The schools in which Negroes are now being trained however do not give our

The schools in which negroes are now being trained

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The schools in which Negroes are now being trained, however, do not give our young people this point ofview. They may occasionally learn the elements of stenography and accounting, but they do not learn howto apply what they have studied. The training which they undergo gives a false conception of life when they believe that the business world owes them a position of leadership. They have the idea of business
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training that we used to have of teaching when it was thought that we could teach anything we had studied. Graduates of our business schools lack the courage to throw themselves upon their resources and work fora commission. The large majority of them want to be sure of receiving a certain amount at the end of the week or month. They do not seem to realize that the great strides in business have been made by paying men according to what they do. Persons with such false impressions of life are not good representatives ofschools of business administration. Not long ago a firm of Washington, D. C., appealed to the graduates of several of our colleges and offeredthem an inviting proposition on the commission basis, but only five of the hundreds appealed to responded and only two of the five gave satisfaction. Another would have succeeded, but he was not honest in handling money because he had learned to purloin the treasury of the athletic organization whilein college. All of the others, however, were anxious to serve somewhere in an office for a small wage a week. Recently one of the large insurance companies selected for special training in this line fifteen college graduates of our accredited institutions and financed their special training in insurance. Only one of the number, however, rendered efficient service in this field. They all abandoned the effort after a few days' trial and accepted work in hotels and with the Pullman Company, or they went into teaching or somethingelse with a fixed stipend until they could enter upon the practice of professions. The thought of the immediate reward, shortsightedness, and the lack of vision and courage to struggle and win the fight made them failures to begin with. They are unwilling to throw aside their coats and collars and do the groundwork of Negro business and thus make opportunities for themselves instead of begging others for achance. The educated Negro from the point of view of commerce and industry, then, shows no mental power to understand the situation which he finds. He has apparently read his race out of that sphere, and with the exception of what the illiterate Negroes can do blindly the field is left wide open for foreign exploitation. Foreigners see this opportunity as soon as they reach our shores and begin to manufacture and sell to Negroes especially such things as caps, neckties, and housedresses which may be produced at a small costand under ordinary circumstances. The main problem with the Negro in this field, however, is salesmanship; that is where he is weak.
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  • Fall '11
  • Dr.DavidReppenhagen
  • Negro, Journal of Negro History, Carter Godwin Woodson

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