NORTH CAROLINA was a proving ground for one of the basic assumptions of the Southern Education movement, that when conservative White Supremacy leaders like Charles B. Aycock promised "universal education," they meant the term to include schools for black children as well as white. Aycock himself insisted that his campaign pledge in 1900 was four months of schooling in every district in the state, "and this, of course, includes the negro districts."1 "If the whites are educated the negroes will be also," he told the North Carolina Society of New York.2 By the end of his four-year term, however, it was clear that "universal education" did not mean equal education. Notwithstanding his rhetoric, Aycock presided over the first great unbalancing of school funds in favor of whites.
Aycock's own county convention in 1900 resolved, over his protest, that funds for Negro schools be drawn only from Negro taxes, and there is no doubt that the proposal struck many responsive chords. "We are tired of educating negroes to 'sass' us," said a small farmer.3A saw mill owner found "the uneducated negro to be the best we have for drudgery."4A bill by Senator Henry A. London, editor of the Chatham Record, to effect this____________________