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of violence. Materials are wanting for exact comparison, either with the whites, or among the blacks at different periods. Yet there are few or no sections at the South, even in the worst parts of the Black Belt, as to which the public gets the impression of any general lawlessness. And in any comparison of the present with the time of slavery, we must remember what Carlyle says in speaking of the cruelties of the French Revolution as compared with those of the tyranny which preceded it,—when the high-born suffer the world hears of it, but the woes of the inarticulate are unheard. Wrongs at the South which shock us to-day,—or wrongs as great-were commonplace, were unnoted and unchronicled, under slavery. It is offenses against women that rouse the hottest resentment. But for centuries the black woman's chastity had absolutely no protection under the law, and her woes were pitiful beyond telling. For the Southern negro, true family life was impossible until within fifty years. With so brief experience in the best school of character, there is no ground for doubting that he has won a vast moral advance, and the promise of greater.
Of the negroes, as of every race or community, we may consider the lowest stratum, the great mass, and the leaders. Regarding not morality only, but general conditions, there is a considerable element of the Southern blacks whose condition is most pitiable. Such especially are many of the peasants of the Black Belt; barely able to support themselves, often plundered with more or less of legality by landlord and storekeeper, shut up to heavy, dull, almost hopeless lives. Inheritance weighs on them as well as environment; when these plantations were recruited from Virginia, it was only the worst of the slaves whom their masters would sell, and the bad elements propagated their like. The case of these people to-day presents one of the open sores, the
unanswered questions,—we might say the impossible tasks, did we not remember Armstrong's attitude toward things
impossible.” Yet, even as to these,—are they not better off than when enslaved? A part of their trouble is the burden of responsibility—for themselves, their wives and children. In slavery they had no responsibility beyond the day's task; the whip and the full stomach were the two extremes of their possibilities. Now at least they are men —with manhood's burdens, but with its possibilities, too.
Of the great middle class, something has already been said, as to industry, property and education. But statistics are cold and dead, could we but see the living human realities which they vainly try to express. The growth of a slave, or a slave's child, into a free man or woman,—the birth and development of true family life,-could we see this in its millions of instances, or even distinctly in one typical instance, with all its phases of struggle, mistake, disappointment, success, the growth of character, the blossoming of manhood and womanhood,-it would be a more moving spectacle than any that Shakespeare has given. Here, again, it is mostly the inarticulate class, and their story is not told to the world. We especially fail to learn it, because of the wall of caste by which the white man shuts himself out from the finest sights and the most brotherly opportunities. More than farming or carpentry, more than school or church, and taking in the best fruits of all these, is family life, in its fullest and best. That is where the negro is coming to highest manhood.
A necessary test of a race is its power to furnish its own leaders. The negro race in America is developing a leadership of its own,-small as yet, but choice and growing. It was part of Armstrong's central idea to create and supply such a leadership. Hampton has gone steadily on in the work, and the sisters and the children of Hampton are
multiplying their fruits. It was by an ideal fitness of things that Armstrong attracted, inspired and started as his worthy successor one of the negro race. At Tuskegee the black man is doing for himself what at Hampton the white man is doing for him. Booker Washington is the pupil and successor of Armstrong, but he has his own distinct individuality, his own word and work. His constant precept and practice has been that the black man should make himself so serviceable and valuable to the community that every door will open as fast as he is fit to enter it. It is the gospel of wisdom and of peace. Toward all the opportunities denied to the race, its attitude is one of patience but of untiring persistence. Its constant word is, Make yourself fit for any function, any place, and sooner or later it will be yours. Against political exclusion Mr. Washington on due occasion speaks his calm word, but he does not beat against the closed gate; he knows that when the black man shows his full capacity for citizenship it cannot long be denied him. The social exclusion he accepts with quiet self-respect; let time see to that, let us only do our full work, learn our full lesson. His teaching goes far beyond the schoolroom; he gathers in conference the heads of families, the fathers and mothers; he sets them to study and practice the curriculum of the family and the neighborhood. In his intense practicality he lacks something of the spiritual inspiration which Armstrong had and gave. But his teaching is in no wise narrow or selfish, for always it is animated by the spirit of brotherhood and service. His personal story, Up from Slavery, is one of the most moving of human documents; in itself it is an answer to all pessimism. It is a typical story; even as these sheets are written there comes to hand another like unto it, the story of another boy, William Holtzclaw, who groped his way up from a negro cabin, caught the sacred fire at Tuskegee, did battle with misfortune and
adversity, and now in his turn is carrying on the good work. And for every such story that gets told there are a hundred that are acted.
The wider leadership of the negroes by their own men is exemplified,—it is not measured or exhausted,-by a pregnant little volume of essays entitled The Negro Problem. Seven of its phases are discussed by Booker Washington, Professor DuBois, Charles W. Chestnutt, Wilfred H. Smith, H. T. Kealing, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and T. Thomas Fortune. As a collection, these essays are noteworthy for their cogency and clearness, for their earnest and self-respectful plea for full justice and opportunity, and their calmness and candor. The race that can speak for itself in such tones has an assured future,-if democracy, evolution, Christianity, are the ruling powers.
This story is concerned mainly with the slave and the freedman, but it must also touch on his former master, now his neighbor and fellow-citizen. The new South is far too ample a theme for a paragraph or a chapter. But it must be said in a word that its main trait is the substitution, for a territorial and slave-owning aristocracy, of an industrial democracy. It is the coming of the new man,-laborious, enterprising, pushing his way. His development began when the whole community was set to work its way up from the impoverishment left by the war. It was accelerated when new resources were found, when coal and iron mines were started, when cotton manufacturing began where the cotton is grown. New types of character and society are developing, yet blending with the remnant of the old.
Politics, in all its forms, plays a smaller part in to-day's society than in that of fifty years ago. Not only has the South never regained its old ascendency at Washington, but it has not stood, and does not stand, for any distinct set of ideas or principles in the national life. It has clung
closely together, under the influence of old sentiments and lingering apprehensions. In its fear of a recurrence of
negro domination,” it has lost touch with the living questions of to-day and to-morrow. “ The Solid South " has meant a secure contingent of electoral votes for the Democratic Presidential candidate,-whether he stood for a gold or a silver currency, for revenue reform or its opposite, for radicalism or conservatism, -and a solid array of members in Senate and House equally without pilotage on living issues. Until the South breaks away from its fetish of past fears and prejudices, it cannot rise to its proper opportunities of statesmanship.
Yet better than the old-time absorption in Federal politics and the prizes of the Capitol is the more diversified life of the South to-day. It is being swept into the current of industrialism—with its energies, its prizes, its perils. In other directions, too, the new life of the South flows free and strong. It is creating a literature,-a branch of American literature,—incomparably beyond any product of its earlier days. After what may be called a literature of statesmanship,--the work of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Marshall,—the old South was almost wholly barren of original scholarship and creative genius. Now it bears a harvest so rich that one cannot here begin to classify or to name. The war-time is bearing an aftermath, of less importance in its romances, but admirable and delightful in its biographies and reminiscences. Of these the most notable feature, full as they are of vivid human interest and striking personal characteristics,-is the freedom from rancor, the generosity toward old foes which seems even unconscious of any necessity to forgive. And in these personal sketches there are disclosed certain broad yet distinct types of manhood and womanhood, the special Southern contributions to the composite American. In general literature, too, the