Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

By Philip S. Foner; Robert James Branham | Go to book overview

fruit, fresh eggs, good meat, etc. These things give strength not only to women, but to their offspring.

Keep regular hours. Do not stay in church till 12 and 1 o'clock at night. Go to bed at 10, especially if you labor through the day. When you get up in the mornings air the bedding, open up things for a while and let the sunshine in. When the little child comes do not have an ignorant granny, secure a good physician in addition to at least a clean nurse. Apply your lessons of bathing, feeding, sleeping to these little ones, remembering, of course, their age.

Teach the boys as well as the girls respect for the marriage tie and home. Be companions for your sons and daughters if you would stop the tide of immorality. A young girl has no business out to a party or church or picnic without some older member of her family or woman friend. Teach the boys to come home at night. Teach them the sin of ruining some man's daughter. These lessons can be taught around the fireside at night, from the pulpit, in the school room, in mothers' meetings; and there should be a mothers' meeting in every community. They can be instilled in many ways. Help secure a minister and teacher who will take an interest in the physical and moral improvement of our families, and together with what we women can do and our ministers and teachers, we shall be able to make some progress in the coming ten or fifteen years which will prove to our enemies that our condition physically and morally is nothing inherent or peculiar to race, but rather the outcome of circumstances over which we can and will become masters. In this way and only in this way will [we] satisfy the men and women, both North and South, who still have faith in us. Let us teach our boys and girls some useful occupations, let us insist upon an intelligent and moral ministry, let us employ teachers only who are above reproach, and above all let those of us who have had an opportunity, who have educational advantages, modify our cause lines--stoop down now and then and lift up others.■


143 THE CANCER OF RACE PREJUDICE

Booker T. Washington

After his "Atlanta Compromise" speech of 1895, Booker T. Washington rarely argued in public for African American civil rights or against racist violence and discrimination. "In my addresses I very seldom refer to the question of prejudice," he explained, "because I realize that it is something to be lived down not talked down." One no-

-868-

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