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Educational Department

                ONLY A CHANCE IS NEEDED.

  The Negro is always breaking in.  These rushes which claim the center
of public attention have a wonderful effect upon the Negro youth. They
inspire them.  Why not?  The Kansas City Star in an editorial upon the
achievement of a genuine African (and a Hottentot at that) in Columbia
University says:
  "The announcement that a Negro student has won a medal at Columbia
University for excellence in public speaking has recalled the fact that the
medal was won five years ago by Pka Isaka Simi, the son of a Hottentot
chief. A few years ago the son of an African chief made an excellent all
round record at Oberlin College.
  "It isn't particularly flattering to members of races that have inherited
generations of civilization, and that regard themselves as among the very
elect of the earth, to discover that the son of an African chief can compete on
even terms if he is given a chance. But that seems to be the conclusion
toward which anthropology is tending.
  "A few years ago investigators were laying great stress on comparative
brain weights. The result of their investigation has sawed the legs off their
theory. The Eskimo, for instance, was found to have a brain weight well
above the average of whites. Hindus have smaller brain than Patagonians.
  "It is coming to be believed more and more that the mental gap between
savage and civilized man is due rather to experience and training than to
innate factors. If you could take a baby from a savage tribe and put it into
a civilized home, without its foster parents knowing its origin, anthropol-
ogists are disposed to believe that it would grow into an adult that couldn't
be distinguished from any of its civilized companions.
  "Of course the social inheritance isn't to be escaped. A child born in the
heart of Africa will grow into a barbarian unless it happens to have the luck
of Pka Isaka Simi, although it may be endowed with great native ability.
The child of criminal parents is apt to turn out a criminal.
  "But there is at least this agreeable feature to the situation, if the an-
thropologists are right: The race isn't chained down by hereditary limita-


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 28, Num. 1

Educational Department

Volume:  28
Issue Number:  01
Page Number:  509
Date:  07/1911


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