THOUGHTS, DOINGS, AND SAYINGS OF THE RACE. 27
became transformed in thought, in character and in life, passing-
from achievement to permanent possession, until the glory of the
gods w^as his, and he took his place among them.
Thousands upon thousands of the Negro people have had this
vision and revelation. The idea of self-hood, and the reaching-
forth to it, in a single generation of the Negro race has been a
wonderful prophecy of possibility in the significance and quality and
nobility of life. This is seen to be the master key to unlock the
door of caste and hindrance for their entrance to the rights of man¬
hood and womanhood, and to the dignities of life. This is the
power that is to settle at last the standing and the recognition of
race. This is a gain greater than that which can be tabulated in
statistics. This is the highest achievement of this generation of
the Negro race. It means a people who are capable of storing
strength and character. It means the uplift of race life.*
We are not to conclude, however, that a true and living prog-ress
of the race is to come easily or in a short period of time.
The fact that millions are in degradation and are not getting out of
it, and that more children are growing up in ignorance than are
being educated, is one of gravity, and must excite concern. It will
trouble future generations more than it does the present one. It
must not only qualify the progress of those who wrould rise, but it
must also make the question of white and black people living side by
side in peace and in respect for civil and Christian rights more diffi¬
cult of solution, and more uncertain in respect to time.
We may expect no little trouble in such, conditions. The aliena¬
tion between the white and black people will be likely to widen and
*When the race history began there was not a school for the Negro; there are now
more than 25,000 schools.
Then there was not a Negro pupil ; now there are enrolled 1,309,251 pupils in schools.
Then the number of Negro people who could read "were not worth the counting;"
now 2,000,000 people have learned to read since 1865.
But elementary education is not all. There are 25 colleges, 8,396 professors and
students ; there are 25 schools of theology with 755 students ; there are 5 schools of law,
and 5 schools of medicine.
Where a Negro teacher would have been a subject for jest and also of arrest, there
are now 20,000 such teachers in common schools.
Where their churches had the ministry of ignorant and immoral preachers these are
being displaced by those who are intelligent and worthy. Purer churches are being or¬
ganized. We sometimes think the progress is slow. It is no slower than Christianity is.
The Negro who possessed nothing is acquiring property. The estimate of taxable
property grained since emancipation for 7,000,000 of people is 264,000.000 of dollars.