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Copyright, 1926, by

Printed in U. S. A.

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The question of race relationships is one of the greatest of social questions. Throughout history there have been no influences more determinative of the character and direction of human societies than those of racial contact and conflict, of racial fusion, and of interchange of racial cultures. Not only the greatest exaltations, but also the greatest downward plunges of human societies, have come from racial con


The amazing fact is the almost universal ignorance prevailing among the American people in reference to this matter of race relationships, In a few of our universities one may observe very small groups pursuing courses in anthropology, and therein acquiring some fundamental facts in regard to race relations, but the mass of students who pass through our institutions learn scarcely anything of this important subject. Gen erally they emerge from our institutions, as they entered them, with much race misinformation and race prejudice. Moreover, strange to say, our institutions of learning contain much more of information about the character and different breeds of cattle, swine, and poultry than of human beings. In our sociological literature and teachings we unwittingly cultivate a prejudice against all alien races by vivid pictures of the poverty, vice and crime which these races often exhibit, under slum conditions, and we do not take the trouble to inform the student what these races have done, and are doing, for the enrichment of our culture.

In knowledge of the races of the world, and of the problems of racial contact, it is doubtful if Americans have made any progress in the past century. At any rate, we blunder along with the heterogeneous races under our flag, and are least prepared of any civilized people to play a leading rôle in the matter of international relationships. The ardor of American patriotism has had a tendency to impress our people with the idea of the inferiority of other races than that to which we claim kinship, and, if our attitude toward them has not been that of contempt, it certainly has not been that of admiration or enlightened sympathy.

The first step in the direction of good will and coöperation among the races of the world is that they come to know each other. In the high schools and universities of our country there should be courses

offered dealing with the culture and contributions to civilization of the several great races of the world, especially of the races living under our flag. The study of races and race cultures is one of the most broadening and elevating branches of human inquiry, if we are able to lay aside prejudices and seek in each race its genius and its service in the forward march of civilization.

It seems to me that in the study of race relations the American people should begin with the American Negro; first, because of his numerical importance, and second, because he offers a greater contrast than any other race to the Caucasians who founded our government.

The Negro problem is typical of all other race problems. The same fundamental principles, which apply to the contact of the Negro and the Caucasian, apply to all problems of racial contact; so that we should endeavor to discover what these principles are and to make them the basis of our relations with all the races of mankind.


Norman, Oklahoma.

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