THE RELATIONS OF THE NEGROES TO THE LIQUOR PROBLEM.
IN the studies hitherto made of the Negro problem, references to the drink question are conspicuous only by their absence. No reputable author, so far as known, has seized on the liquor habit to explain the source of the most deplorable social traits observable among the present-day Negroes, -- shiftlessness and consequent poverty, the development of a distinctly criminal class, and immorality. Is it that the relations of the Negroes to drink, being overshadowed by graver aspects of the problem, have escaped serious study, or is the race as yet comparatively untouched by the ravages of intemperance? It is certainly remarkable that in the teeming discussions of the barriers to the second emancipation of the race, the coming of which lacks not for prophets, little if any attention is paid the subject of inebriety. Yet no one ventures to assume that the colored people are wholly untainted by this vice. What, then, are their habits and peculiarities with respect to the use of alcoholic beverages, and what are its palpable consequences? Categorical answers are perhaps impossible. The subject becomes most easily approachable when the rural and urban populations are considered separately. What applies to the country Negro, especially