Booker T. Washington h.'96, president of the Tuskegee Institute, spoke to an audience of about 300 in the Trophy Room of the Union last evening. The first part of his talk was an account of his life and the hardships which he encountered in making his way to Hampton Institute, where he secured his education. Following this he told of his resolve to take up work in the black belt of Alabama, and his development of the Tuskegee Institute; and closed with a few evidences of the progress of his race, and an enumeration of the opportunities for useful service that the negro problem offers.
Education the Solution.
After speaking of the good which Tuskegee was accomplishing among the negroes, not alone in the United States but even in many foreign countries, for Tuskegee has students enrolled from 36 states and 18 foreign countries, Mr. Washington turned to the consideration of a few of their problems. The negro, he thinks, is better suited to country life than he is to the conditions which surround him in the large cities, both southern and northern. For this reason, Tuskegee has always devoted itself especially to the training of farmers. At the commencement exercises, addresses are always given on practical problems which confront the negro population of the surrounding districts. But for the help of the better elements of white population the negro race could never have made the wonderful progress it has in the fifty years of its existence in freedom. The feeling between the races is constantly improving as the negro becomes more self-respecting and more worthy of the respect of his white neighbors. The number of lynchings is decidedly on the decrease, the number being less last year than in any previous year for over a quarter of a century. Newspapers are all too apt to exaggerate the evidences of bad feeling while failing to give much notice to the sensational improvement that is steadily taking place. Injustice has been done the negro in the south in the matter of education, but Tuskeges and a score of other schools are showing the states that it is worth while to spend money to train the blacks as well as the whites. Mr. Washington deplored the fact that some people think he is "sacrificing" his life for his race. On the contrary he rejoices in the opportunities that existing conditions offer for useful service. The negro; problem is to his mind one which all citizens of the United States must help to solve