches of this county are in lead of the work.
In some localities, manly efforts are made with ministers of churches and Sunday school teachers. The ignorance of the pulpit as to the duty of the minister with respect to his race is a great hindrance.
Its best; but there are not enough intelligent ministers in this community to do any real benefit to the colored people.
They give as much attention as possible to the topics thru their leagues and other young people's meetings, Mothers' Day, and special exercises of this sort, as well as by missionary work.
Particularly M. E. and A. M. E. provide homes. The Baptists make donations of money, etc., to the needy.
All that is done.
Of the six colored churches at Indianola, all of them do something towards the caring for the aged.
Nothing in a general way. In a few personal or individual cases, it puts forth small efforts.
Not anything along these lines--only after all of the money they can get for the preachers.
Nothing as to amusement. Little as to the care of the aged.
Almost nothing. In fact, here there are by far too many churches. Most of them are heavily in debt and they are in a constant strain for a very humble existence. They beg the public regularly for support but do little moral or charity work. The Catholic and Episcopal churches have a school each.
Only beginning to give attention to these things. Establishing itself and acquiring property has been the church's main object thus far.
Far less than it should be. Not yet awake to its duty along this line.
It has organized Missionary Societies, B. Y. P. U., Old Folks' Home and a Young People's League.
Only a feeble effort. We are mostly Baptists and Methodists.
Practically nothing. Our ministers are uneducated, well meaning but not seriously interested in anything except making a financial success with the church, upbuilding the parsonage, etc.
All that it can do. It is limited on account of the poverty and lack of appreciation on part of the non-church people, who will not accept the help of the church, who will not go to the church or permit the church to come to them.
Not as much as it could have done. Heretofore, it has been handicapt with an ignorant ministry--a ministry without an ideal. However, better days are now expected along this line and better work can reasonably be expected.
The Mother Church here (white) of which mine (colored) is a mission, takes deep and active interest in the well being of the Negro citizens of this village and of those in the vicinity round about; ample facilities are provided for the general needs and well-being of the people.
Not much. If colored ministers would preach Christ crucified and the Bible, and discipline based upon the Ten Commandments, emphasizing the Seventh and Ninth, the church would be a better and a greater force.
The church cares for some of the sick and destitute, provides some amusements, but has no organized effort as to home life. The matter of church attendance and collections is emphasized by the churches.
A great work along the line of caring for the aged; along other lines, the church seems to fall far from doing much good. In my opinion, the reason for this is that too many young people in the church are immoral. Many old people in the church have immoral past lives.
Impossible to tabulate all of the activities of the churches even along these lines; but I believe I can say they are aware of the needs and up to their financial ability are seeking to meet them.
Catholics and Episcopalians something--others very little.
A good record on these things and looking for a brighter future.
Very little or nothing.
Does much in this direction. It makes offerings to the sick and poor as a free-will offering, yet, it does not do as much as it should.
Nothing in an organized way. Collections are raised regularly to aid the old and the sick.
Each one is doing some work in its own way. We have not an organization among them or among the ministers.
Scarcely anything except in a general way. There is not any united work of any consequence by the churches as I am aware of.
Introducing harmless and healthful games.
Nothing, except giving of contributions for the immediate relief of the poor, disabled and afflicted.
More for the general uplift of our people than ever before in all its history.
The Home Missionary societies have made efforts along these lines but really it seems that district schools, foreign missions, and orphans homes are the greatest problems of the church.
Gradually awaking to the real sense of its real duty, rather than the Lodge doing it all. Our missionary societies are doing a grand work.
Not much. It cannot as it seems that all they can do is to meet current expenses and keep out of debt. There ought to be fewer churches and larger congregations. We need to study up in Church Economy. Our pastor can preach to a thousand as easily as to a hundred, then the salary of the other two pastors would be better.
Nothing; they are for themselves and the preacher.
The church is very liberal toward its individual members.
More fine churches than any city in the Union and fighting every degrading influence.
The church is a negligible force in this section. The rank and file of our ministry is uneducated and immoral. Hence, no appeal is made to the younger classes of our people, and as a result there is no growth in our churches. The church in Western Oklahoma is almost entirely devoid of influence.
Practically nothing that is worthy of note. The average church is so deeply in debt that it takes all of its energies to look out for its debt.
Nothing but getting the money and the trustees are poor examples from a moral standpoint. The same holds true for the church leaders and on the whole those in church are more immoral than the non-church goers.
As a moral force, the church may be doing much, but as an organization, it is not so much felt. That is to say, it is difficult to get a united movement of it as an organization in a given direction for social or political betterment.
Found wanting "Money Crazy."
They are doing something, but might do more. I would say comparatively, the little church in the community, gives more than some wealthy congregations.
While the church makes a noble effort to combat existing evils, and to encourage good actions and intentions, yet, with the exercise of less sectarian selfishness and a leaning toward progressive lines, the masses would be more generally benefited, socially and industrially. The church, which has always been the pioneer in advancement, ofttimes, thru the changing of its leaders, lags by the wayside; and thus, allows science, the co-discoverer of truth, to surpass it by leaps and bounds.
I believe all four churches here are working along these lines to the best of their knowledge and ability and they are heartily supported by the people; yet we are often guilty of more zeal than knowledge.
The best they can under the circumstances but much remains to be done.
More than they have ever done in helping on in the good work mentioned under the above questions. There is a less and less influence now being exerted by the ministerial hobo and vicious "whangdoodle" in the pulpit than before. The preacher who succeeds is finding that it requires more than a strong voice and a saintly moan and hallelujah groan to hold a respectable charge these days and that religious life must more and more show itself.
Recognizing and performing its duty.
The average church is not doing much.
We have seven handsome churches which are in a prosperous and thriving condition and are doing much good for the uplifting of our people. Each church has its B. Y. P. U. or other society for the uplift of our people.
Giving moral encouragement to all movements for the betterment of the race.
Along some lines, active. Along others, silent or indifferent.
Not as much as the lodges. There is a number of lodges and every one belongs to one or more lodges and insurances and in that way everybody is cared for; but the churches are doing very little altho people have church pride. We have seven good churches, four brick, three frame and people attend well and think a great deal of their churches.
Some do something, others nothing. It too often happens that those who could do the most good along these lines, afford an opportunity for immorality. Decency, morality and character are foreign to many. Piety is unpopular. I regret to say that their training and influence do not contribute to righteousness, edification and elevation.
Some do well, while others devote little, if any to same.
In connection with the societies mentioned, is doing a good, commendable work.
They help some along these lines but not as they could or should; this is due to the fact that out of ten churches, nine are led by ignorant, mercenary ministers, whose only aim is self gain. The secret orders do more for the uplift than the churches.
Positively doing the least of all.
Some of them are really retarding the progress of the race. Others are doing good work in the educational and moral uplift of the race. Many of them by the example of their preachers and leading men are sending more to hell than they are saving for heaven.
The church does very little more than collect money.
The church is the most active force working among our people. It is often pointed out that the church does too little, but however, the church does most and very often all that it can, and all that is done. The colored church is poor in money and workers, yet it does almost all that is done for our people along lines of moral uplift. Too little is being done; that is true; but the church alone deserves credit for what it is doing.
Our church is doing very little. It is in its infancy.
Very little. The churches have failed to unite their forces as a church. God only knows what will become of our aged. We hope that you may be able to awake our people along this line.
The church is trying to meet these conditions and fill them but has not been able to. I believe the church would, if it were not a question of money, prove to be the most effective agent in helping people to solve righteously and sensibly problems indicated by these questions.
Not what it might do for the reasons that too much attention is given to the secret societies to do this work.
The church is doing more than any other factor.
It is in the lead or at the head of all concerns for the uplift of our race and the betterment of mankind.
Beginning to talk about and encourage improvement.
The churches are slowly awaking to their duty and are doing more work along a social line.
I speak for the church of which I am a member; collections are lifted on every second Sunday for the poor; strong sermons are preacht by our pastor in reference to unfavorable conditions.
Just about what the average Negro church does and that is not much. They seem to emphasize the spiritual rather than the social life.
The church here stands out strongly for all you have askt and preaches good manners, good morals, Christian honesty and cleanliness. It is strongly opposed to all questionable places. All of the churches give aid to its old and needy members.
A good deal of work and a great deal more of talk.
The church is a mighty factor in this community for the moral and spiritual uplift of the people.
Accomplishing something but there is very much room for improvement.
Thru Aid and Missionary Societies, the church is working to uplift the people of the community. The ministers are active in movements for the uplift of the race.
But little. An occasional collection after other church obligations have been met; would not get enough to feed a person for a week.
Something but not what they should or could. Too much pride in churches to consider the poor. The church is almost afraid to speak of the true condition of the people; they are weak along this line.
Sorry to say, the church seems to be doing very little along these lines due largely to our weak ministry, which is often a stumbling block to good efforts.
Very little, if anything and certainly, not as much as it might do along these lines.
The students of the class in Sociology in Atlanta University made a study of the Negro churches in Atlanta. Data were secured for fifty-five of the sixty three churches. The following figures are compiled from the reports of the investigators:
The investigators report that the Ministers of the Negro churches in Atlanta were educated as follows:
The investigators askt: Where does the church encounter its greatest difficulty? The following answers chosen from the reports are characteristic:
We askt our correspondents how present conditions in these respects compare with conditions ten or twenty years ago. These are their answers in part:
In this section of the country it has greatly improved; at least fifty per cent.
Except for rearing of children, greatly improved, perhaps fifty per cent.
Pretty fair. Above that of ten years ago.
No, they are not.
Conditions as a whole are ninety per cent better than twenty years ago.
Not as good.
There is a great change along this line. More attention is being given to this line of work by our people.
Present conditions are indeed encouraging. Ten or twenty years ago the situation was quite different. "Let us then be up and doing" and success will crown our efforts.
They are two hundred per cent better now than they were twenty years ago.
There is not much general improvement in a general way over that ten years ago. There is considerable improvement being done by individuals but no concerted efforts on the part of the people generally.
Conditions have improved greatly in the past ten years in that Birmingham was at that time considered unsafe on account of the preponderance of the mining class while now there are less of these people for they are gradually being considered in the better class.
There are much better lookt after and cared for by one hundred per cent.
Ten years ago church work was hardly known here, immorality was rampant, as a matter of course, but now the churches are growing in influence, the moral status is being considered, the schools are being improved and homes are being built and owned.
Things are much better now along some lines. Schools and churches are better and the people are better educated.
I should say on the decline.
There is just as much difference in the conditions ten or twenty years ago as there is in day and night.
Now two hundred per cent better than twenty years ago.
About fifty per cent in advance.
People are much wiser but no better and we might truthfully say it might be worse, because much learning with a corrupted heart makes people more wicked.
Five hundred per cent improvement.
I think these people would be in worse condition than the heathen if there was no advancement in these conditions. There is some, of course.
Fifty or sixty per cent better.
The present conditions far excel the conditions ten or twenty years ago.
Forty per cent better, at least, along all lines.
I have been a public school teacher thirty-eight years. There is not less than seventy-five per cent improvement on the above questions. Seventy-five per cent is a big improvement since 1865, all things considered.
Can't speak for twenty years ago in this community. Have been here two years. According to information of others, conditions indicate improvement compared with ten or twenty years ago. A woman's club recently organized as a side issue distributed a little cheer to poor Christmas 1912. First in history, as far as "Old Timers"' know. Created much favorable comment. My answers refer to the Negroes of this community who are in the corporate limits of Demopolis, only.
It is seventy-five per cent better than it was ten or twenty years ago. Much better.
In the present condition there is a vast change. The people have nice churches and schools, societies, good roads and nice homes which they did not have ten or twenty years ago.
Fifty per cent better.
Now in this respect they are a great deal better. They are somewhere about seventy-five per cent better in many degrees.
About twenty per cent better.
In some things a little better.
Improved. Much improved.
Not as good by a great deal.
All the way from sixty to one hundred and fifty per cent improvements.
Conditions to-day compared with ten or even twenty years ago are almost too far ahead to suffer comparison. The almost innumerable benevolent, fraternal and church institutions have raised this question beyond the point of speculation or experiment.
Better than ten years ago.
They are much improved.
I believe we were better then morally; now we excel along other lines.
Much more is being done now towards caring for the old than was done ten or twenty years ago.
Very much better in every respect.
Surpass them with exception of good morals and manners.
In this city the change in the past ten years has been wonderful. The backward tendency is due to poor school facilities and ante-bellum teachers. I regard conditions as being on a whole better than they were ten years ago.
There is an improvement over ten or twenty years ago.