|UFDC Home||myUFDC Home | Help ||
ALL VOLUMES CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Gentlemen of the Young Men's Christian Association, I am very
glad to be with you this afternoon. It is always a pleasure for
me to be with you ani hbep yu take part in the studies you are pur-
suing in connection with your organization. As I look back on my
college course I rejrard the work done in connection with the relig-
ious organizations among my most pleasant recollections. In those
days the Y. M. C. A. had not entered very strongly into college work,
i4 has c.dRy. As a matter of fact the Y. M. C. A. work in the
United States was quite in its beginning and practically unknown.
There was howeverr a feeling among the college students that some sqm
d~eonu.naILj.,,Tti r non-demominational student organization should take
S care of the religious work connected with the institutions. Es-
epcially was thi. true with the .tate-supported colleges and univer-
sities. In those days it was quite a common accusation from secta-
rian institutions that all state institutions, and agricultural col-
leges in particular, were atheistic. Even after the Christian As
sociation became quite strong in my home college it was not an un-
common thing to be accused of being non-religious, although we had a
larger .percentage of our students in the Christian organizations
than occurred in some of the denominational schools.
I have been requested to speak upon the question of the Negro
and Agziculture. The negro question is one of the most important
that can come before this body. We may theorize about what would be
the condition if the negro were not present and what would be done, .A.-
.. .... ... a
under other conditions. We are, ho ever, right up against the fact
that we have some eight or ten million negroes in the South, and they
are a factor that must be reckoned with in all of our economic deal-
ings. The question of the social status df the negro has been defi-
nitely and permanently settled, so whatever is said tolay has no ref-
erence to that side of the question. The part of the question I am
dealing with is one of economics. We have the negro here and he is
here to stay. It is the white man's burden 'o make the negro as near-
ly self supporting and of as little hindrance as possible to the prop-
er development A~ ...-'o of the South. For the last half
century the negro has been a burden rather than a help to the devel-
opment. He has been a subservient pawn in the hands of the unscrup-
ulous. This side of the question, however, has been ably handled
by speakers on the negro question who have appeared before you from
time to time. Dr. Farr has given you a rather clear state ent, and
his position on the commission which 2an study he negro question,
ie him. unusual opportunities of understanding this problem. Dr.
Sims and Prof. Ault have taken up other phases of this whole big
question. My part of the discussion has to do with the negro on the
farm and what is being done to make him self sustaining and self"
supporting. Never in the history of the United States has this been
forced upon us as during the last year, when the war has called for
the most strenuous efforts toward producing all the food and forage
possible. No element in this whole great work h.s been over looked,
even going to the extent of marshalling the labor power of school girls.
It is quite natural, therefore, that stress should be laid upon
our principal labor element, the negro population.
The education of the negro began of course at the time when
the first slaves were brought into contact with a superior race.
While education generally is looked upon as synonymous with book teach-
ing this is really not the correct view. If the members of the
Y. M. C. A. got no training or education aside from that obtained
in the class rooms of the University *6 would e very meagre indeed.
Fully one-half of the educational advantages to students on our cam-
pus is the development that comes from mingling with their fellow
students and mingling with people of affairs. The development de-
rived from seeing and hearing the speeches of national and inter-
national figures I count as being worth more than any one course of
study pursued in the class rooms. This is an unconscious element
for education that enters into your development while at the Uni-
versity of Florida.
The negro being taken from his surroundings in Africa, among
savages, and forcibly thrust into a much higher civilization, this
was in itself an education to him. Ordinarily we think of education
as consisting solely of institutions and curricula. When we speak
of the education of the nerro, therefore, it usually refers to op-
portunities afforded by the elementary ad secondary schools, by
*&lleges -en institutions of higher Icarning.
This phase of the negro problem was doubtless taken up by
Dr. Cox, and therefore would come outside of the I waO=eO
present to you today. When we come to stddy the question somewhat
closely we find there are fairly good elementary schools for the
negroes. They are better than the elementary schools were fifty
years ago in the rural portions of the United States. -.any of our
national figures got their early training in log school houses and
under conditions not as favorable as the rural schools for negroes
in the State of Florida at the present time. Secondary schools are
maintained in *a of the larger centers and these are doing fair
work, better indeed than many of the secondary schools of twenty-
five or thirty years ago. There are a considerable number of schools
where the negroes can secure higher education in the State of Florida.
Most of the.e are denominational schools. There are in the State of
Florida twenty-six private and higher schools for negroes. This in-
cludes the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Tallahassee, which
is supported by the State and Federal governments. The total value
of the property owned by these different schools amounts to something
over a half million dollars. These schools do not, however, con-
tribute perceptibly to the agricultural production of the state;with
the exception of the Agricultural and Muchanical College very little
work is done in the direction of better agriculture by these schools.
fifty percent of our agricultural population are negroes although
the t otal negro ur population of the state is only about 42. There
the total negro population of the state is only about 42,. There
are only three of the private schools that give instruction in gar-
dening. This is a notable defect in thet training of negroes in the
State. Seventy-one per cent of the negroes being classed as rural
it would seem that agricultural training would be the most important
thing to emphasize in connection with these schools. We must not
judge, the system harshly, since it has been only a short, time that
agriculture has been recognized as an educational factor. E'en as
late as twenty-five years ago some of the State universities regard-
ed agriculture as not being quite worthy of recognition as education-
al training. I have visited the Agricultural and Mechanical College
for Negroes, at Tallahassee, frequently during the last *- years.
The progress made in the direction of agriculture is very satisfac-
tory indeed. They have a very creditable farm, reasonably good
barns, fairly good class rooms and are giving a large amount of at-
tention and encouraging general agriculture and dairying.
It would be very interesting and profitable to use the entire
time allowed Am-thLas *ee+on in a discussion of the various funds and
denominations that are entering into the education of the negro in
Florida. oMIn apparently it as no 0earng onb subject i t
'ct e c.... oi. -ad e ,elome, tof hi;l-- .,
.till a very important and pn influence on tF ganaral tr4nJ Lf
.a-gr o-ad~iio.tion ~n h tat. All of t-he ctivitir, nf the nogro
ax P Iaainig fnr behind the bzot praetioeaof our civiliztion. the
"I tre ii adtallu .as well aicn piille. While the framers
of our commonwealth, washington and Jefferson,.both insisted on the
teaching of agriculture, and development of this line of industry
in the educational institutions of the United States, it took the
mass of the population a long time to become conscious of the fact
that it was a mine of undeveloped wealth that had not been opened.
I have saan you that the general trend of appropriations from both
individual and denominational sources for the education of the negro
is in the direction of classic or academic education rather than
industrial and agricultural. It is not to be wondered at therefore,
that a large percentage of the negro race look upon education as a
means -wi s.u_-w, -a -nu; toward civilization. khr-a ian -un-
Us-a-l p ons- t'."t. If you will take time to study the motive for
setting aside these large amounts of money that have been given'for
the education of the negroes in Floridayou will find that it was al-
truistic and had for its object the es'etema of the negro race.
The donors of the funris, however, did not have the clear vision of
how 4save1opamt -a 11 i Wat .ng ..i A .f.ff. had.
I think with one exception, the Jeans Fund,the donors empha -
sized the importance of academic education. The Jeans Fund, however,
permittoa a considerable amount of money to be used for what is es-
sentially the same work as is being done through the cooperative dem-
I have now placed before you a very brief, but somewhat clear
outline of the academic educational situation among the negroes in
I have already mentioned the Jeans Fund as doing extension
work. The worker or workers under this fund are independent of
existing institutions, their report being made directly to the Jeans
Fund Corporation. The work, however, is not out of harmony with
that being done either locally or in the State. For instance, one
of the agents is located in Jackson County and gives instructions
to the rural negroes in gardening, canning, sewing, and other work
of that kind.
The principal agricultural ext .nsion work done in the State
of Florida is through the Extension Division of the Agricultural
College. The basis for its support is the Smith-Lever Fund,oi
the Department of Agriculture Fund and the Emergency Fund.
Detailed discussion of this work is unnecessary. Briefly
stated, by agreement between the University of Florida and the
U. 8. Department of Agriculture cooperative forces carry on the
extension work in agriculture in the State of Florida in a coop-
erative way. The two agencies have pooled their funds and agreed
that all work of ,demonstration nature will be carried on after be-
ing agreed upon by the two agencies, and that neither party will
undertake lines of demonstration work, or carry on demonstration
work not agreed to by the other party. The pooling of these funds
gives us something like $100,000 between the two agencies. This
is the basis of our work in Cooperative Demonstration and Home Eco-
nomics in the State. Outside of the field of demonstration there
lies considerable agricultural territory.On the one habd we have the
regulatory which is carried on in two principal directions in the
State, the Plant Board, cooperating with the Bureau of Plant Indus-
try, and the Live Stock Sanitary Board, cooperating with the Bureau
of Animal Industry. This regulatory work is a separate organiza-
tion from the demonstration work. The investigational work, pop-
ularly spoken of as the Experiment Station work lies on the other
side of the Demonstration work. If you can define clearly just
where-the line of demarcation is between the demonstration and regu-
latory work on the one hand, and between the demonstration and inves-
tigational work on the other hand, you will have in mind clearly
what the demonstration work is.
Negro Demonstration Work
The University of Florida has a cooperative arrangement with
the Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes at Tallahassee,
whereby agricultural and home economics demonstration work in the
State is carried on. The importance of this Wk will be apparent
when it is remembered that Whatever academic instruction in agricul-
ture and home economics is given the negro race comes mainly, or
nearly altogether from the Agricultural and Mechanical College for
Negroes at Tallahassee. t very important in this demonstration
work that whatever is taught shall be in accordance with the princi-
pies laid down at the technical institutions, in other words, the
negroes in the field should be taught in accordance with the best
lines of teaching at the Agricultural and Mechanical College.
When this cooperative arrangement went into effect, Pres.
N. B. Young, of the Negro college was instructed to find a suita-
ble man for heading this line of work in the State. Thd under-
s-anding with that institution is that this agent shall be retained
only so long as he is mutually satisfactory to both, the University
of Florida and the Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes.
A. A. Turner, _iof &_"koeoTs was employed; he wre-alnO
a graduate of the Ohio State University, and had had considerable
experience in agricultural work before attending college. During
the first year he was instructed to visit various counties and
became familiar with the negroes in those counties, forming farm
and home makers' clubs among the negro youth. These would be
directly connected with the rural schools in the various counties.
His activities were limited to seven counties in order that he
might have an opportunity to visit these at frequent intervals
and give instruction by demonstration or lectures, and otherwise
come into direct contact with the negro youth. During the next
year Turner confined his attention to the.counties in which the
negro population was heaviest and yet near enough to Tallahassee
not to consume too great an amount of his time in getting to these
counties. In the spring of the year an advance was made in the
handling of this work by appointing local agents for six 4a*ifi-
-1t counties. These were assistants to Turner and were working
under his direction and instruction. For appointment it was re-
quired that the local man should be acceptable to the County Superin-
tendent and that he should have taught school' The first require-
ment was made to ensure that there would be no friction between the
County Superintendent and the colored county leader. The second re-
quirement eliminated a large number of local negro agitators. The
plan worked admirably and gave us splendid results.
In 1917 an enlargement of the work was made by adding demon-
strators in Home Economics. The selection of these women was a
rather difficult task since so many f-fev'em elements entered into
the question. It was finally decided that these women agents should
be recommended and act as assistants to the County Home Demonstra-
tion Agents. In the men's work you will remember the agents were
appointed o..ly on recommendation of the County Superintendent and a
lumber of white residents of the County, but they were not hach-
nically made assistants to the County Demonstration Agents.
ith thl outbreak of the war crop production was so necessary
that the work was broadened out not only to include the youth but to
give special attention to crop production. Congress appropriated
an emergency fund for crop production. This enabled us to place
additional workers in the field. Ano-her step forward was taken by
employing a number of negro women for carrying out canning, drying,
and general crop conservation programs. It is very gratifying indeed
to know that there are a:nn:mn the negro population many earnest work-
ers who have a real zeal for the betterment of the race. In most
cases the compensation attached to the office was a minor consid-
eration, while the doing of the work was the principal 'motive.for en-
gaging in the enterprise. The handling of the work conducted by
the negro women is a very difficult problem. Nowhere in the State
could an adequate number of women be found who had been trained
in home economies and naturally every nearess who had a fair knowl-
edge of English considered herself competent to instruct her race
in this line of work.
We nww have every County in the State ;veredA by a County
flmenstration Aget -and n H mp tDemonr-trtin -Agenkt. In some coun-
ties the agent is working only.part time, while in a few instances
the agent works his entire time and gives his attention to two or
In the negro work we have negro agents for the rural agricul-
tural work in the following Counties
Alachua Hillsboro Leon
Columbia Hamilton Madison
Duval Jackson Marion
Gadsden Jefferson Putnam
and in the following counties we have negro women agents, -
Alachua Jackson Orange
Columbia Jefferson Putnam
Escambia Leon Suwannee
Gadsden Madison Volusia
Hillsboro Marion Washington
In both cases, the men and women, the nesro agents give their time
to instructing the people of their own race.
The foregoing I hope has given you a tangible idea of what
we are doing for the education of the negro to make him a better
economic individual. This of course relates to our work solely as
it is carried out for the negro race and by the negro race. It
does not include the large but intangible amount of work we are doing
for the negro race directly and indirectly. The de-monstration work
carried on by the white agents is as potent a factor in the develop-
ment of hegro race as it is for the whites. The negroes consult the
white county agent freely and are given a large amount of attention.
That, however, is work that is not directly segregated and is dif-
ficult of bringing forward in statistical form. There is practically
no County or Home Demonstration Agent in the State but has lectured
and demonstrated before negro' audiences and I am told by leaders of
the negroes themselves, that they prefer a white lecturer to one
of their own race. Bulletins, printed matter, posters, and all other
material moes as freely to the negro farmer as to anyone else.
The following summary of the work done last year among the negroes
will give you a comprehensive idea ff what has been accomplished.
WORK WITH NEGRO FARMERS
The work among negroes has been conducted along the same
lines as last year. There is one regularly appointed negro county
agent, in Leon County, who works four days a week in the field
and two days at the A. & M. College, Tallahassee. The farm and
home makers' club work among negroes has been conducted with
the usual crops in six counties.
The names "farm maker" and "home maker" are applied to
negro clubs organized under the supervision of the Extension Di-
vision, University of Florida, as provided for in the Smith-Lever
Act. While the agricultural club agent has direct supervision of
this extension work among negroes the activities are supervised
by A. A. Turner, agent for farm and home makers' clubs, who has
headquarters at the Florida A. & M. College for negroes, Talla-
hassee. The purpose of this extension work is to increase produc-
tion from the farms operated by negroes in the state. So far it has
been undertaken only where the work would count for the most
and where such work seemed most feasible.
The project has been directed toward agricultural training for
colored youth, inducing them to raise food crops on a better plan
than is generally followed by negro farmers in the state. The main
crops undertaken have been corn, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. The
agent for farm and home makers' clubs reports that 175 negro
members each raised one-half acre of corn, one-fourth acre peanuts
and one-fourth acre sweet potatoes. The yield from 871/2 acres of
corn showed a higher average than that for the state. After de-
ducting the cost of production from the value of the crop a profit of
more than $2,500, or a little more than $14 an acre was left.
There were 43 acres planted to peanuts which produced an
average yield of about 48 bushels. This crop netted an average
profit of $6.50 for the quarter acre.
For the sweet potatoes planted, the yield was estimated at about
90 bushels to the acre which is considerably above the average for
Comparing this report with last year's it shows an increase of
four bushels to the acre in corn. No comparison can be made with
the peanut and sweet-potato yields as these crops were not grown
_the previous year by club members.
NEGRO FARMERS' MEETINGS
More than 2,000 negro farmers attended public meetings ar-
ranged by the negro club agent and assistants. There were ar-
ranged at convenient places and times and the subjects discussed
were mainly on increased food production with special emphasis
placed on better cultural methods. At each one of these places
the essentials of hog cholera control were made plain to the negro
farmers. This is especially important as these club workers have
been instrumental in saving many hogs from cholera by having
them vaccinated, and, what was more important, to emphasize
that outbreaks of hog cholera are often started by allowing the
negro's sick hogs to mingle with his neighbor's healthy ones.
Aside from the work undertaken in the counties planned for,
additional counties carried on voluntary work induced by the de-
mand for food conservation. The following counties had the
services of an assistant home-makers' club agent for four months:
Washington, Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Alachua, and Marion, with '
assistant agents employed in each.
COUNTIES THAT VOLUNTEERED TO CARRY ON WORK
Following is a report of seven other counties that volunteered to
organize clubs last season, in which considerable food conservation
Duval County, 12 clubs organized, 1165 cans of fruit and vegetables put up.
Hillsboro, 4 clubs organized, 550 cans put up.
Volusia, Daytona Industrial School, 2750 cans put up.
Putnam, instructor employed by county,. 1165 cans put up.
Madison, 2 clubs organized, 450 cans put up.
Suwannee, 2 clubs organized, 275 cans put up.
Columbia, 3 clubs organized, 650 cans put up.
Total number of clubs organized, 23; cans put up, 7,840.
Arrangements were made with the Department whereby the
-negro club agent was able to give-seme assistance.
The reports of the negro club agent made during the year to the
state agent show the following:
Days worked in office.. 60
Days worked in field.... ------------250
Total days worked 310
T o ta l d a y s w o r k e d ...........................................-------- .......-- - -- - -- ..
Total number of letters written .....4,125
Bulletins sent out ..-1.-- .......... -- ,
Individual visits made: -........ 7,718
To club m embers ............ ...-.... ........... .. 368
To Farmers -- 296
M meetings held .. ........................................
Total attendance, or number of people reached -..... .. -8,990
Miles traveled by rail 9,331
Miles traveled by auto and other conveyances .3...--- . -3,773
Total miles traveled 13,104
... ... .. ... ... .. ... ... .. ... ... .. ... .. ... ... .. ... ... .. ... ... .. ... .. 1 3 ,1 0 4
To summarize off*'' what I have .emp. o 0 proop'ee in
the foregoing paper, I would say:
(1) The elementary education of the negro in the State today
is very inadequate when viewed from the standpoint of
what it might be, but is not so bad when viewed from the
standpoint of what education in a general way was in the
United States fifty years ago, In nearly all communi-
ties it is possible for the individual seeking earnestly
for an elementary education to secure it.
(2) The secondary and hiigher education for negroes in the State
of Florida emphasizes strongly the academic rather than the
vocational studies, thus giving the negro in general an
erroneous impression of what education really is.
(5) The Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes at Talla-
hassee is giving a reasonably good course of instruction
and has moderately good facilities for carrying out its work
along agricultural lines. Ita equipment and opportunities
for instructing the negro race are better than occurred in
many agricultural collesJ twenty-five years ago.
(4) The largest and most important single factor for extending
and inculcating correct agricultural knowledge and agricul-
tural practices in the State of Florida is the wvrk done through
the Extension Division of the University. Statistical records
show that many thousands of negroes are reached through this
(5) In conclusion, though this is not brought out in the paper
itself, the local communities, cities and counties are
recognizing the value of this work by giving financial aid
to the extension work among the negroes.