Sunday, July 10, 2011

Today -100: July 10, 1911: Of paperbacks and negroes in public office


A publisher predicts that novels will soon be sold in cheaper paper covers.

The NYT quotes the Tampa Tribune’s explanation of why black candidates in recent municipal elections in Jacksonville, FL received so few votes, even though blacks are in the majority there: negroes “realize that the whites resent the presence of a negro in any public body. They know, too, that a negro in important public office can bring only discomfort to himself and ill-feeling against his race. They prefer to pursue the even tenor of their way” (the Trib’s saying they’re lazy) “content to let the white men rule, and asking from them only the right to make honest livings and conduct themselves in their own sphere.” The NYT says that there are differing opinions about whether blacks should be allowed to vote (and doesn’t really come down on either side): “the negro in his civilized environment is making rapid strides; he is becoming industrious and propertied. But the disparity between his acquired thrift, industry, and perseverance and that of his white neighbors is still great. His opportunities under a white man’s Government do not wear the forbidding aspect of oppression. It matters little to the negro whether he votes or remains away from the polls, and, when he feels a real need for the franchise, he may exercise his privilege. But the negroes of the South should turn a deaf ear to their Republican machine leaders, and heed the industrial gospel preached by Booker T. Washington. The negroes of Jacksonville seem to have the right idea.”

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