Newspaper Page Text
RECOGNIZED BY THE RETAIL ASSOCIATION OF THE DENVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AS AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM OF THE FIRST CLASS
THE COLORADO STATESMAN zitIALL VOL. XXIII. Booker T. Wash ington’s Embar rassment As A Diner-Out S everybody. North and South, knows, Booker T. Washington. while he may have achieved _ 1- i. In ....... 1.«. f r r 11 [■ 1." (i cr on A fame by his work at Tuskegee, achieved the greater part of his notor iety at two or three dinners he at tended. The most exploited of these dinners was, of course, the one at the White Housp with President Roose velt, in 1901. Next to that was the dinner with Mr. John Wanamaker, at Saratoga, in 1905. A third was the dinner in 1911 with the king and queen of Denmark. They were em barrassing affairs, these dinners, both before and after taking, as we gather from the new biography just published by Doubleday & Page. Nothing else in Washington’s whole life, we are as sured, pained him as deeply as the censure which the dinner with Roose velt brought down upon the latter. As an invitation to a dinner at the White House is regarded as a summons that cannot be disregarded, Mr. Washing ton, we are told, had no choice, even if he had wanted one. But the conse quences were not only embarrassing but dangerous. Both the President and his guest received numerous epistol ary threats. Washington had enough letters threatening Ibis life to fill a desk-drawer. In one case, as was learned several years afterward, an actual attempt was made to carry out the threats. Say the authors of the new biography—Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe: “A strange Negro was hurt in jump ing off the train before it reached the Tuskegee Institute station. There be ing no hospital for Negroes in the town of Tuskegee, he was taken to the hospital of the Institute, where he was cared for and nursed for sev eral weeks before he was able to leave. Mr. Washington was absent in the North during all of this time. Many months later this Negro con fessed that he had come to Tuskegee in pay of a group of white men in Louisiana for the purpose of assassi nating Booker Washington. He said that he became so ashamed of himself while being cared for by the doctors and nurses employed by the very man he had come to murder that he left as soon as he was able to do so instead of waiting to carry out his purpose on the return of his victim, as he had originally planned to do.' Another incident growing out of the Roosevelt dinner has a humorous as well as an illuminating side. On a trip which Washington made in Flor ida, at a little station near Gainesville, a white man got aboard the train, shook hands cordially with Washing ton, expressed his pleasure at the meeting, looked Washington over carefully and ejaculated: “Say, you are a great man. You are the greatest man in this country.” Washington mildly protested, but the man insisted, "Yes, sir, the greatest man in this country.” Washington expressed the opinion that Roosevelt was the great est man in the country, which brought out this scornful response: “Huh! Roosevelt? I used to think that Roosevelt was a great man until he ate dinner with you. That settled him with me.” As a result of this and other inci dents, Washington concluded that “the curious nature of this thing we call prejudice—social prejudice, race preju dice and all the rest,” makes any at tempt to disturb it unwise. Yet four years later he was again the object of even more bitter censure for attend ing the ,Wanamaker dinner. His po sition on such matters was set forth by him in a letter to Edgar Gardiner Murphy, a Southerner, author of “The Present South.” Mr. Murphy was alarmed over these attacks and over their possible effect upon the work at Tuskegee, which he regarded as high ly important. He wrote to Washing ton about his fears, and received in reply a long letter. This is an ex tract: “I have never attended a purely so cial function given by white people anywhere in the country. Nearly every week I receive invitations to weddings of rich people, but these I always refuse. Mrs. Washington al most never accompanies me on any occasion where there can be the least sign of purely social intercourse. Whenever I meet white people in the North at their offices, in their parlors, or at their dinner tables, or at ban quets, it is with me purely a matter of business, either in the interest of our institution or in the interets of my race; no other thought ever enters my mind. For me to say now, after fifteen years of creating interest in my race and in this institution in that manner, that I must stop, would simply mean that I must cease to get money in large measure for this insti tution. In meeting the people in this way I am simply doing what the head of practically every school, black or white, in the South is constantly do ing. For purely social pleasure I have always found all my ambitions satis fied among my own people, and you will find that in proportion as the col ored race becomes educated and pros perous, in the same proportion is this true of all colored people.” The dinner with the king and queen of Denmark created embarrassments of a different kind. The king was in terested in Washington's work be cause of its possible application to the large Negro population on those Dan ish islands in the West Indies which we are probably soon to possess. Here is the way this visit of the ex-slave to royalty was afterward described by the ex-slave: “As I entered the reception room <-r>J£ J O U 71 j n J-AW-SST, DENVER, COLORADO, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23 1916 there were twenty or twenty-five peo ple who were to be entertained at din ner. I will not attempt to describe the elegance, not to say splendor, of everything in connection with the din ner. As I ate food for the first time in my life out of gold dishes, I could not but recall the time when as a slave boy I ate my syrup from a tin plate. “I think I got through the dinner pretty well by following my usual cus tom, namely, of watching Oc-ier peo ple to see just what they did and what they did not do. There was one place, however, where I confess I made a failure. It is customary at the King’s table as it is true at other functions in' many portions of Europe, I understand, to drink a silent toast to the King. This was so new and strange to me that I decided that, since I did not understand the custom, tne best thing was to frankly confess my ignorance. I reassured myself with the reflection that people will easier pardon ignorance than pre tense. “At a certain point during the din ner each guest is expected, it seems, to get the eye of the King and then rise and drink to the health of the King. When he rises he makes a bow to the King and the King returns the bow. Nothing is said by either the King or the guest. I think practically all the invited guests except myself went through this performance. It seems to me very fitting way of expressing respect for the King, as the head of a nation and as a man, and now that I know something about it, I think if I had another chance I could do myself credit in thAt regard.” If Washington ever got th,e “swelled head” from all this recognition, there is nothing to show it in this biog raphy. In a Preface written for the book, Mr. Roosevelt lays stress upon Washington's humility. He says: “To a very extraordinary degree he combined humility and dignity; and 1 think that the explanation of this ex traordinary degree of success in a very difficult combination was due to the fact that at the bottom of his humility was really the outward ex pression, not of a servile attitude to ward any man, but of the spiritual fact that in very truth he walked humbly with his God.’” —Current Opin ion for December. FOR GOD’S SAKE STOP WHINING. The Negro above all other races and nationalities appreciates every ef fort that is put forward in his behalf, and feels doubly thankful when some thing is done to help better his condi tion, and he is glad when one of his race is in a position to do something for him. But the Negro should not forget while fighting for “his rights and justice” and making great de mands that he is a part and parcel of the body politic and is not race a part from it. As soon as the Negro stops whining, as sopn as the Negro learns that he is but a working force that must climb as others have climbed, and fight in the same way others have fought by thoroughly building up within the ranks of his own first, by owning homes, getting education, etc., the better it will be for the race. Of course we want ev ery right the constitution of these United States guarantees to us, and some day we will have them, but wo cannot hope for them or get them by always whining or bickering on social issues, stirring up strife, and accusing the other fellow of crimes we some times commit ourselves in proportion to our own inter racial fitness for the society of each other. Let the Negro go ahead along the line on which he is not hampered. Let him increase his wealth, his knowledge, and his worth. Let him rely more upon him self and develop more within himself. We are a patient, tolerant people and time is proving that we are not with out inherent capabilities which must some day, somewhere, lead us to the full enjoyment of a freeman's right. Let us arm ourselves with greater courage, nobler endeavors and more determined zeal for the accomplish ment of these results. It is to be hoped that America will make itself so respectable and com manding as to open the door to this downtrodden, despised and rejected race. Where sovereigns are clothed with justice and humanity and the in nocent and oppressed shall be heard and find friends to defend their cause, a land unbinds the shackled limbs and a law that knows only the deeds of men regardless of their color and previous condition. Let it be remem bered that behind it all is an UN SUEft ‘■COMMANDER. He who 3ahl “RigtoLeousnes exalteth a nation, but sin is the reproach of any people.”— Wisconsin Weekly Blade. PENROSE WANTS NEGROES TO VOTE. Washington, D. C., Dec. 4. —(Spe- cial) ”1 have not fully decided what form my bill will take,” said Senator Pen rose tonight. “I may offer it as an amendment to Senator Owens’ corrupt practice act or introduce it as a sepa rate bill and follow the same line that Senator Lodge did in 1890. I think that it is about time that the laws of the United States should be enforced and that the Negroes of the South should be given their constitutional prerogatives. The people of the United States, except those who have watched the elections in the South, do not know how flagrantly the election laws are violated, how Negroes are cheated out of their franchise and the natural opposition vote, the Repub lican vote the Southern states, is never reflected. ‘This condition must stop. It may be necessary to abolish the electoral college in order to get at the evil, for then the solid South would only be a historical myth in electing a Presi dent. Now it is almost impossible to overcome the solid 145 electoral votes representing the South, made up largely of the votes of white men. Un less the South sees fit to allow the Negro vote, I would favor federal su pervision, as was proposed by Senator Lodge while a member of the House in 1890. That bill was passed by the House, but was lost in the Senate in 1891. If Congress objects to federal supervision, then I mean to work for the elimination of the electoral col lege, and the election of the President of the United States by a popular vote. “The 145 electoral votes of the South do not represent as many vot ers as in two or three of our Northern states. It is an outrage how the rest of the country is overbalanced by the South. For instance, South Carolina casts about 45,000 votes, about as many as three of the largest wards in Philadelphia, and for those 45,000 votes South Carolina gets nine votes in the electoral college.” RACE NEWS GATHERED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES Chicago, 111., Dec. 15. —A jury of twelve white men who under stood the meaning of their oath has found William looker, door keeper of Franklin Theatre, guilty of violating the law of the state of Illinois by refusing ad mission to A. T. Donald and Miss Jeanette McGhee, who held tick ets for the theatre. The em ployee claims that the rules of the house restricted Colored peo ple to the gallery. Mr. Donald and Miss McGhee quietly left the theatre and brought suit in the Municipal Court before Judge Trude. The jury found for the plaintiffs. Lansdale, Pa., Dec. 11. —When Nicholas Mueller, aged fifty-one years, insurance broker of New town, and Lottie B. Taylor, col ored, aged twenty-seven, ap peared at the Bucks county court house to secure a marriage license Marriage License Clerk Charles Brown consulted District Attor ney Calvin Boyer, but no law could be found prohibiting a mar riage between a white and a col ored person, so the license was issued. It is not known whether they have been married. The return does not have to be made to the court house for thirty days, and the local ministers have not performed the marriage. The colored woman is a seam stress near Newtown. Boston, Dec. 11. —The report of the recent dental examination is made public by the board of den tal examiners. There is some thing epochal and noteworthy in the results of this examination in the fact that one of the success ful candidates, Dr. Edna C. C. Robinson, is not only a Colored girl, but she is the first young lady of our race who has quali fied herself and taken the test in the whole history of this state. The face of a Colored girl is so unusually strange at this gather ing, one of the examiners com mented on it. (From The Monitor) The Omaha Electric Light and Power Company has given em ployment to eight Colored labor ers, under a Colored foreman, at their plant on lower Leavenworth street, and last week Charles Hopkins was employed as janitor at this plant. It is reported that credit for Mr. Hopkins, appoint ment is due to Judge Julius C. Cooley, who has always been a cou/rr;iY NO 19. true and tried friend of the race. Mr. Holdrege, general manager of the company, is authority for the statement that the company will be glad to give employment to other members of the race just as soon as it is practicable. The Monitor’s work for increased in dustrial opportunities for our people is bringing results. Let the men who are given employ ment prove themselves worthy of it. Philadelphia, Pa. —Between 3,000 and 5,000 Negro laborers have come to this city from the south within the last 6 months, according to a tentative census made recently by officials from the department of labor and com merce at Washington. Since this was an industrial census no figures are available as to the women and children that have come with these workmen, but a conservative estimate, according to A. L. Manly, field secretary of the Armstrong Association, which does work among the Ne groes, would place the Negro population of Philadelphia and its suburbs at not less than 100, - 000. These figures allow for the normal increase since the census of 1910, which gave 90,000 as the Negro population as well as for the recent influx from the South ern states. NEGRO TOWN IN OKLAHOMA Boley, Oklahoma, Dec. 11.—In the state of Oklahoma more capi tal of Negro people is invested in lands than in any other part of the United States. A time will come when this step along com mercial lines, may prove an ad vantage. While these invest ments are mainly in town lots and small acreage in the aggre gate we have a big investment which must grow with the pro gress of the state. The latest inducement offered to Negro investors is the town site of ‘‘Bookertree, ’ ’ on the main line of the Frisco railroad, close to Okmulgee and Weleetka and conviently accessible to the mar ket centers of the state, with a direct line to Dallas, Texas, and Kansas City, Mo. Besides this the new town is located in a fine agricultural section, with plenty of farm lands for the tenant or purchasers. In fact there is no reason why those who take to the “Bookertee” proposition shou.ld not do well.