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Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.


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academic, 275 ; normal, 1,000 ; intermediate, 510 ; primary, 605. Total, 2,940.

But sad to tell, there is a fly in all the precious ointment of American Christians, the fly of caste. There is a fly in the matter of that Southern ordination; for why leave out these faithful children of the church, and tell them henceforth, act for yourself? There is a fly in the matter of colored Presbyteries, for why draw the line at all? There is, in short, a fly in all the Godlike Christians of the great North, in that they are endeavoring to keep up the middle wall of the partition between the two classes, if not at the South, certainly at the North. All through the South, as at the North, the great M. E. Church says to her black children, "go there," and to her white children, "come here." Separate schools, separate churches, and separate conferences is the order the day. And as with this great church to-day, so with the other churches of the land. Everywhere in the North and in the South caste prevails, differing only in degree ; the churchmen of the North reprimanding the churchmen of the South. You can ostracise the Negro to the extent of keeping him out of your parlor, but don't kill him, especially don't keep him from voting the Republican ticket. And where is the difference between this reprimand and the reprimand an intemperate father gives to his sons? "My son," said he, "you can drink two glasses of rum, but don't drink three." The spirit that practices moral ostracism upon a man solely on account of his color, is twin to the spirit that practices political ostracism for the same reason.

To the colored American both are equally hateful and hated. He wars upon both, having vowed a vow like to that of Hannibal of old, that he will never sheathe his sword till both lie bleeding and dead at his feet. Nor has he any respect for the men that practice either. It is a trial to him that he must at times listen to their soft talk. His soul rankles to say, "they are a trouble unto me ; I am weary to bear them."

And yet, brethren, the morning cometh. Caste is doomed, its death is simply a question of time. The Chang of slavery is already dead. The Eng of caste must follow. America will not fail of her destiny. Her theory of Christianity is to be her practice. Called of God to solve the highest political and social problem, its perpetuity is assured till the work has been done, to the furtherance of which I invoke the blessing of Almighty God.




There are two classes of reasons upon which the necessity for industrial education for the colored youth of this country is based; first, those which apply to all youth because of the necessities and requirements of the age; second, those which grow out of certain arbitrary social regulations which are stronger than municipal law.

The last census of the United States showed that there had been a large movement of population from the country to the larger towns and cities, North as well as South. Whole families, whose previous occupations have been rural and agricultural in their character, are brought to struggle for existence in the sharp competition of city life. As a consequence,

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