Gift of John
Irwin Fischer, Ph.D., UF &
Panthea Reid Ph.D., UNC
& Research Collaborators,
Zelft-Help in IRegro Ebucation
bg 1R. IR. Mlritbt, Sr., IDblabelpbta, Ipa.
HE question is so often asked, "What are
Negroes doing for their own education?"
that it seems fitting to issue among the
publications of the Committee of Twelve
a leaflet on the subject of "Self-Help in
Negro Education," only a bare outline of
which, however, can be given here.
Disregarding the educational efforts of
the African in his native land and also that remarkable ac-
complishment in race education-namely, the transforma-
tion of the Negro's speech from African to European and
American, we shall consider exclusively the efforts at educa-
tion through the schools for Negroes in America.
In the beginning there was general indifference and
doubt as to the intellectual capacity of Negroes, and their
ability to take on American education. The first schools for
them were, therefore, private schools, which everywhere
preceded public schools. In 1704, a Negro private school
was opened in New York; in 1770, one was opened in Phil-
adelphia; in 1798, in Boston. In all of the larger settle-
ments of manumitted Negroes who went West, from North
Carolina and Virginia there were schools supported largely
by themselves. In 182o, a Negro school was opened in Cin-
cinnati, Ohio; in 1832, in Cleveland. In Hamilton County,
Indiana, a small group of Negroes helped to support a white
teacher from the very beginning of their settlement, and in
1841 built their own school house; in the Negro community
in Randolph County, Indiana, and Greenville, Ohio, quite a
large and influential school, known as the Academy, flour-
ished on Negro support before 1845. In the South, as early
as 1774, a Negro school existed in the colony of South Caro-
lina; in 1807, when there were less than 500 free Negroes
in that city a school was started by three Negro ex-slaves
in Washington, D. C. In 1829, Negro Catholics established
a school in Baltimore; in 1805 a Negro taught in North Car-
olina, and in 1819 a Negro school was in existence in Savan-
nah, Georgia. Negroes in Louisiana early in the nineteenth
century found opportunities for schooling their children at
home; and many others sent theirs abroad to be trained. In
1835 a Negro woman opened a school in New Orleans. In-
deed, in spite of the general condition of slavery around
them, Negroes not only learned to read and write, but also
conducted schools in nearly every state. In the city of Phil-
adelphia there were at least two schools taught by Negroes
before 18oo. In 1838 there were thirteen private pay
schools for Negroes in that city, and in 1856 there were more
than twenty private schools for Negroes, the majority of
which were taught by Negroes. In Washington there were
at least twenty Negro schools, supported by Negroes, before
the Civil War.
In most of the states Negroes paid taxes, thus aiding in
the education of white children, but in very few of them did
they receive any aid from the public funds for the education
of their own children. They were left to their own efforts
and the efforts of their friends.
EDUCATIONAL WORK OF NEGRO CHURCHES.
Most of the first Negro schools were connected with the
church, and many of the early Negro teachers were also
preachers. All over the South the Negro church buildings
were used as the first school houses, and many are so used
to-day. The work of the church, however, does not stop
with the giving of their buildings for educational purposes;
but each of the larger denominations of Negro Christians
is doing aggressive educational work.
Negro Methodists.-The oldest of these organizations
is the African M. E. Church, organized in 1816, having now
about 6o00,ooo members, all Negroes, and entirely supervised
by Negroes. Its general educational work began in 1844
with the purchase of 120o acres of land in Ohio for the Union
Seminary, which was opened in 1847. In 1856 this church
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church (North) in es-
tablishing Wilberforce University, in Greene County, Ohio,
which in 1863 became the sole property of the African M. E.
Church. At the close of the Civil War the ministers of this
church were sent South and were successful in organizing
churches and schools. To-day they maintain twenty schools
and colleges-one or more in each Southern state, two in
Africa, and one in the West Indies. They have 202 teach-
ers, over 5700 pupils, and school property valued at more
than $1,132,ooo. The latest statistics of these schools are
presented in the following table from the report of the Sec-
retary of Education of the A. M. E. Church:
Statistics of Schools of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
a -______ _____ _
Name and Location of Schools :3 cc 0
.a a 0
0) A0 .0.
I 0. I 0 1 C1o
4, u o a 0W2 0.0
1. 1 _ __ _z_
Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio.. 1856
Payne Theo. Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio. I89g
Kittrell College, Kittrell, N. C ........... 1886
Wayman Institute, Harrodsburg, Ky ....... 1891
Western University, Quindaro, Kan....... 188o
Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Ga........ 1881
Payne Institute, Cuthbert, Ga............. 189o
Allen University, Columbia, S. C.......... 188o
Flegler High School, Marion, S. C........ 189o
Payne University, Selma, Ala ............ 1889
Campbell College, Jackson, Miss .......... 1890o
Delhi Institute, Alexandria, La ........... 189go
Shorter College, Argenta, Ark ............ 1897
Turner N. & I. Institute, Shelbyville, Tenn.. 1886
Paul Quinn College, Waco, Tex .......... 88i
Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla. 1883
Shafer Industrial School, West Africa..... 19o2
Miss. Sch. Collymore Rock, Barbadoes, W.I. ....
Miss. Sch. in Hayti and South America........
220 9 7 33 595 $11.oo $75,594.61
10 I 2 3 45 o.oo0 17,600.oo
60 6 7 14 236 9.00 68,244.00
i8 2 4 3 94 7.00 6,o65.68
130 7 6 18 276 7.00 125,000.00
5 2 8 32 1050 8.oo 80,762.98
4 I 3 6 380 ... ........
4 4 8 15 544 8.00 35,769.73
2 I 2 2 177 ... 1,780.78
6 io 7 12 584 7.00 19,821.23
1200 3 7 io 330 7.00 .........
6 3 3 2 125 5.00 851.oo
2 3 7 io 348 7.00 .....
20 2 3 4 112 7.00 10,090.34
20 12 8 12 330 8.oo 52,358.oo
6 .. 4 II 278 7.00 18,321.80
T00 I 2 2 2 ... ........
Wilberforce University is the most important of these
schools. Its president is a widely known Negro scholar, a
graduate of Oberlin College, and author of a "First Greek
Book." Its graduates have made the senior college class in
the University of Chicago, and graduated with "honorable
mention" from that institution. The method of raising
money is through the local churches, each of which has a
local educational society. The third Sunday in September
is set apart as Educational Day, when a general collection is
taken in all the churches. This amounted to a little more
than $51,000 last year. Besides this, each member is taxed
eight cents per year for the general educational fund, which
is reported to the Annual Conference. Special meetings,
rallies, lectures, entertainments, etc., are held for the pur-
pose of raising this money. The total income from all
sources for the educational work of this church is about
$150,000 per year, which is contributed by about 300,000 in-
dividuals. Since 1844 not less than three million dollars
have been raised by this Negro denomination for educational
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, organ-
zed in 1820, is also composed entirely of Negroes and super-
vised exclusively by them. It conducts twelve educational
institutions, four of which are colleges, one a theological
seminary and seven secondary schools, which have 150o teach-
ers and more than three thousand students. The value of
the property is about three hundred thousand dollars, and the
total amount raised for education has been in the neighbor-
hood of $I,Ioo,ooo. During the past year more than $Ioo,-
ooo was raised. The schools of this denomination are as
Livingstone College, Salisbury, North Carolina.
Atkinson College, Madisonville, Kentucky.
Greenville College, Greenville, Tennessee.
Lomax-Hannon High School, Greenville, Alabama.
Walters' Institute, Warren, Arkansas.
Lancaster N. & I. Institute, Lancaster, S. C.
Edenton High School, Edenton, North Carolina.
Zion Institute, Mobile, Alabama.
Clinton Institute, Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Eastern Carolina N. & I. Academy, New Bern, North
Dinwiddie Agri. & Ind. School, Dinwiddie, Virginia.
The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was organized
a few years after the close of the Civil War, and had in 1901
204,972 members, 2751 ministers, '1649 churches and church
property valued at $1,525,600. It controls and conducts six
educational institutions; Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee,
founded by Bishop Isaac Lane; Texas College, Tyler, Texas;
Mississippi Industrial College, Holly Springs, Miss.; Homer
Seminary, Homer, Louisiana; Haywood Seminary, Wash-
ington, Arkansas; and Miles Memorial College, Birming-
ham, Alabama. The C. M. E. Church also contributes to
the Paine College, of Augusta, Georgia.
Under the African Union Methodist Protestant Church,
which has less than 60oo members, there are three educa-
tional institutions: Kennedy Theological Institute, Balti-
more, Maryland; Franklin College, Franklin, Pennsylvania,
and Holland High School, Holland, Virginia.
Negro Baptists.-The educational work of the Negro
Baptist Churches was at first largely under the control of
the American Baptist Home Mission Society, whose man-
agers are whites. In recent years, however, there has been
a movement among Negro Baptists to do educational work
independently. This movement has been very widespread
and has been participated in by nearly every association of
the million and a half Negro Baptists of the country. A
full list of the schools conducted by Negro Baptists has never
been published. In their last Year Book-for 1907--1o
schools were reported as owned by Negro Baptists, located
as follows: Eight in Alabama, eight in Arkansas, five in
Florida, four in Georgia, two in Illinois, one in Indiana, two
in Indian Territory, one in Kansas, nine in Kentucky, sixteen
in Louisiana, one in Maryland, eleven in Mississippi, one
in Missouri, thirteen in North Carolina, one in Ohio, five in
South Carolina, three in Tennessee, six in Texas, five in Vir-
ginia, three in West Virginia and five in Africa. Besides
those mentioned in the Year Book there are several others
in Louisiana, Virginia and North Carolina, making a total
of not less than 120 schools owned entirely by Negro Bap-
tists. Most of these are small and take the place of public
high schools. In most cases they are inadequately equipped;
but their very rapid development, at the expense of the
Negroes themselves, is a fair exhibition of the spirit of self-
help. The value of the school property of the Negro Bap-
tists is variously estimated between.$7oo,ooo and $I,ooo,ooo.
There are 613 teachers and 18,644 students in these schools.
During 1907 the Baptist churches reported raising $97,032.75
for education, exclusive of what was raised in Maryland,
Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, representing 35 per cent. of
the Negro Baptists which made no report. If these states
contributed in proportion to the others, the church collec-
tions of Negro Baptists alone must have been about $149,-
332.75 for the year 1907. The total income of the 12o Bap-
tist institutions for 1907 is estimated to be $343,ooo0.
Besides the contributions of Negroes themselves to their
education through the church organizations controlled ex-
clusively by themselves, they have made large contributions
through church organizations controlled chiefly by whites,
who give-considerable help to Negro education, such as the
American Baptist Home Mission Society, The Freedmen's
Aid Society of the M. E. Church (North), The Freedmen's
Board of the Presbyterian Church, the American Missionary
Association, The Church Institute for Negroes of the Episco-
pal Church, The Catholic Church, etc. The amount of self-
help in all of these organizations is greatly increasing.
The American Baptist Home Mission Society has 23
schools under its care; but of these 14 are owned by the
Negroes themselves. The report of the educational work of
the society for the year 1907-1908 shows that the actual re-
ceipts for that year were $269,695,78. Of this amount only
$10,782.36 was contributed by white churches and indi-
viduals, while $27,724.42 was contributed by Negro
churches and individuals. Including tuition and board, the
contributions of Negroes would probably amount to three-
fourths of all the receipts of the American Baptist Home
Missionary Society for Negro education. The following
table, taken from the report, is self-explanatory:
Receipts from Educational Institutions under the American Baptist Home Mission Society, 1907-1908.
a c n
c. p, o
HIGHER SCHOOLS OWNED BY A. B. H. M. S.
Atlanta Baptist College, Atlanta, Ga.............. 8.55
Benedict College, Columbia, S. C.................. 705.58
Bishop College, Marshall, Texas .................. 492.51 1,500
Hartshorn Memorial College, Richmond, Va........3,57o.o6
Jackson College, Jackson, Miss................... 200.00
Shaw University, Raleigh, N. C................. 1,21x9.6 2,500
Spelman Seminary, Atlanta, Ga.................. 5,000
Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va.........
Total ............................. ..... 6,95.86 9,ooo
HIGHER SCHOOLS OWNED BY NEGROES
Alabama Baptist Colored University, Selma, Ala.. 126.44
Arkansas Baptist College, Little Rock, Ark........
State University, Louisville, Ky .................. 226.80
T otal ..................................... 353.24
Total for Higher Schools..................6,549.10 9,00o
Americus Institute, Americus, Ga................
Coleman Academy, Gibsland, La................
Florida Baptist Academy, Jacksonville, Fla........
Florida Institute, Live Oak, Fla................
Houston Academy, Houston, Tex..............
Howe Bible and Normal Institute, Memphis, Tenn.
Jeruel Academy, Athens, Ga ....................
Mather School, Beaufort, S. C .................. 793.48
Tidewater Collegiate Institute, Hampton, Va.......
Walker Baptist Academy, Augusta, Ga.......... 57.17
Waters Normal Institute, Winton, N. C..........
Western College, Macon, Mo....................
Total .................................. 85o.65
Total for Negro Schools..................7,399.75 9,ooo
62.31 221.10 1,154.06
635.13 54.76 1,947.63
65.0oo 706.28 1,589.37
258.15 282.40 756.29
470.8o 263.67 2,411.84
217.78 359.91 17,556.77
237.62 861.70 778.82
1,946.79 2,749.82 27,818.74
212.25 91o.oo .50 473.20
4,376.13 16,917.51 1,271.48 5,681.40 ,oo00
10,782.36 27,724.42 4,758.41 39,188.32 1,000
I 1. .
The contributions from churches, students and other
sources by Negroes probably amounted to more than $2oo,-
ooo last year. An estimate of the total contributions of
Negroes through the Society during the past forty years
would be low at three million dollars, to which must be
added at least three million dollars more, contributed to
schools owned by Negroes themselves.
In the Methodist Episcopal Church there is also a large
amount of self-help. The following paragraphs from the
report of its Freedmen's Aid Society will illustrate what
progress is being made:
The report says: "Self-Help Still Increasing." "It is
gratifying to note the increase of self-help both in the schools
and in the Conferences of the South. Through our stu-
dents last year we received in tuition, room rent and board,
$143,833.26, an increase over the previous year of $10,008.94,
which has been applied to the running expenses of the
schools. More encouraging still are the reports from the
Conferences. The reports from the Colored Conferences
show a steady gain, and it is a fact of unusual significance
that the South Carolina Conference, with a collection last
year of $4,991.46, stands now at the head of the whole list
among all the Conferences in the Church in the amount
given to our work. The net increase in the Colored Con-
ferences for the past year is $4,792.00, from which it will
be seen that our net increase in Conference collections
throughout the Church is due almost entirely to the increase
in these Conferences among the colored people."
Concerning improvements during the year, the same re-
"At Wiley University, a new President's house, at a
cost of $4,ooo, has been completed, funds for this purpose
being raised by the Texas Conference (Colored). The build-
ing was erected mainly by students in the industrial depart-
ment, and is entirely free from debt. At Sam Houston Col-
lege, Austin, Texas, a new Boys' Hall at the cost of $15,500;
$9,500 was raised by the West Texas Conference (Colored)
and the Secretary in charge. At Claflin University, Orange-
burg, South Carolina, the right wing of the industrial build-
ing has been completed and equipped with up-to-date ma-
chinery. A dry kiln has been installed with a capacity of
o10,000ooo feet of lumber per day. A new steam heating plant
at an expense of $8,ooo has been put in; a new sewerage
system installed at an expense of $I,ooo, and a teachers'
cottage erected at an expense of $2,000o. A large amount of
the cost of these improvements was paid by collections from
the South Carolina Conference (Colored) and by special
contributions secured by Dr. and Mrs. Dunton."
The M. E. Church has raised in the past forty years
$8,567,127 of which $2,793,355.70 was from the Negro stu-
dents, and about $250,000 from Negro Churches, making a
total of more than $3,143,ooo.oo contributed by Negroes
through this Church.
Definite statistics are not kept as to the contributions
of Negroes in the other Churches, but it is fair to presume
that they pay an average amount as compared to what they
contribute through the Baptist and Methodist Churches.
But little is known of the work among the Roman Catholics,
but the general policy of that Church is to encourage self-
help, even more than the Protestant Churches, and the
amount of money which this Church has secured from
Negroes must be a large sum, as the following hints may in-
dicate: -In 1829, St. Frances Academy was founded by
Negro Sisters from the West Indies, who gave all they had-
furniture, silverware, real property and bank account-to the
work. This institution is one of the best endowed institu-
tions for Negro females in the country. A Miss Nancy Ad-
dison left $15,ooo, and a Mr. Louis Bode, a Haytian, left
$30,000 to the institution. A Philadelphia Negro left a sum
of money variously estimated from $750,000 to $1,500,000
to establish a Catholic institution, and a New Orleans Ne-
gro left nearly a half million dollars to education, a large
portion of which went to Catholic institutions.
Through their churches and church schools Negroes
have contributed during the past forty years not less than
fifteen million dollars for their own education.
SELF-HELP IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
In the North as well as in the South the Negro private
school preceded the public school for Negroes by many
years. The Negroes' participation in anything like a public
school system in the South may be said to have begun with
the Freedmen's Bureau which operated from 1865 to 1870.
Notwithstanding the Negroes were just out of slavery, their
efforts at self-help attracted the attention of many of the
officers of the Bureau. In 1869 General 0. 0. Howard, the
Commissioner, reported that "the freedmen are already doing
something. Last year it is estimated that they raised for
the construction of school houses and the support of teachers
not less than $200,000." In 1870, five years after the close
of the Civil War, it was reported that "the freedmen sus-
trained, wholly or in part, 1324 regularly reported day and
night schools, and own 592 of the school buildings." In
1868 and 1869 the amount of tuition fees paid by Negro
pupils was reported as $268,046.78. During the first five
years of the operation of the Freedmen's Bureau it is esti-
mated that Negroes paid on their own education $785,000.
Since 1870 common school education has been conduct-
ed chiefly by the States, and the Negroes' contributions have
been mainly through taxes, though not exclusively so.
Though there is no authoritative data from which one
can draw accurate conclusions, yet it is very probable that
the Negroes have paid for the entire amount of public com-
mon school education which they have received from the
Southern States since 1870. This does not mean, however,
that the direct taxes on the property of the Negroes have
been sufficient to pay for their public school training, for they
have not. Neither have the direct taxes on the property of
the whites been sufficient to pay for their common school
education. For example, for 1907 the total direct property
tax, both state and local, for the state of Georgia, for school
purposes, was $1,750,577.59, whereas the total receipts for
public schools were $3,011,678.46, and the total expended
was $2,850,210.69. In other words, only 55 per cent. of the
school fund of the state of Georgia was raised from taxes
on the property of the inhabitants. The remainder of
$1,261,100.87 was made up in the following manner:
Balance on hand from last year ...................... $180,Io.33
Poll Tax, $i for each male 21 years of age ............ 275,000.00
Half rental, Western & Atlantic Railroad .............. 210,0o6.oo
Liquor Tax ...................... .... .............. 242,000.00
Net fees for inspection of fertilizers and oils .......... 22,60o.00
'Show Taxes ...................................... 9,616.oo
Net Proceeds from sale of prison farm products ..... 16,639.71
Net from holders of school lands .................... 8,680.62
Net hire of convicts ............................. 199,659.71
Other sources ........... ..................... 96,708.50
Total, ("Indirect Taxes") ................ $1,261,100.87
The Negroes constitute 46.7 per cent. of the population
of Georgia, and are, therefore. entitled to that per cent. of
the indirect school taxes. Andl when an analysis is made,
their right to their percentage becomess even more apparent.
Negro slaves built the Western and Atlantic Railroad, with a
great profit to the state, but no~ e at that time to themselves;
Negroes actually pay in more than $i 15,000 in poll taxes;
they, unfortunately, drink a (large amount of the liquor
sold in the state, and are'among the chief patrons of show's;
they constitute over eighty per cent. of the convicts which
net the state nearly two hundred thousand dollars for the
education of its children; and they make the greater propor-
tion of the farm products sold by the state. Their percent-
age would be $578,934.11. This, added to the $67,959.16
property school taxes which they actually paid during 1907,
makes a total of $646,893.27 available for the Negro schools.
The State School Commissioner reported $420,664.46 paid
Negro teachers, less than ]9 per cent. of the $2,239,985.81
paid to all teachers. Very'little is paid for Negro school
buildings, except in cities, and there is but little actual super-
vision of Negro public schools; but, allowing the same per-
centage for other expenses that they get of the amount paid
to teachers, that is, 19 per cent., $115,942.73 must be added
to the Negro account, making a total of $536,607.19, a very
liberal estimate of the entire amount spent for education of
Negroes by the state of Georgia and its local communities.
This still leaves a balance to the Negroes' credit of $i 10,286.-
18. Besides this the Negroes pay $5900 taxes for higher
institutions and $33,020 for pensions to Confederate soldiers
or their widows.
It is very evident from the above calculations that the
Negroes are in no sense a burden upon the white taxpayers,
and that, although the Negroes pay annually hundreds of
thousands of dollars each year to whites as rent for their real
estate, yet they do not receive one cent from the taxes on
this property for their education.-
What is true of the state of Georgia is true of other
Southern States, in no one of which do the property taxes of
the whites pay for the schools of the whites, and in all of
which the direct taxes of Negroes, plus their pro rata of'
indirect taxes, more than cover the expenses of their schools.
The United States Commissioner of Education esti-
mated that $864,383,520 was spent for public school educa-
tion in the South between 1870 and 19o6, and estimates that
$155,000,000 of this was spent for the education of Negroes.
In view of the above, it is not too much to assert that the
Negroes have contributed this entire amount, if not more,
and that at least $45,ooo,ooc, was paid by them in cash as
property taxes, and poll taxes.
The theory that Negroesl bear the whole burden of their
public school education, and that they derive little or nothing
from the taxes.of whites in tl'e South, is not new. It is the
conclusion of nearly every expert who has examined the
subject. As far back as 1882 State School Commissioner
G. J. Orr, of Georgia, said that "of the $151,ooo paid to
Negro teachers by the State, $145,ooo might be considered
as having been contributed directly or indirectly by the col-
ored people." (Since Mr. Orr made this statement the as-
sessed value of the property of Negroes in Georgia has in-
creased more than 300 per cent.) In 1889 the Superinten4.d
ent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, addressing the
P school officers of this state, said: "Do you know, that in-
cluding the poll tax which they actually pay, fines, forfeit-
ures and penalties, the Negroes furnish a large proportion of
the money that is applied to their schools?" In 1900, the
Superintendent of Education of Florida wrote: "The edu-
cation of the Negro of Middle Florida does not cost tl.-
white people of that section one cent. The presence of the
Negro has actually been contributing to the sustenance of the
white schools. The schools for Negroes not only are no
burden upon the white citizens, but $4,527.00 contributed for
Negro schools from other sources was in some way diverted
to white schools."
As late as 19o04, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Joyner, of North Carolina, wrote in his annual report as fol-
lows: "In justice to the Negro, and for the information of
some of those who have been misled into thinking that a
large part of the taxes which the white people pay is spent
for the education of the Negro it may be well at the outset to
give a brief statement of the facts in regard to the appor-
tionment of the school fund. This report shows that in 1904
the Negroes received for teachers' salaries and for building
school houses, $244,847.38, for 221,545 children of school
age. The whites received for the same purpose, for 462,639
children of school age, $929,164.26. The Negroes, there-
fore, have about one-third of the school population, and re-
ceive in the apportionment about one-fifth of the school mon-
ey. The auditor's -report showed that the Negroes paid in
school taxes on their property and polls $126,029,198, or .51
per cent. of all that they received for school purposes. Add to
this their just share of the liquor licenses, fines, forfeitures
and penalties, most of which they really pay, and their share
of the large school tax paid by corporations, to which tney
are entitled under the Constitution by every dictate of reason
and justice, and it will be apparent that if any part of the
taxes actually paid by the individual white man ever reaches
the Negro for school purposes, the amount is so small that
the man who would begrudge it or complain about it ought to
be ashamed of himself. In the face of these facts any un-
prejudiced man will see that we are in no danger of giving
the Negroes more than they are entitled to by every dictate
of justice, right, wisdom, humanity and Christianity."
Mr. George W. Cable, a Southerner by birth, and an ex-
Confederate soldier, wrote in 1892: "In the year i889-'9o
the colored schools of Georgia did not really cost the white
people of the state, as a whole, a single cent, either in poll
tax, tax on property or any form of public revenue. In the
other ten southernmost states the case was not seriously
different. The Negro, so far from being the educational
pauper he is commonly reputed to be, comes, in these states,
nearer to paying entirely for his children's schooling, such as
it is, than any similarly poor man in any other part of the en-
A large amount of money is contributed by Negroes to
public education over and above that paid as taxes, of which,
in most cases, but little account is taken. Negroes have
given large sums of money for the board of teachers. In
1866, when the Superintendent of Education for the Freed-
men's Bureau in Georgia wrote for more teachers, he stated
that their board would be paid by freedmen; and it was for
many years the general custom for the Negro rural school
teacher to receive a stipulated sum of from $10.oo to $25.o0
per month from the county, and board and lodging, averag-
ing from four to eight dollars per month, from the Negroes.
The amount of contributions of this kind, were, therefore,
from 15 to 40 per cent. of the salary of the teacher, which
must aggregate a very large sum. But of this no accurate
accounts were ever taken.
There is small provision for building school houses in
the former slave states. Alabama provides practically noth-
ing; Virginia and North Carolina makes loans to the local
district from the Literary Funds, under certain conditions;
Florida does the same. Hence the kind of school houses
depends finally upon the people of the district. And since
the districts are divided according to race, the Negroes are
largely responsible for their school property.
The following table showing the ownership of school
houses in 155 counties in the southern states is constructed
from information directly from reports of superintendents:
Alabama ....... 4 o 91 33 124 124
Arkansas ....... 4 150 5 3 8 158
Delaware ....... 2 ... 56 o 56 56
Florida ......... 2 54 4 12 16 70
Georgia ........ 28 120 295 247 542 662
Kentucky ....... 5 65 50 14 64 129
Louisiana ...... 12 115 42 218 26o 375
MVIaryland ....... 6 139 2 9 II 150
Mississippi ..... 13 206 201 222 423 629
N. Carolina ..... 2 44 o 4 4 48
S. Carolina .... 9 333 50 65 115 448
Texas .......... 12 i6o 19 58 77 237
Virginia ........ 56 935 28 88 116 1051
Total ........ 155 2321 843 973 1816 4137
Per cent. owned by Negroes ....43.9
The 155 counties reported 4137 school houses, of which
1816 or 43.9 per cent. were owned by Negroes, 973 of them
being Negro churches. It is well to remark that the table as
it stands is not self-explanatory. In Virginia, in 56 counties,
935 out of 1051 school houses are reported as belonging to
the county. This does not mean that the county put up
these houses and presented them to the Negroes for their
use. The fact is, in most cases, the Negroes, because of the
aid given them by the county fund, deeded them o o the
county; the same is true in North Carolina and Florida,
where local school boards seldom hold the property. The
significant fact is that of the 4137 houses reported only 973
are church buildings, which means that in 3164 cases the
Negroes have exerted themselves in order to secure some
kind of a school house other than the house in which they
hold religious services.
The average term for the Negro public schools is theo-
retically about four calendar months, but practically as long
as the appropriation lasts, which frequently is not more than
three months. Many communities, therefore, have to volun-
tarily lengthen the term by extra taxation. In Delaware, the
state provides for 140 days, yet most of the schools are
taught for a longer period. Last year, 15 of the 24 schools
in New Castle County (exclusive of Wilmington) extended
their term beyond the 140 days. In states further south,
where the terms are not so long as in Delaware, terms have
been extended two or four months at the extra expense of
The average salary of the Negro teacher is less than that
of the Negro mechanic, and frequently less than that of the
unskilled day laborer. In 1905-1906 the average salary paid
the colored teachers in Mississippi was reported as $20.83
per month, whereas in that state the laborer gets $i.oo to
$1.50 per day. This, together with the short terms, works
a hardship upon the Negro teacher. The standard of living
among Negroes and the cost of living have so increased dur-
ing the recent years that the rural school is in danger of
losing the very type of teacher most valuable. Many com-
munities tax themselves heavily to keep the right kind of
teacher with them. Some pay their board extra, others pay
so much per scholar and others so much per family. Of the
above 155 counties, 32 reported extra contributions for
lengthening the school term, and 33 reported extra contri-
butions for the increase of the salary of the teacher.
The following concrete instances will give an idea of
this support of public schools by extra contributions:
From Union Springs, Alabama: "Town Creek Asso-
ciation, Eufaula Association, Old Pine Grove, Troy and
Ozark are all supporting academies of which they have sole
control. Each academy owns from one to ten acres of land,
the buildings are very respectable, each school having from
one to four buildings. The teachers are paid by the colored
people. Salaries range from $25 to $6o per month, employ-
ing from three to five teachers in each school. The county
public school teacher's salary is very meagre, but the people
usually supplement from $5 to $Io per month. The Negroes
in my community are assuming the work of educating their
children almost entirely. The government or city gives us
a small school, however. In town, there is the Union Springs
High School, which runs nine months yearly, and has four
teachers and two buildings. It takes $1053 annually to sup-
port the work, all of which is paid by the Negroes of the
community and adjacent communities."
From Bibb County, Georgia: "We have bought two
additional lots and deeded them to the Board so that the
children could have a playground. Some years ago the
teachers raised somewhere near $1400 and started a school
of two rooms but the Board and the city have added two
rooms at a time until it is now an eight-room building. On
Pleasant Hill the patrons bought a lot for three hundred dol-
lars, on which the Board has built an eight-room school
building. The people then bought another lot adjoining and
deeded it to the Board. They still want a larger playground,
and the Board offers to pay for half if the school will raise
the other half, which is not a hard task. We raise funds
which extend or supplement our industrial work, and will
send our teacher north to study methods at our expense.
We keep increasing our library and in other ways exercising
From Tallahassee, Florida: "In this county there are
places where Negroes have built their own schoolhouses in
order that they may get a school in the community, but the
Board of Education always requires them to deed the prop-
erty to it before the school is established. So by this method
no school houses are owned by Negroes. About one-half of
the schools are taught in Negro churches. In some commu-
nities the patrons are active in the matter of making the con-
ditions in the school house better. This depends on the type
of teacher. Teachers receive their board in a few places."
From Westminster, S. C.: "I opened school here Janu-
ary, 1907, in a saw mill shanty. The county paid me for
seven weeks at the rate of $25 per month. On July 15 I
opened again in the same shanty taught eight weeks and re-
ceived $50. Then we decided to build a school house; ten of
the patrons gave me a dollar each to pay for an acre of land,
which cost $13.75. The little school house cost us $80o, but it
is not yet finished. The stove cost $8, the benches, table and
blackboard would cost perhaps $1.5o. The money that the
patrons gave us amounted to $101.75; the county did not
give any at all. In February, 1908, I opened school again
in the new house and taught eight weeks at the rate of
$25 per month, and three weeks for nothing. When the
money for the teacher's salary runs out and I am not too
busy, I just teach on until the children are obliged to go to
A more systematic work is done under the auspices of
Tuskegee Institute. The following is from the report of the
agent and shows what may be done under proper supervision.
This report relates mainly to Macon County, Alabama:
FROM OCTOBER I, 1906, TO OCTOBER I, 1907.
I. W. Welch .......... 3 200 $9o.oo $235.40
N. E. Henry .......... 3 200 90.o00 .113.20
J. A. Merchant ........ 4 240 120.00 25.50
M. P. Simmons ........ 7 115 105.00
Alex. Wilson .......... i 8 290.00 6o.oo
J. C. Calloway ......... i 150 30.00 78.oo00
J. T. Hollis .......... 2 16o 6o.oo 222.31
Mrs. K. B. Day ...... 4 90 82.50 14.00
TE. Brown ............. 3 87 90.oo 468.75
J. P. Thomas .......... 3 120 90.00 346.40
D. L. House ........... 3 1oo 90.00 347.90
Mrs. J. S. Tyson ...... 3% 6o 88.75 28.25
J. H. Torbert ......... 8 8o 9o.oo00 ....
H. E. Womack ........ 4 200 100.00 275.00
D. K. McMillan ......- 4 195 120.00 292.25
R. R. Potts .......... 3 2oo 85.oo 212.25
E. Thweatt ........... 2% 130 67.50 32.78
Ellen McCullough .... 4 120 120.00 210o.8o
W. R. Cowart ........ 3 130 9o.oo 100.00
Mrs. E. M. Saunders .. 4 200 120.00 670.00
C. Smith ............. 3 175 51.25 40.00
N. Birmingham ........ 2 85 50.00 35.00
Susie Mitchell ........ 4 155 12o.oo 320.56
F. Pearsall ............ 3 75 75.00 .....
L. B. Howard ........ 4 125 1oo.oo 165.70
Mrs J. R. Cox ....... 7 Ioo 259.00 .....
Mrs. Doggette ........ 9 ... 48.oo .....
Mrs. Powell .......... 4 oo 12o.00oo 25.00
M. Martin ............ 4Y 115 110.00oo 25.00
E. Whiting ........... 5 75 12o.oo ....
B. Price ............... 3 150 9o.o0 ....
J. Ammons ............ 4 175 12o.oo 22.00
W. D. Floyd .......... 4 275 12o.00 64.50
Mrs. Drake ............ 4 90o 6o.oo ....
W. H. Goode .......... 4 100 80.oo 240.00
P. Birmingham ........ 4 90 80.75 40.91
J. Locke ............... 3 185 90.oo x6o.oo
R. V. Hill ............ 3 95 75.00 45.00
S. B. Comer .......... 3 85 9o.oo ....
C. Bascom ............ 3 1oo 75.00 62.96
D. A. Bibb ........... 2 98 58.50 33.00
C. P. Adams ......... 4 375 oo.oo00 409.00
A. L. Jones ........... 2 6o 50.00 10.40
W. T. Jones .......... I 45 25.00 .....
L. Jones ....... ...... 2 105 6o.oo 240.00
M. E. Harris ......... 2 97 6o.oo 26.1o
N. B. Martin ......... 5 67 49.50 40.50
J. Albritton ........... 3 95 90.00 ....
J. C. Napier ........... 6 115 150.00 ....
D. Glaude ............ 2 ioo 50.00 l00.0o
A. R. Griffin .......... 2 84 39.o00 19.00
M. Shields ............ 2 98 50.00 127.17
I. Kent .............. 2 I00 60.0o 40.00
B. Lee ................ 2 8o 60.00 1146
Alice Harris .......... 2 65 50o.o00 14.00
L. Holmes ............ 2 96 60o.oo 55.00
F. Patterson .......... 2 39 6o.oo00 23.39
E. Wilson ............. 2 40 1o.oo 64.oo
C. J. Lee ............. 3 99 50.oo ....
M. Carter ............. 4 105 5o.oo ....
J. Magbie ............ 4% 149 50.oo 340.00
B. Greene ............. i 65 30.00 .....
207% 7,384 $5,214.75 $6,532.44
The report shows that in 61 schools, 207% months were added
and $6,532.44 raised in 1906-1907.
During the year 1907-1908, just closed, $3447.12 was
raised by the people, chiefly by educational rallies, festivals
and subscriptions. In some places these are held regularly
each month and reported in The Messenger, published at
THE NEGRO TEACHER: AN AGENT OF SELF-HELP.
Self-help has meant for the Negro not only contribu-
tions of money, but also of men. Although individual Ne-
gro teachers have existed continuously in the south as well
as in the north for more than a century, yet, as a profes-
sional group, they have made their place during this gene-
ration. In 1866 there were less than ooo1000 Negro teachers;
in 1907 there were more than 28,000 Negroes engaged in
teaching, an increase of nearly three thousand per cent. in a
little more than a single generation.
Along with the increase in numbers there has been a
corresponding improvement in competency and character of
Negro teachers. The following table will show the grades
of teachers employed in typical southern states:
Alabama, 1905-6 .......142 285 1147 86 I66o
Florida, 1905-6 ........ 55 360 332 140 887
Georgia, ig905-6 ........ 221 567 1998 384 317o
Mississippi, 1905-6 ..... 870 973 1476 ... 3313
North Carolina, 1904... 980 1721 145 ... 2886
Virginia, 1906-7 ........ 871 675 145 550 2241
This table represents the teachers chiefly of the rural
districts. In the cities the standard is much higher. In Ala-
bama 69 per cent. of the teachers hold third grade certifi-
cates; in Georgia, 63 per cent.; in Mississippi, less than 45
per cent.; in Florida, 37 per cent.; in Virginia, 6.5 per cent.,
and in North Carolina, only five per cent. of the teachers
hold third-grade certificates. In the six states about 37 per
cent. hold third grade certificates. In Florida there were 93
normal school graduates who attended summer schools and
369 who subscribed for educational journals. In Virginia
there were 56 college graduates and 127 who held life and
professional diplomas, while 351 had graduated from the
The first teachers of Negroes were largely whites. In
1867 the Freedmen's Bureau reported 1056 Negro teachers;
in 1870, 1324. In 19o08 nearly all of the public schools of
the South were under Negro teachers. New Orleans, Lou-
isiana; Charleston, South Carolina; Richmond, Virginia, and
possibly one or two other cities still have some white teachers
in Negro public schools. In the colleges and higher private
institutions most white teachers are found. But in these the
tendency is for the Negroes to be given responsibilities. In
the Methodist Episcopal Church the senior secretary having
charge of the schools of the Freedmen's Aid Society is a
Negro. In 1907 there were 507 teachers in the Negro
schools under this society, 402 of whom were Negroes. With-
in the past few years Negroes have been promoted to the
presidency of several of these institutions, which were for-
merly entirely in the hands of white teachers. Such schools
are Gammon Theological Seminary and Clark University,
Atlanta, Georgia; Wiley University, Marshall, Texas; Phi-
lander Smith College, Little Rock, Arkansas; Bennett Col-
lege, Greensboro, North Carolina; Gilbert Industrial Acad-
emy, Baldwin, Louisiana. Other schools such as Samuel
Houston College, Meridian Academy, Central Alabama Col-
lege and Princess Anne Academy have had Negro teachers
from the beginning. The same tendency is noticeable in the
schools of the Baptist Church, the American Missionary As-
sociation and other schools. Of 323 teachers reported in
1908 by the Baptist Home Mission Society, 188 were Ne-
groes. Three years ago one of the largest colleges of the
Baptist church-Atlanta Baptist College-chose its- first
Negro president, a graduate of Brown University, and a for-
mer student at the University of Chicago. Howard Univer-
sity has had Negroes in important places since its beginning.
The organizer of its Theological department was a Negro;
the present Dean of the College department is a former stu-
dent of Johns Hopkins; its Dean of the Teachers' College is
a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.
In Biddle University, the largest school of the Presbyterians,
and St. Augustine, the principal school of the Episcopalians,
Negro presidents have succeeded whites in the conduct of
the schools. Fisk University, Talladega, Atlanta University
and other institutions which have maintained a high classi-
cal standard, have drawn their Negro professors from grad-
uates of Negro schools-often their own alumni, who have
graduated also from Harvard, Yale, and other noted insti-
tutions. Tuskegee Institute, alone, has on its Faculty grad-
uates from a dozen of the leading institutions in the North.
In a few cities, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Harrisburg, Penn-
sylvania, and Topeka, Kansas, Negroes have served on the
Board of Education.
But it is in private institutions where Negroes have had
the best opportunities for administration. In three great
church organizations the educational work is largely under
Negro secretaries. Most of the Negro colleges have Negro
presidents and many of the largest institutions have Negro
trustees. A third of the Board of Trustees of Howard
University are Negroes. Four of the graduates of Atlanta
University are on the Trustee Board of their Alma Mater.
Fisk, Talledega, Storer, and other large institutions, have
their Negro graduates as trustees. But perhaps the largest
example of self-help along the line of administration is that
of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute of Alabama, an
institution whose entire teaching force is of Negroes and
whose success is due to the genius of Dr. Booker T. Wash-
ington, himself a product of the self-help system of Hamp-
THE NEGRO STUDENT.
The purpose of education is to develop self-help, self-
reliance, as well as to impart knowledge. But, as a rule, we
look upon education as ,an investment and require the stu-
dent to pay but a small. proportion of the cost of his training.
In Germany, a few years ago the Mecca of all who aspired
to higher learning, money received from the students is but
a mere trifle, and in America, the students of our leading
universities, such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc., though
often the sons of wealthy parents, pay the university but a
small percentage of the running expenses. With the Negro
institutions, however, quite the reverse seems to be true.
According to the Twelfth Bulletin of the Atlanta Univer-
sity Negro students in nine years, or from 1898 to 1907,
paid in cash, to 74 Negro institutions, $3,358,667, and in
work $1,828,602, a total of $5,187,269, which was 44.6 per
cent. of the entire running expenses of these institutions.
In some of them Negro students paid as much as three-
fourths and in 24 of them they paid more than half of the
total expense of operating the schools. In twelve institu-
tions the average received from Negro students was more
than $io,ooo per year, as the following table will show:
Institution ..5 "
Tuskegee Institute ........ .$217,798 $707,285 $925,083 $102,787
Hafnpton Institute ......... 91,228 549,618 640,846 71,295
Fisk University ........... 261,576 22,500 284,076 31,564
Howard University .... :.. 211,988 15,927 227,915 25,324
Wiley University .......... 154,896 28,500 183,396 20,377
Shaw University .......... 168,241 5,i6I 173,402 19,267
Knoxville College ......... 109,450 24,000 133,450 14,828
Clark University .......... 116,757 7,084 123,841 13,760
Straight University ....... 110,702 4,916 115,618 12,846
Scotia Seminary .......... 64,588 48,300 112,888 12,543
Bishop College ............. 81,793 12,587 94,38o 10,487
Atlanta University ........ 82,487 16,362 98,849 Io,985
It was General S. C. Armstrong of Hampton Institute
who put such great stress upon self-help among students,
and the result of the system he advocated is seen in the fact
that Hampton averaged $71,205 per year paid by students
in work and cash during the past nine years, and T
$1o2,787. During the past five years the average fro
alone has been more than $6o0,o00o at Hampton, as th
lowing table shows:
The total paid in by t s of the Free
Aid Society for 1907-8 was .76. The total
the students of Atlanta Un, pr 38 years fro
to 19o08-vas 3 16 ii.Jr ich is over 25 per c
$1,4o00,52n6. 1 of conducting the
tion. In tl ina schools the proportion h
'?:tStudents have contributed in many other ways
aidthe institutions of which they are members. Quartet
t- e4yes'and musical clubs of Negro students tour the cc,
"'T. winter and summer singing in aid of their school.
most notable of them were the Fisk Jubilee Singers a
went out in 1871. They raised over a hundred thot
dollars in a campaign in America and Europe, out of *
they built Jubilee Hall at Fisk 'University and paid
on Theological Hall at the same p0
The Negro race is yet poor. The total wen'
ten million would hardly equal ihat of Mr. Roc'
Mr. Carnegie. Yet out of their meagre earning,
been many Negroes who have given to educat.
bare mention of some of them can be given.
Bishop D. A. Payne gave several thousa
Wilberforce University, Mr. Wheeling Gant
Bishop J. P. Campbell gave $1,000oo to the
Henry and Sarah Gordon gave $2,100, Bisho
J. A. Shorter gave $2,000 toward the endowm
the same institution. Only a few months ago F
and valued at $2,000 to Dooley Normal and Industrial
1 in Alabama. Bishop Isaac Lane gave more than
o to Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee; Thorny Lafon
$6,ooo to Straight University, New Orleans; and
,e, Agnes and Mollie Walker $i,ooo to the same insti-
Fisk University received from Mrs. Lucinda Bed-
)f Nashville, $1,000, and $275 from Mr. C. J. Ander-
r scholarships, and $500 from John and James Bar-
.)f Nashville. Tuskegee received $1,000ooo from R. F.
e, of Galway, New Yprk, and will receive a residue
from the estate of Mary E.3tiaw which will aggre-
)ut $38,000ooo.., Aristide Mar/ of New Orleans, gave
n cash to the Orphans' Indigent Institute, which was
by Widow Bernard Couvent in i835, who gave all
1 to it. Other Negroes gave several thousand dollars
institute anonymously. In Baltimore, Nelson Wills
*ted a school for Negroes before the war.
that same city Dr. Augustus arid wife gave a large
to the Community of Oblate Sisters of Providence,
"s in charge of St. Francis Xavier Academy. Miss
Addison left $15,ooo and Mr. Louis Bode left $30,ooo
same community. In Philadelphia Mrs. Fanny J.
.n collected over $3,000 for the Institute for Colored
th. George Washington, of Jerseyville, Illinois, a for-
r slave, left $15,000 for education of Negroes; Joshua
rker willed $6,ooo to the State College of Delaware.
rgan College, Baltimore, has received more than $500
Rev. C. G. Key and S. T. Houston. Scores of other
oes have given to education at different times in smaller
the aggregate of which would be more than $500.
have been two gifts to education, however, that are
remarkable for their largeness, because they were
y Negroes who had grown wealthy but of whom the
world knew but little until their death. Thorny
New Orleans, left $413,ooo to charitable and edu-
stitutions of that city, without distinction of color.
McKee, of Philadelphia, who died in 1902, left
a million dollars in real estate for education.
that "Col. John McKee's College" be estab-
the proceeds of his estate.
OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS OF NEGROES.
s have exhibited self-help in other ways which
dicated in a paper so short as this. The Church
rgan of education as well as of worship. All of
nominations control printing plants and turn out
each year millions of copies of newspapers, Sunday School
papers, booklets and other religious literature. They bring
together each Sunday more than a million and a half of chil-
dren who study Sunday School lessons. Then there are
more than 200 secular newspapers and magazines, several
thousand books and pamphlets, which have been published
by Negroes, to which also must be added reading circles,
lecture bureaus, conversation clubs, all agencies of self-help
which the Negroes of America have developed for their own
If it is proper to measure progress by the depth from
which one comes as well as by the height which one reaches,
the efforts at self-help in education by Negroes deserve
praise. Their contributions have been far from adequate
for even meagre education, and, to-day, half of their children
of proper school age are not in school, and two-fifths of their
race are unable to read and write. But the history of civili-
zation does not show one other instance of a wholly illiterate
race or nation reducing its illiteracy in half of a single
It is probably also true that the Negroes pay possibly
a larger percentage of the cost of their schools than any
other group of poor people in America.
The Negroes have paid in direct property and poll
taxes more than $45,ooo,ooo during the past forty years.
The Negroes have contributed at least $15,000,000 to
"education through their churches.
The Negro student possibly pays a larger percentage
of the running expenses of the institutions which he attends,
, than any other student in the land.
A single generation has produced 28,ooo teachers,
20,000 ministers, 200 newspapers and magazines and other
agencies of self-help.
qv^ y>t$4/ ^^'^Q44AA
4rt^t 4lzov 4 4^-^
'4^ eu-t o-4