African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

"The Upward Path: A Reader For Colored Children" (1920)

THE UPWARD PATH

A READER FOR COLORED
CHILDREN

 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

ROBERT R. MOTON

PRINCIPAL OF TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE

 

COMPILED BY

MYRON T. PRITCHARD

PRINCIPAL, EVERETT SCHOOL, BOSTON

AND

MARY WHITE OVINGTON

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE

 

NEW YORK
HARCOURT, BRACE AND HOWE

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY
HARCOURT, BRACE AND HOWE, INC.

Introduction by Robert R. Moton

The Negro has been in America just about three hundred years and in that time he has become intertwined in all the history of the nation. He has fought in her wars; he has endured hardships with her pioneers; he has toiled in her fields and factories; and the record of some of the nation's greatest heroes is in large part the story of their service and sacrifice for this people.

The Negro arrived in America as a slave in 1619, just one year before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth in search of freedom. Since then their lot has not always been a happy one, but nevertheless, in spite of difficulties and hardships, the race has learned many valuable lessons in its conflict with the American civilization. As a slave the lessons of labor, of constructive endeavor, of home-life and religion were learned, even if the opportunity was not always present to use these lessons to good advantage.

After slavery other lessons were learned in their order. Devoted self-sacrificing souls—soldiers of human brotherhood—took up the task in the schoolroom which their brothers began on the battlefield. Here it was that the Negro learned the history of America, of the deeds of her great men, the stirring events which marked her development, the ideals that made America great. And so well have they been learned, that to-day there are no more loyal Americans than the twelve million Negroes that make up so large a part of the nation.

But the race has other things yet to learn: The education of any race is incomplete unless the members of that race know the history and character of its own people as well as those of other peoples. The Negro has yet to learn of the part which his own race has played in making America great; has yet to learn of the noble and heroic souls among his own people, whose achievements are praiseworthy among any people. A number of books—poetry, history and fiction—have been written by Negro authors in which the life of their own people has been faithfully and attractively set forth; but until recently no effort has been made on a large scale to see that Negro boys and girls became acquainted with these books and the facts they contained concerning their people.

In this volume the publishers have brought together a number of selections from the best literary works of Negro authors, through which these young people may learn more of the character and accomplishments of the worthy members of their race. Such matter is both informing and inspiring, and no Negro boy or girl can read it without feeling a deeper pride in his own race. The selections are each calculated to teach a valuable lesson, and all make a direct appeal to the best impulses of the human heart.

For a number of years several educational institutions for Negro youths have conducted classes in Negro history with a similar object in view. The results of these classes have been most gratifying and the present volume is a commendable contribution to the literature of such a course.

Robert R. Moton

Tuskegee Institute, Ala.,
June 30, 1920
 



CONTENTS

The Boy and the Bayonet    Paul Laurence Dunbar    1
Beginnings of a Mississippi School    William H. Holtzclaw    13
Up from Slavery    Booker T. Washington    15
Booker T. Washington    William H. Holtzclaw    20
Anna-Margaret    Augusta Bird    22
Charity    H. Cordelia Ray    28
My First School    W. E. B. DuBois    29
Ere Sleep Comes Down    Paul Laurence Dunbar    38
The Land of Laughter    Angelina W. Grimke    40
The Web of Circumstance    Charles W. Chesnutt    47
Is the Game Worth the Candle?    James E. Shepard    48
O Black and Unknown Bards    James Weldon Johnson    54
The Greatest Menace of the South    William J. Edwards    56
The Enchanted Shell    H. Cordelia Ray    63
Behind a Georgia Mule    James Weldon Johnson    66
Hayti and Toussaint L'ouverture    W. E. B. DuBois    72
His Motto    Lottie Burrell Dixon    77
The Months    H. Cordelia Ray    86
The Colored Cadet at West Point    Lieut. Henry Ossian Flipper, U.S.A.    90
An Hymn to the Evening    Phyllis Wheatley    95
Going to School Under Difficulties    William H. Holtzclaw    96
The Brave Son    Alston W. Burleigh    101
Victory    Walter F. White    102
The Dog and the Clever Rabbit    A. O. Stafford    109
The Boy and the Ideal    Joseph S. Cotter    112
Children at Easter    C. Emily Frazier    114
Abraham Lincoln    William Pickens    117
Rondeau    Jessie Fauset    120
How I Escaped    Frederick Douglass    121
Frederick Douglass    W. H. Crogman    128
Incident in the Life of Frederick Douglass         134
Animal Life in the Congo    William Henry Sheppard    135
Coƶperation and the Latin Class    Lillian B. Witten    143
The Band of Gideon    Joseph F. Cotter, Jr.    148
The Home of the Colored Girl Beautiful    Azalia Hackley    150
The Knighting of Donald    Lillian B. Witten    153
A Negro Explorer at the North Pole    Matthew A. Henson    159
Benjamin Banneker    William Wells Brown    166
The Negro Race    Charles W. Anderson    168
Paul Cuffe    John W. Cromwell    169
The Black Fairy    Fenton Johnson    175
It's a Long Way    William Stanley Braithwaite    181
Negro Music that Stirred France    Emmett J. Scott    182
November 11, 1918         187
Sea Lyric    William Stanley Braithwaite    189
A Negro Woman's Hospitality    Leila A. Pendleton    190
Record of "The Old Fifteenth" in France    Emmett J. Scott    192
Negro Soldiers    Roscoe C. Jamison    194
The "Devil Bush" and the "Greegree Bush"    George W. Ellis    195
Evening Prayer    H. Cordelia Ray    199
The Strenuous Life    Silas X. Floyd    200
O Little David, Play on Your Harp    Joseph F. Cotter, Jr.    202
A Day at Kalk Bay, South Africa    L. J. Coppin    203
Bishop Atticus G. Haygood    W. H. Crogman    205
How Two Colored Captains Fell    Ralph W. Tyler    207
The Young Warrior    James Weldon Johnson    208
Whole Regiments Decorated    Emmett J. Scott    209
On Planting Artichokes    Daniel A. Rudd and Theodore Bond    210
A Song of Thanks    Edward Smyth Jones    214
Our Dumb Animals    Silas X. Floyd    216
A Legend of the Blue Jay    Ruth Anna Fisher    218
David Livingstone    Benjamin Brawley    220
Ira Aldridge    William J. Simmons    224
Fifty Years    James Weldon Johnson    228
A Great Kingdom in the Congo    William Henry Sheppard    233
Pillars of the State    William C. Jason    249
Oath of Afro-American Youth    Kelly Miller    250

 

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