THE FUTURE OF
THE AMERICAN NEGRO
Booker T. Washington
Small, Maynard & Company
By Small, Maynard & Company
Entered at Stationers' Hall
First Edition (2,000 copies), November, 1899
Second Edition (2,000 copies), February, 1900
George H. Ellis, Boston, U.S.A.
In giving this volume to the public, I deem it fair to say that I have yielded to the oft-repeated requests that I put in some more definite and permanent form the ideas regarding the Negro and his future which I have expressed many times on the public platform and through the public press and magazines.
I make grateful acknowledgment to the "Atlantic Monthly" and "Appleton's Popular Science Monthly" for their kindness in granting permission for the use of some part of articles which I have at various times contributed to their columns.
Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute,
Tuskegee, Ala., October 1, 1899.
Chapter I.Page 3
First appearance of Negroes in America—Rapid increase—Conditions during Civil War—During the reconstruction.
Chapter II.Page 16
Responsibility of the whole country for the Negro—Progress in the past—Same methods of education do not fit all cases—Proved in the case of the Southern Negro—Illustrations—Lack of money—Comparison between outlay for schools North and South—Duty of North to South.
Chapter III.Page 42
Decadence of Southern plantation—Demoralization of Negroes natural—No home life before the war—Too much classical education at the start—Lack of practical training—Illustrations—The well-trained slaves now dead—Former plantations as industrial schools—The decayed plantation built up by a former slave—Misunderstanding of industrial education.
Chapter IV.Page 67
The Negroes' proper use of education—Hayti, Santo Domingo, and Liberia as illustrations of the lack of practical training—Present necessity for union of all forces to further the cause of industrial education—Industrial education not opposed to the higher education—Results of practical training so far—Little or no prejudice against capable Negroes in business in the South—The Negro at first shunned labor as degrading—Hampton and Tuskegee aim to remove this feeling—The South does not oppose industrial education for the Negroes—Address to Tuskegee students setting forth the necessity of steadfastness of purpose.
Chapter V.Page 106
The author's early life—At Hampton—The inception of the Tuskegee School in 1881—Its growth—Scope—Size at present—Expenses—Purposes—Methods—Building of the chapel—Work of the graduates—Similar schools beginning throughout the South—Tuskegee Negro Conference—The Workers' Conference—Tuskegee as a trainer of teachers.
Chapter VI.Page 127
The Negro race in politics—Its patriotic zeal in 1776—In 1814—In the Civil War—In the Spanish War—Politics attempted too soon after freedom—Poor leaders—Two parties in the South, the blacks' and the whites'—Not necessarily opposed in interests—The Negro should give up no rights—The same tests for the restriction of the franchise should be applied alike to both blacks and whites—This is not the case—Education and the franchise—The whites must help the blacks to pure votes—Rioting and lynching only to be stopped by mutual confidence.
Chapter VII.Page 157
Difficulty of fusion—Africa impossible as a refuge because already completely claimed by other nations—Comparison of Negro race with white—Physical condition of the Negro—Present lack of ability to organize—Weaknesses—Ability to work—Trustworthiness—Desire to rise—Obstructions put in the way of Negroes' advancement—Results of oppression—Necessity for encouragement and self-respect—Comparison of Negroes' position and that of the Jews—Lynching—Non-interference of the North—Increase of lynching—Statistics of numbers, races, places, causes of violence—Uselessness of lynching in preventing crime—Fairness in carrying out the laws—Increase of crime among the Negroes—Reason for it—Responsibility of both races.
Chapter VIII.Page 200
Population—Emigration to the North—Morality North and South—Dangers: 1. incendiary advice; 2. mob violence; 3. discouragement; 4. newspaper exaggeration; 5. lack of education; 6. bad legislation—Negroes must identify with best interests of the South—Unwise missionary work—Wise missionary work—Opportunity for industrial education—The good standing of business-educated Negroes in the South—Religion and morality—Justice and appreciation coming for the Negro race as it proves itself worthy.
In this volume I shall not attempt to give the origin and history of the Negro race either in Africa or in America. My attempt is to deal only with conditions that now exist and bear a relation to the Negro in America and that are likely to exist in the future. In discussing the Negro, it is always to be borne in