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which, again, he makes opportunities for his served as my desk; then I bought a few pencils race.
and some paper, opened my office, began busiR. H. Boyd, of Nashville, Tennessee, was ness, and reported for work every morning another ex-slave to contribute $1,000 towards
promptly ator before nine o'clock. The first thing the Young Men's Christian Association in
I did—my secretary and I-was to bow down by his city. Mr. Boyd owns one of the few big
the side of that table and ask Almighty God to Negro publishing houses in the country. This
help me to succeed in this work. And I want to
tell you that from that day until the present time man went to school-elementary school-after there has never been a day in the National Baphe was grown, married, and had a family of tist Publishing Board but what every employee considerable size. To quote a part of his working there has been ordered to shut down own story :
the presses, stop whatever they are doing, and I went into Palestine, Texas, and formed a
at 9:30 each morning enter the chapel and thank partnership with Dunlap and Smallwood and
God for his goodness and ask for guidance bought the first printing machinery furnishing during that day. When I first started into this Bible leaflets to the young people of the South.
printing enterprise at Nashville, I lived in that I went in partnership with Dunlap and Small
little room ; I had left my family in San Anwood because they were white men and experi.
tonio, Texas. There, beside the open fireplace, enced printers. I had, at that time, $500, pos
I slept, I prayed to God for success, and laid sibly $1,000. I invested it in machinery. I
my plans for the future. I was my own cook knew nothing of printing. I swindled both
and servant girl. The problem of the Negro Dunlap and Smallwood. I swindled these men servant girl had not entered my household. My out of what they had. When we went into the
breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee, some business, they had the experience; I had the
rye bread toasted on the coals, and a nickel's money. When we quit—we were finally burned
worth of bologna sausage. out—they got all the money and I left Palestine This is the type of life story back of nearly with all the experience. I went to Nashville in
every large as well as small sum paid from 1896 for the purpose of devising some ways
the Negro purse in all those campaigns. So and means by which we could print all of the
it has been with Thomas E. Lassiter, of Bible leaflets, Sunday-school and Church litera
Atlantic City, New Jersey, again a man who ture used or required by our denomination. I secured a secretary, rented a room for $5 a
started with nothing, but who now, through month, furnished it nicely with one or two split
hard work and self-control, is worth some bottom chairs and a second-hand table, which $50,000. His wife, a hairdresser, is, I am
LAYING THE CORNER-STONE OF THE Y. M. C. A. BUILDING FOR COLORED PEOPLE AT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, LAST SPRING
Ten thousand people were present on this occasion, and the event was signalized by processions and addresses
told, worth in her own name almost as much they are most needed.
Year by year our as her husband.
boys get into Northern cities.
Often they Again, there is Mrs. C. J. Walker, of are in schools and work
trains or Indianapolis, who not many years ago left steamboats in summer to earn their tuition the farm in Louisiana for the wash-tub, left for the next year.
The Northern city gets the wash-tub for the kitchen, and then left attractive to them. They decide to stay the kitchen for business. She, too, was in there. But in too many cases this decision the $1,000 class of donors. In all these is the end of all that was hopeful in the instances of $1,000 Negro donors—in that of young man's career. He misses the best Mr. Preston Taylor, a wealthy undertaker of people and gets among the easy-going. He the same city ; of the Rev. William Beckam gets into a hotel, where money comes easily and Mr. Henry Allen Boyd, also of Nash- and regularly. Coming easily, it goes easily: ville ; of Mrs. Daisy Merchant, of Cincinnati, The Young Men's Christian Association in who gave $1,200; of Dr. E. P. Roberts, these cities will lead him among different of New York; of Mr. Henry T. Troy, of companions and keep in him the ambition Los Angeles, California—in all these cases he set out with. the money has been literally wrung from the It is sometimes said that the Young Men's respective occupations by hard work, under Christian Association weakens the influence of trying circumstances and the greatest amount the church. This was not so in the case of the of personal restraint.
Negro. In many instances the persons who That most of the showing in building contributed the most in effort and money to Young Men's Christian Associations should make the erection of these buildings possible have been made among Negroes of the were men who had not been counted as parNorth is to me a matter of marked signifi- ticularly religious men. In a great number cance. In the first place, these buildings of cases, after the building campaigns were themselves provide places of welcome where over, they connected themselves with the
church again. Men and women who had This work, begun at Buxton in 1903, has previously taken little or no part in any or- now become a regular feature of the Young ganized effort to help themselves or the race Men's Christian Association's work. There were drawn into the movement. Men of all are similar Associations among the lumber classes and all denominations united and men at Vaughn, North Carolina, and Bogapulled together for the common good as they lusa, Louisiana. Recently an Association had never done before. The result of this was started among the five thousand Negroes was that when the work was over and the employed by the Newport Shipbuilding Comfinished building came to be dedicated, the pany, at Newport News, Virginia. At this people felt that it belonged to them to an ex- place night classes were established to give tent that they could not have felt if it had the boys and young men of the community a cost them any less effort and sacrifice. general education. In addition, there is a
Another way in which this gift has helped social room where members may play billiards, the Negro people has been by enabling the pool, and other games, and an athletic field Young Men's Christian Association to teach where they have outdoor games and sports. how it is possible to make religion touch Thousands of colored men are employed in practical life. That" old-time religion,” from mines, in lumber camps, iron mills, and conwhich the Negro got so much comfort in struction camps, in which there are neither slavery, turned all attention to the next schools nor churches, nor any other influence world. In the Young Men's Christian Asso- that makes for better living. Under such ciation he learns to associate religion with conditions employers see that it is not only cleanliness, with health, with pure living. He human and right, but sound economy, to prolearns to associate religion with the reading vide some sort of welfare work for their emof books, with opportunities for study and ployees, both white and black. The result is advancement in his trade or profession. In that these Associations are springing up more short, the young colored man learns in the rapidly than the Association can find comYoung Men's Christian Association how relig- petent men to direct them. At Benham, ion can and should be connected up with all Kentucky, an Association has recently been the ordinary practical interests and whole- started for colored miners. At Birmingham, some natural pleasures of life.
Alabama, the American Coal and Iron ComAnother direction in which, it seems to me, pany has recently fitted up a splendid plant Mr. Rosenwald's gift and the Young Men's for its employees, white and colored. This Christian Association have been a help to the branch of the work illustrates how the Assomembers of my race is in what they are doing ciation has been able to adapt its work to all to convince the white people of this country kinds and classes of men. that in the long run schools are cheaper than The organizing of the colored people for policemen ; that there is more wisdom in the gathering and collection of subscriptions, keeping a man out of the ditch than in trying the inspiration that comes from labor in to save him after he has fallen in ; that it is common for the common good—all this is in more Christian and more economical to pre- itself a character-building process, and has had pare young men to live right than to punish a far-reaching influence upon the churches them after they have committed crime. and other religious organizations throughout
Some years ago at Buxton, Iowa, where the country. These efforts have helped not there is a community of about fifteen merely the black man, but the white man as hundred Negro miners, the Consolidated well, in bringing the best element of both Coal Company was persuaded to erect a races together in labor and counsel for the colored Young Men's Christian Association common good. To the South especially, building at a cost of $20,000. For several where the best black and the best white years this Christian Association was about the people almost never meet and know each only government that community had.
other, the struggles, the sacrifices, and the satisfactory did this investment prove that, generous enthusiasm which the building camafter a short time, another building was erected paign has brought out in the black man and for a boys' branch of the Association. When white have served to reveal each race to the the manager of this company was asked his other and to bring about an understanding and opinion as to the value of this work, he said : community interest between them that could “ The Association has made a policeman and probably have come about in no other way. a prison unnecessary in this community." Tuskegee Institute, Alabama.
A SERMON IN PATCHWORK
BY LUCINE FINCH
HE quilt shown in the accompanying “Fer itself, fer itself,
Fer itself, fer itself,
Fer itself! reverence, the fantastic conception of sacred events, and the passion of imagination of her De Lawd reach down people. Her idea was, as she voices it, “ to An' he says ter me preach a sermon in patchwork." In other (Every soul got ter confess fer itself !)
Dat he can't have no heaven words, to express through this humble and homely medium the qualities of mind and
'Less he got me soul that are the inborn possession of the
(Every soul got ter confess fer itself !). Negro—the leveling of all events to his per- De devil reach up sonal conception of them, and the free, color- An' he says ter me ful imagination of a primitive mind. The (Every soul got ter confess fer itself !) Negro's religion is instinctive, interwoven
Dat he can't have no hell
'Less he got me into the whole warp and woof of his being,
(Every soul got ter confess fer itself !).” and it finds its way out, into the realms of expression, in everything that he does. This And now for the explanation of the old unconscious, superstitious, symbolic relation quilt pictured herewith. It is the reverent, with the Great Force behind and in all life worshipful embodiment of an old colored might easily be the chief characteristic of woman's soul. I shall use her own words, the Negro. In order fully to comprehend in as far as I can quote them. So many the wonderful imagination wrought in mystic tributes were paid to flowers and leaves by symbols into this old quilt one must really using them as decorations that she deterknow something about the Negro himself, mined, she said, to “preach de Gospel in more especially about the "old timey” Negro, patchwork, ter show my Lawd my humbility." who is so fast and so tragically disappearing. And again, “Dis heah quilt gwine show
The religion of the Negro of the older where sin originated, outen de beginnin' uv type is a curious blend of blind superstition things.” The whole quilt is made of gaywrought out in imagination, generally unre- colored calico, most beautifully quilted with served and not self-conscious, hysterical and the finest stitches. The border is rose-colecstatic in its manifestation. It not only is ored, the spotted animals yellow and purple. not a mental state, but has very little of the In No. 1 Adam and Eve are shown in the mental attitude in it. It is pure emotion, in Garden of Eden. In the upper right-hand greater or less degree absoluteiy sincere corner is the serpent, represented with feet. while it lasts, but not necessarily connected When asked to explain this anatomical curiwith the common activities of life. The osity, she replied, elusively, “ He 'blige ter older type of Negro reduced everything- have foots and han's an' all his features in God and the angelic hosts—to the level of dem days, ter git aroun' man, chile!” The his own understanding, the personal equation coloring of the serpent is a brilliant yellow entering largely into his conception of such and black in eleven bold stripes. Immehigh matters. His God was the anthropo- diately under the serpent's head is what she morphic God of all savage people and of all called “ forbidden fruit, or original sin.” It childhood-individual childhood and race is in the shape of a dressmaker's form! The childhood. A God to be feared, yet one who trimming around the neck even is most carecould be deceived, hoodwinked. A God to fully worked out in its significance. be reverenced, yet about whom the most ketch de eye, honey !” she said. “To ketch absurd, incongruous, almost sacrilegious su- de eye er mortal man. Yas, suh !" To perstitions gathered.
the immediate right of this strange symbol, The following lines from an old Negro and scarcely perceptible, is a white dove. “ spiritual,” as these songs are called, may In No. 2 are shown Adam and Eve and be quoted as an example of the Negro's inti- Cain in the Garden, before the expulsion. mate expression of religious belief :
The peacock, in the extreme lower right cor