Viewing page 16 of 26

This transcription has been completed. Contact us with corrections.



The reason of the flight, says the Rev. J.P. Johnson, is low wages, whatever may be said of lynch law and the political and civil disabilities of the Negro as contributing causes.

The Negro farm hand gets for his compensation hardly more than the mule he plows; that is his board and shelter. Some mules fare better than Negroes. This, too, is spite of the fact that the money received for farm products has advanced more than 100 per cent. The laborer has not shared correspondingly in this advance. 

A colored paper, the Nashville Globe, adds:

Negroes are leaving Nashville to escape the oppression that is so prevalent in official circles. The black man knows he has no redress and it is better for him to leave than to be subjected to the indignities that are his portion daily.

A correspondent writes to the New Orleans States:

Why, then, should there be any organized attempt made to prevent the Negro from leaving the South? So far as out state is concerned, it is simply this: The sugar planters now see an opportunity of reaping large profits by keeping a surplus of labor here to rob the poor white man and the poor black man of their rightful share in the production of their labor. If the Negro, in compliance with the law of supply and demand, would seek better remuneration for his labor in the North, men of both races would have to be paid more, as both would be in a better position to demand more wages.

Here is what one sugar planter proposes. In order that the sugar planter can have cheap Negro labor three months in the year for the harvesting of their crops, Negroes in the cities should not be permitted to go North. In other words, he would have thousands of Negroes remain idle in the cities nine months in the year, depressing wages of whites and blacks alike, in order that a few sugar planters might be able to reap larger profits from their operations. 

A writer in the Philadelphia Bulletin thinks that:

Just so long as a Negro will submit to being worked on the farm with all kinds of hardship and with almost no pay for his labor; and just so long as a Negro is satisfied with anything that the white man thinks is best for him-he is a "Good Negro."

But, on the other hand, if a Negro resents, and seeks better positions and higher wages, the Negro at once ceases to be a "Good Negro"-he is seeking undue honors, and is high-minded and bad.

The Sumter, S.C., Item, a white paper, says:

Rev. J.W. Moultrie, colored, pastor of Emanuel Methodist Church, one of the oldest and probably the largest Negro congregations of Sumter, was arrested at the Atlantic Coast Line station yesterday afternoon by Rural Policeman Sam Newman on the charge of being a labor agent engaged in enticing labor to leave the state. The arrest created considerable excitement and not a little resentment on the apart of the Negroes, and for a little while there was a hint of trouble. The excitement subsided, however, when Rev. Moultrie was released on bond and, subsequently, the charge against him was dismissed, as it was established that the arrest was a mistake. 

A correspondent tells The Crisis that the mistake was not one of identity, but that when the whites saw the furor which the arrest caused and that the colored people were arming themselves, the "rural" officer found out that it was somebody else he wanted and not Mr. Moultrie!

The Danville, Va., Battle Ax, a white paper, says:

Yes sir-ee Bob, "Danville Does Things," and does 'em often. The latest act is the stopping of three car loads of colored men who were departing for the North to work in brick yards, arresting the vice-president of the company who was here looking up help and fining him $500. Now if the gentlemen who got so interested in stopping these men from going where they could get good pay for their work has a good job to offer them, it wouldn't look quite so bad. But I'll venture if that three car loads of colored men could possibly get jobs in this section that the average wage wouldn't amount to enough to buy a gallon of white beans per day. Now the people who are so interested in keeping the laborers in these parts should know that even a colored working man can't live on air and a little Dan River water. But the idea seems to be that plenty of cheap labor must be kept on hand ready for service whenever they are wanted, and when they are no longer needed they are turned out to graze, in a land where the grazing-land is all posted, the black berry patches wired in, and even fishing for tadpoles is not allowed. 

From the St. Louis Globe Democrat:

The Negroes who have been driven from East St. Louis ate their bread in the sweat of their faces. They did not even stop at bread. Whatever fault may have been found with the Negro, he has never been accused of parsimony. Too often his expenditures exactly equal his income. The Negroes are good spenders and they pay case. The merchants and the landlords estimate that loss of these 1,000 Negroes means a weekly shrinking of about $18,000 in business receipts. None of the mob have shown any disposition to make this shrinkage good. None of them have offered to fill the enforced vacancies.


The Durham, N.C., Morning Herald, a white paper, tells us:
Land owners in many sections of the South will not permit their tenants to plant 


food and feed-stuffs. They insist on cotton being planted....

The land owners claim they cannot keep a check on the amount of feed and food-stuffs raised, but they can check the tenant up on cotton. Cotton must be ginned before it is sold. Each ginner can keep a record of the amount of cotton ginned for each Negro tenant and the landlord has no trouble in collecting his tolls. 

One owner of several thousand acres of land told all his Negro tenants that if one of them planted a row of corn he would be "run off the place." Investigation has shown that even in the boll weevil districts, where the insects have made the raising of cotton unprofitable, the land owners are still insisting that this one crop be planted. Many Negro farmers last season were unable to produce enough cotton to buy feed for their live stock and food for themselves.

It is suggested that the government or the state, or the two working together, assume control of certain plantations and insist the tenants be given the right to plant food and feed-crops if they so desire, regardless of the views of the land owners.


President W.S. Scarborough, of Wilberforce University, has received the following telegram from Colonel F.L. Wynn at Columbus, New Mexico: 

Account of sending eighty-four non-commissioned officers to Des Moines Training Camp, and consequent probable promotion with commissioned rank in National Army, 24th Infantry will have places for educated, forceful young men, competent to become non-commissioned officers. Clerks badly needed. Request your assistance in securing such who will fulfill the required requirements. Have applicants apply in person to nearest recruiting office, presenting copy of this telegram, and by letter enclosing recommendations to me if passed.

During the debate on the Draft Bill, Congressman Nichols of South Carolina cavorted in this way:

If you put a boy from Mississippi in a Negro regiment from Massachusetts, you won't have to go to Germany to have war. You will have it right here.

The familiar rebel yell of the Southerners greeted this declaration.

To this Danville, Va., Torchlight, a colored paper, replies:

It can hardly be expected that an administration dominated by this spirit of lawlessness and sectional strife, could prosecute very successfully a war against a foreign foe. In fact, there are many people in this country who believe a war "right here" that would shoot to death the spirit of rebelism and lawlessness and anarchy which make every decent Southerner ashamed that he was born in the South, would be the greatest blessing that could come to the South. The Negro did not fight in the regiment with the sensitive white "boy from Mississippi" at San Juan; but it was he that saved the white boy's skin on that memorable occasion, and brought back in glory the flag the white boy had permitted to drag in defeat and humiliation. 

In fact, there are signs that the colored people are getting restive under their treatment in regard to the "right to fight." The Boston Journal reports a colored man, James G. Wolff, as saying in a recent public speech:

"Last month, through the Department of Justice, an attempt was made to persuade the people of this country that we were disloyal and were plotting to align ourselves with an alien enemy. How wicked such men must be who would seek to injure a class who have always so faithfully supported the institutions of this country-whose patriotism is surpassed by no body of citizens, in spite of fewer reasons for such sentiment. 

"There must be an immediate change in the attitude of Washington on these grave questions," he proceeded. "We are American citizens now and forever. We are entitled to equal opportunities in all avenues of life."

To this the Pioneer Press, a colored paper of Martinsburg, W. Va., adds in a comment on the colored man's easy temper:

Kick him. All right boss. Deny him a mean in an eating house, off goes his hat and he into the kitchen. Deny him a bed, he'll sleep on the floor or in the mow. Jimcrow him in the movies and he crowds the galleries. In the cars and on boats he is happy with his banjo, song, and jig. Disfranchise him, he crosses his leg and waits for God to do everything to bring right around. To climax it, he wants to fight for his country, in the very face of the fact that he is told he is not wanted.

The Baltimore Afro-American says:

We are wondering what were the feelings of former Premier Viviani as he say in the Supreme Court of the United States and listened to the pleading of prominent lawyers for the segregation of a portion of America's population because of the color of their skins. It must have opened up a new phase of the American character with which he had not been made acquainted.

The New York Evening Post says:

Genera Smuts, his eyes opened in the East African campaign to the possibilities in the huge native population "for the creation of the most powerful army the world has ever seen," calls for a clause in the treaty of peace forbidding the future military training of African natives. There