314 Church Review.
THE TENTH ANNUAL, TUSKEGEE NEGRO CON
Mr. Brooker T. Washington outlined in the columns of
THE REVIEW sometime ago how he came to call the first,
Tuskegee Negro Conference, that most unique and interesting
gathering of Negro farmers that assembles at the Tuskegee
Institute, in February of each year. In this article he said:
"Soon after the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute
was established,it was impressed upon my mind that much
good might be accomplished by some movement which would
interest the older people and inspire them to work for their
own elevation. I think I first came to think of this when I
had occasion to notice repeatedly the unusual amount of com-
mon sense displayed by what is termed the ignorant colored
farmer of the South. In my opinion the uneducated black
man in the South, especially the one living in the country
districts, has more natural sense than the uneducated, ignor-
ant class of almost any other race. This led me to the con-
clusion that any people who could see so clearly into their
own condition and described it so vividly as can the common
farming class of colored people in the South, could be led to
do a great deal towards their own elevation. This caused me
to call the first session of what is now known as the Tuskegee
About four hundred farmers, their wives, ministers and!
school teachers, accepted the first invitation extended. Then.
as now, there was no parliamentary sparring indulged. Mr.
Washington is perpetual president and is affectionately
greeted as "Father Washington," and familiarly by others as