Africa and the American Negro
-essays and orations on Africa as a missionary field, the obligation of the
American Negro to missionary work in Africa and kindred themes, and for
missionary hymns. The object of offering these prizes is to encourage
thought and investigation, spread intelligence and stimulate personal and
property consecration among the American Negroes for missionary work in
Africa. These prizes are offered, among the colored people, to the students
of all the schools of the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Education Society,
and to all the local churches of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Corre¬
spondence, to secure the prompt cooperation of all interested, is invited.
The Foundation is also gathering a special library on Africa. The nucleus
already has been pronounced, by expert judges, one of the best in the country
in the general field of African exploration and missionary work. The Found¬
ation is also collecting an African museum. This collection already includes
a large number of specimens of African handiwork in wood, iron, brass, cloth,
grass, etc., which reveal very clearly the native genius and artistic skill of the
untutored African. In addition to the above, out of a list of five hundred or
more stereopticon slides, there have been selected about two hundred superior
views for use in the stereopticon of the Seminary. These native fabrics and
curios, as well as the stereopticon slides, will be used in the schools and
churches to illustrate the products, industries and scenery of Africa, and the
conditions and life of its peoples. These are only the beginnings of the collec¬
tions of books and illustrative material on Africa and its peoples, which it is
hoped will be made among the greatest of their kind in this country. They
are deposited in the practically fire-proof library building of the Seminary.
Donations are invited.
As a very important means in carrying out the purpose of Mr. Stewart in
establishing the Foundation, as stated in the foregoing, the President of the
Seminary, with the cooperation of the Faculty, suggested to Mr. Stewart the
feasibility of a congress on Africa. Mr. Stewart heartily approved the plan.
Through Mr. I. Garland Penn, Chief Commissioner of the Negro Exhibit, it
was made one of the auxiliary congresses of the Cotton States and Interna¬
tional Exposition at Atlanta.
In all the plans of the congress the Faculty of the Seminary kept in view
the general purpose of the Foundation, the promotion of the interests, espe¬
cially among American Negroes, of missionary work for Africa. The indus¬
trial, intellectual, moral and spiritual progress of the colored people in America
is a prophecy, both of what they will become and will do for the redemption
of their fatherland, and also of what the native African is capable of becoming.
For this reason, it was thought wise to include in the program addresses
and papers on the American Negro, by the side of those on African exploration
native peoples, languages and religion, and the opportunity, means for the
promotion, and progress of civilization and of missions in Africa.