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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.
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II; there are at present about 500 stockholders in the association.
While they feel some pride in the amount of business transacted, the promoters and managers of this company do not measure their success by this alone; they measure it more by the number of persons whose property they have snatched from under the auctioneer's hammer; by the homes they have saved to poor orphans and widows, and by the two hundred and fifty homes they have built for their members in this town and the adjoining county.
The Closing Session.
After the opening exercises on Friday morning, Dr. Frissell introduced Prof. Scarborough, one of the foremost Greek scholars in the country, who read a paper on
THE NEGRO IN FICTION AS PORTRAYER AND PORTRAYED
BY PROF. W. S. SCARBOROUGH, OF WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY
Some eight years ago I presented phases of this subject before a body of educators in Nashville, Tenn. Since that time there has been astonishing growth in fiction which deals with Negro life and character, both in quantity and in quality. It therefore seems to me not altoghther unprofitable to review what was then said while I note what the passing years may have developed concerning this theme.
This development emphasizes the utterance of Judge Tourgee then quoted; that with the conditions resulting from the downfall of slavery, southern life would furnish to the future American novelist his richest and most striking material. We have seen this verified with the Negro in the predominating part. How well it has been done is another story.
Both northern and southern writers have presented Negro nature. Negro dialect, Negro thought, as they conceived it. too often, alas, as evolved out of their own consciousness. Too often the dialect has been inconsistent, the types presented, mere composite photographs as it were, or uncouth specimens served up so as the humorous side of the literary setting might be property balanced.
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