The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941

By Gloria Garrett Samson | Go to book overview

11
Spend It Here and Now

James Weldon Johnson sought aid for his own organization's antilynching campaign and passage of the Dyer Bill then before Congress. Southerners killed Negroes with impunity. Although occasional arrests were made, no Southern jury would convict a white person for murdering a black one. The Dyer Bill prescribed punishment for law enforcement officers and local government officials who failed to prevent or to prosecute lynching. The association hoped to produce a grassroots groundswell to force the Senate to pass the bill. The "standard philanthropic sources," according to the historian of the NAACP campaign, "proved too conservative to involve themselves." 1 The NAACP turned to the Garland Fund.

After L. C. Dyer of St. Louis introduced the bill in 1921, Johnson spent an intense year and a half lobbying and publicizing, using all his personal charm and persuasiveness to achieve passage of the law. The bill had passed the House but the Senate continued to refuse its consideration. The NAACP's application to the Fund explained that only federal laws could stop the slaughter, which had produced 3,496 lynchings between 1889 and 1922. Sixty persons had already met that grisly death in 1922 alone.

"The old 'abolitionist' friends of the Negro have gone," the application said, "and no new ones have sprung up to take their place." The Republican Party had abandoned "its attitude of benevolence,'" and Northerners were "more and more inclined to defer to the Southern attitude in dealing with the race problem. . . . More than ever today," the NAACP said, "the cause of the Negro is perhaps the most unpopular cause in America."2 Of course, the AFPS sought unpopular causes.

Moving more quickly than they had for many other applications, the directors voted to give the campaign $2,500, which grew to an eventual $7,000. Advertisements urging readers to contact their senators in support of the Dyer Bill appeared in major newspapers in New York City, Atlanta, Kansas City, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland, with a combined circulation of 2 million. Many of the ads were full page; the

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The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Labor Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - An Inheritance Rejected 1
  • Notes 3
  • 2 - From Progressivism to Radicalism 5
  • Notes 12
  • 3 - The Aclu and a New Social Order 15
  • Notes 18
  • 4 - Free from the Bonds of Old Institutions 19
  • Notes 24
  • 5 - Workers Will Lay Down Their Tools 27
  • Notes 31
  • 6 - To Promote the Well-Being of Mankind 33
  • Notes 38
  • 7 - Pacifists as Radicals 41
  • Notes 46
  • 8 - It Takes Warm Hearts 49
  • Notes 56
  • 9 - Chosen to Box the Left Compass 59
  • Notes 63
  • 10 - A Sane Enough Radicalism 65
  • Notes 68
  • 11 - Spend It Here and Now 69
  • Notes 73
  • 12 - Scientific, Pragmatic, Efficient 75
  • Notes 81
  • 13 - Emancipation of Their Class in Every Sphere 83
  • Notes 90
  • 14 - Bolsheviks in Patriots' Clothing 93
  • Notes 100
  • 15 - Tempers Flare 103
  • Notes 109
  • 16 - The Rebel Girl Comes Aboard 111
  • Notes 115
  • 17 - Surveying the Left 117
  • Notes 122
  • 18 - Enemies on the Left 125
  • Notes 131
  • 19 - Education and Culture 133
  • Notes 139
  • 20 - Recipient Testimonials 141
  • Notes 147
  • 21 - Negro Work"" 149
  • Notes 155
  • 22 - Passaic 157
  • Notes 162
  • 23 - Vanguard Press 165
  • Notes 169
  • 24 - Friction Within and Without 171
  • Notes 177
  • 25 - Little Left to Repress 179
  • Notes 190
  • 26 - The Manifold Discriminations That Beset Him"" 193
  • Notes 201
  • 27 - Shift to Low Gear 205
  • Notes 216
  • 28 - We Did Quite a Lot of Good 219
  • Notes 224
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 253
  • About the Author 265
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