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Education of the Negro by Charles Dudley Warner
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THE EDUCATION OF THE NEGRO

By Charles Dudley Warner

At the close of the war for the Union about five millions of negroes were
added to the citizenship of the United States. By the census of 1890 this
number had become over seven and a half millions. I use the word negro
because the descriptive term black or colored is not determinative. There
are many varieties of negroes among the African tribes, but all of them
agree in certain physiological if not psychological characteristics,
which separate them from all other races of mankind; whereas there are
many races, black or colored, like the Abyssinian, which have no other
negro traits.

It is also a matter of observation that the negro traits persist in
recognizable manifestations, to the extent of occasional reversions,
whatever may be the mixture of a white race. In a certain degree this
persistence is true of all races not come from an historic common stock.

In the political reconstruction the negro was given the ballot without
any requirements of education or property. This was partly a measure of
party balance of power; and partly from a concern that the negro would
not be secure in his rights as a citizen without it, and also upon the
theory that the ballot is an educating influence.

This sudden transition and shifting of power was resented at the South,
resisted at first, and finally it has generally been evaded. This was due
to a variety of reasons or prejudices, not all of them creditable to a
generous desire for the universal elevation of mankind, but one of them
the historian will judge adequate to produce the result. Indeed, it might