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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (44).pdf

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The burden of the educated colored woman is not diminished by the terrible crimes and outrages that we daily hear of, but by these very outrages and lawlessness her burdens are greatly increased.

Somewhere I read a story, that in one of those western cities built in a day, the half-dozen men of the town labored to pull a heavy piece of timber to the top of a building. They pushed and pulled hard to no purpose, when one of the men on the top shouted to those below: "Call the women." They called the women; the women came; they pushed; soon the timber was seen to move, and ere long it was in the desired place. Today not only the men on top call, but a needy race,—the whole world, calls loudly to the cultured Negro women to come to the rescue. Do they hear? Are they coming? Will they push?


The discussion following Miss Laney's paper brought to light the fact that educated colored women are aware of their responsibilities, and that they have already accomplished much toward making lighter the burdens that weigh down the race. There was no lack of frankness in the relation of incidents showing the great need of help for the ignorant and degraded classes; nor was there any lack of willingness to undertake whatever the conference might decide upon as the best thing to be done. The session was especially marked by harmony and unanimity of feeling, no disposition being shown by anyone to shirk responsibility or to belittle the work of her neighbors.


It was a matter of congratulation to all present that the Negro reformatory, for which a contribution was taken at the last conference, has been put on its feet by generous gift of Mr. C. P. Huntington, and there were many expressions of gratitude. Mrs. Bowser made an appeal to the conference to help bear the burden of supporting this reformatory. She said that, although she had no children of her own, she felt the responsibility of the neglected little ones who are to be seen in crowds about the log cabins, or in the streets of cities. "Let us be interested in ourselves," said the speaker, "these children are on the downward road; they will help to swell the criminal classes. We cannot afford to let them go to ruin. As fast as the bad rise, we rise

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