The Negro Problem.
place that they are still reflected in the morose faces and
averted eyes that are noted by the planter or overseer the next
day. An ordinary arrest in a negro quarter in a Southern
City, even for a crime committed Avithin the view of the officers,
often brings the whole vicinage about his ears. As a rule, of
course, the animus is revealed only in the covert and indirect
forms, characteristic of acknowledged inferiority, for the
negro knows that the blood runs near the skin of the Avhite
race, and as yet he cannot altogether shake off the spell of the
conscious mastery that is familiar with every weak spot in his
moral and mental constitution, and that responds with a ready
rebuke to every encroachment upon its reservations. Still, as
he recedes further and further from under the direct influence
of the whites, his port becomes more and more aggressive.
Noav he Avill content himself with visiting social ostracism or
even corporeal injury upon the black, who has had the courage,
Avhen race feeling Avas running high, to vote the Democratic
ticket. But then again, on another occasion, when separate
tables of the same quality have been provided for the two
races by a Steamboat Company, some " Afro-American " will
clamorously insist upon eating with the Avhite passengers.
Again the same heady presumption will induce a negress to
throw herself down with a defiant gesture into a vacant place
in a railroad car beside an unprotected white female. Again,
on still another occasion, when a considerable party of negroes
are in possession of a street car, and one or more ladies are
standing, the men will effect a careless ease in retaining their
seats, and the Avomen will indulge in ostentatious chatter, that
leaves little doubt as to the person for whom it is intended.
The same uneasy sense of inferiority leads the negro to signifi¬
cantly abjure Christian names and to interlard his conversation
with the prefixes of the post-office and the visiting card.
Pretensions like these the white race might wrell dismiss
with a shrug or a laugh. Unfortunately, hoAvever, race
antagonism assumes far more threatening aspects. An exam¬
ination of the back files of any daily newspaper for the last