Race relations and the role of the press in promoting better understanding between majority and minority groups has been the topic of a series of seminars conducted in the past few weeks by eight Negro students and a group of Nieman Fellows.
Attention was focused on a different phase of the race question at each of six weekly meetings, held in the Nieman office in Holyoke House, and the usual procedure was for several reports to precede general, informal discussion.
Topics included the historical and sociological development of caste system: the Negro in the army; the Negro in politics; the Negro in agriculture; the Negro in education; and the Negro in business.
An excellent cross-section of sentiment was obtained since the Negroes participating hailed from New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma, and the Niemans, who originated the seminars from Tennessee, South Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and California. Nathan G. Caldwell of Dunster House, a Nieman from Nashville, Tenn., served as chairman.
Although there were divergent views expressed as to the most feasible programs for combatting racism, there was no disagreement on the scope or degree of the injustices suffered by the negro in virtually every field of endeavor and in every section of the country.
Caldwell declared the project was "an effort frankly to face a question this nation no longer can allow itself to overlook.
"No normal and continuing group of society," he said, "can be suppressed without the suffering of the whole society particularly at this time, when we are aiding in the fight on fascism, with its racism, we should be battling the same forces at home."
He pointed out that Harvard lacks an every-year course in race and nationality relations and expressed the hope that more attention would be devoted to the subject in the future.