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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.
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health. They should educate the people; they should instruct them as to the potent influences of God's sunlight as a prophylactic for many maladies. Rest in bed at home is a great therapeutic agent.
Another factor is that hospitals are being established and conducted by colored people, giving employment to many colored nurses who in their turn are wielding a far-reaching influence for the good of the race.
The race must learn that careful nursing, rest, diet, hygienic surroundings, absolute cleanliness, and personal purity are the essentials for a sound mind in a sound body. The twentieth century will be a golden era in race history; in every walk of the busy American life there will be marked progress. The Negro has the force within himself to accomplish great ends, and as he ceases to be an object of charity and demands equal privileges and opportunities, there will cease to be a Negro problem to burden the Anglo-Saxon.
The future is bright. With Father Lucey I believe that "Any race that can double its population within the space of the average human life, possesses virility, and a race that can acquire in a quarter of a century $300,000,000 worth of property shows a spirit of independence."
Causes of High Mortality
This report produced a profound impression for, although showing small gains in some respects, the story was in the main discouraging. It was suggested, however, that as the statistics were gathered from the city alone it would hardly be fair to make the conclusions general without considering a like report from country districts. Dr. Lamb was ask to give his opinion of the cause of the high death rate of the colored race. He charged it entirely to ignorance, immorality, and inability to control surroundings, and said that if these conditions were corrected there would be a great change. He thought that the solution of the problem lay in the dissemination of leaflets containing hygienic rules, and simple instructions. He also advocated a greater regard for cleanliness, saying that the best start toward good health is to get rid of vermin and dirt.
This matter was emphasized by Dr. Curtis when he was called upon to give his testimony. He said that in every one of the crowded rooms in alleys that he had investigated he had found the bacilli of tuberculosis. "The Negro must leave such
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