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Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men of Texas, Held at the City of Austin, July 10-12, 1883.

1883TX-State-Austin_Proceedings (20).pdf

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In 1877 and 1878 better prepared teachers from our own and other States entered the field. Since then they have increased both in number and ability, until there is no State in the Union where the colored schools, taken as a whole, are better conducted.

That this work of uplifint the people might go on with increased momentum, high schools and colleges have been established in various parts of the State. Charges for board and tuition at these institutions have been placed so low that our young people have no excuse for failing to educate themselves. In the midst of our desire to build up colleges, there is one danger which we are likely to fall into, viz; that of commencing at the top, instead of at the bottom of the educational ladder. No solid or permanent work can be done by such procedure. Comniun sciiools must precede colleges and univer^ities. Many of our young men and women have been crippled for life by the foolish desire of college presidents to confer unmeaning degrees. Persons from so-called colleges, professing to have studied the higher branches, are constantly applying for admission to our Normal School. Upon examination, they have been fountl, without a single exception, deficient in the elementary branches. A reform is called for. Let us remember that a thorough knowledge of tlie three “ R’s” is of more real value than all the Greek and Latin that has ever been written or spoken. College presidents must be made to understaml that they will no longer be allowed to impose upon ignorance by such dishonest means. The donation of $1,000,000. by John F. Slater, of *. onnecticut, tlie interest of which is to be devoted to the jireparation of colored teachers, is but another index to our happy future. It is i.) be hoped that this Convention will, in someway, show its appreciation of this muniticent gift. We heartily indorse what is known as the Logan bill, extending national aid toward the education of the illiterate of the country, and earnestly request our Representatives in Ctmgress to use their influence for the passage of said bill. It is the opinion of your committee that, in the employment of teachers for colored schools, preference should be given to colored teachers, other things being equal. It IS also the sense of your committee, that any attempt to merge the proposed colored branch of the University into any of the institutions now established, or which may be established in the future, will prove detrimental to the best interests of the colored people of Texas. The liberality of the last Legislature to our Normal Schools is deserving of our thanks. 1 he amendment to the school law of the State, passed by the 18th Legislature, while not what we desired in all respects, is quite an improvement upon the law as it now stands. In the opinion of your committee it should receive our support. « The Summer Institutes now in session in the different parts of the .State

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