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Address of Grover Cleveland and Booker T. Washington

    It is to this kind of work we must look for the solution of the
race  problem.  My people do not need charity, neither do they
ask that charity be scattered  among them; very seldom in any
part of this country you see a black hand reached out for charity,
but they do ask that through Lincoln and Biddle and  Scotia and
Hampton and Tuskegee, you send them  leaders to guide and
stimulate them till they are able to walk.  Such institutions need
reinforcement and strengthening manyfold.
    The greatest injury that my people suffered in slavery was to
he deprived of the exercise of that executive power, that sense of
self-dependence, which are the glory and the distinction of the
Anglo-Saxon race. For three centuries we were taught to depend
upon some one else for food, clothing, shelter, and for every move
in life, and you cannot expect a race to renounce at once the
teaching of centuries without guidance and leadership.
    Coupled with  literary and religious training must go a force
that will result in the improvement of the material and industrial
condition.  In Alabama we find it a pretty hard thing to make a
good Christian of a hungry man. It is only as the Negro is taught
to mix in with his religious fervor and emotion habits of industry,
economy, land, houses with two or three rooms, and a little bank
account, just as the white man does, will he have a Christianity
that will be worthy of the name.
    What of your white brother in the South? Those who suffered
and are still suffering the consequences of American slavery for
which you and they were responsible, what was the task you ask
them to perform?  You of the great and prosperous North, still
owe to your less fortunate Caucasian brethren of the South, not
less than to yourselves, a serious and uncompleted duty.  Return-
ing to their destitute homes after years of war, to face blasted
hopes, devastation, a shattered industrial system, you asked them
to add to their burdens that of preparing in education, politics,
and economics, in a few short years, for citizenship, four or five
millions of former slaves.  That the South, staggering under the
burden, made blunders; that in some measure there has been dis-
appointment, no one need be surprised.
    The American Church has never yet comprehended  its duty


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Address of Grover Cleveland and Booker T. Washington


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