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Address of Grover Cleveland and Booker T. Washington

000,000 of our people in this country, or a race nearly as large as
Mexico, a nation, within a nation, that will be a burden, a menace
to your civilazation, that will be continually threatening and de-
grading your institutions, or whether you will make him a potent,
emphatic factor in your civilization and commercial life.
    What was three hundred years in doing cannot be undone in
thirty years.  You cannot graft a fifteenth century civilization
into a twentieth century civilization by the mere performance of
mental gymnastics. An educated man on the streets with his
hands in his pockets is not one whit more benefit to society than
an ignorant man on the streets with his hands in his pockets.
  What are some of the conditions in the south that need your
urgent help and attention? Eighty five per cent. of my people in
the Gulf States are on the plantations in the country districts,
where a large majority are still in ignorance, without habits of
thrift, economy; are in debt, mortgaging their crops to secure food;
paying, or attempting to pay, a rate of interest that ranges between
20 and 40 per cent.; living in one-room cabins on rented lands,
where schools are in session in these country districts from three
to four months in the year; taught in places, as a rule, that have
little resemblance to school houses.  Each colored child in these
States has spent on him this year for education about seventy
cents, while each child in Massachusetts has spent on him this
year for education between $18 and $20.  What state of morality
or practical Christianity you may  expect when  as many as six,
eight, and even ten, cook, eat, sleep, get sick, and die in one
room, I need not explain. During slavery my people reasoned
thus: my body belongs to my master, and taking master's chick-
ens to feed master's body is not stealing; or, as one old colored
man said whose master got too close to him:   "Now massa,while
youse got a few less chickens, youse got a good deal more nig-
ger."  You must not be surprised if our people use something of
this kind of logic in reference to the present mortgage system.
    But what is the remedy for this condition?  It is not practi-
cal nor desirable that the North attempt to educate directly all
the colored people in the South, but the North can and should
help the South educate the strong Christian leaders who will go


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Address of Grover Cleveland and Booker T. Washington


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