HELPING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM.
If there is any institution in the country that should be confident in an appeal to the American pocketbook it is Tuskegee Institute. For the American pocketbook has a conscience, our cynical moments to the contrary notwithstanding, and there is no pocketbook in the world which opens so widely to generous impulse.
When we freed the slave we did not wipe out the debt we owed him. We added to our obligation to the negro race while we liquidated only a part of our debt. Something of that obligation is being met in the support of Tuskegee, and that support should be increased.
Dr. Washington says that the operating expenses for the year come to $270,000 of which only $118,000 is now secure. He says also that and endowment of $5,000,000, in place of the present $2,000,000 is needed.
Tuskegee was founded in 1881. A distinguished student of social condition in America and Europe, Prof. W. I. Thomas has said: "I regard the Tuskegee institute as the most considerable educational invention of modern times." There can be no doubt of the imperative need of its service toward the solution of our tragic and ominous race problem, nor of the value of the work it had done during the last thirty years. Since its founding 8,000 persons have received instruction there and are doing good work now, chiefly in the south, where their services are most required, as teachers, farmers and industrial workers.
The whole nation is concerned in this service and owes it support. Dr. Washington declares that even dollar subscriptions will help. Perhaps, with the return of wealth and prosperity to the south after many years of prostration, Tuskegee, as well as all practical and well run education institutions for the negro, will receive more liberal aid from the region immediately and most seriously concerned. But the north should also pay a share, as it has in the past.