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THE FIRST COLORED Professional, Clerical and Business DIRECTORY OF BALTIMORE CITY 25th Annual Edition, 1937-1938
Volume 515, Page 1   View pdf image (33K)
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY OF COLORED
REPRESENTATIVES ON THE
BALTIMORE SCHOOL BOARD

The Association for the Handi-
capped, through its manager, Mr. Rob-
ert W. Coleman, wrote letters to pub-
lic school superintendents, educators
and people of importance throughout
the country. Replies from these let-
ters are nearly unanimous in their
opinions favoring colored citizens as
members of the School Board. One
person, Mrs. Marie Bauemschmidt,
was opposed. Dr. David E. Weglein
ignored the letter which is indicative
of his position.

We quote parts of a few of the let-
ters received by the Association:

"I believe that where we have a
large number of children of a particu-
lar race in our schools, it is well to
have one of their own who does know
their needs and can make their prob-
lems known to the whole Board."

"It seems to me just and wise to
have a Negro member of the School
Board. Other minority groups have
representatives on the School Board
and it seems to me utterly wrong that
the Negroes should not have a mem-
ber also, as we know there is over-
crowding in the Negro schools, and
many matters that require direct rep-
resentation on the School Board."

"Inasmuch as the colored group con-
stitutes about one-sixth of the popu-
lation of Baltimore it would be only
fair, equitable and just that there
should be colored representation on
the governing body of the public
school system. Such representation
would be in line with our form of rep-
resentative government and our Con-
stitutional guarantees."

"Fortunately we have an unusually
fine Board of Education. Racial and
religious problems do not arise be-
cause of the high type of men and
women who serve on the Board. I re-
gard the presence of an outstanding
colored citizen as essential."

"Based on our experience here I feel
safe in saying that the having of a
colored Board member has a distinct
asset to the city as a whole in that it
indicates a spirit of fair play, toler-
ance, and the inclination to uphold the
fundamental principles of democracy."

"I wish to say that considering the
number of public schools and the fact
that said pupils are in separate
schools, I feel that a member of the
colored race should be on the Board."

"Naturally no one would maintain
that in choosing members of the
Board, there should be exclusion be-
cause of color, any more than there
should be because of creed."
"I feel that greater representation
of the colored race will be productive
of much good to our community, and
will also promote a better understand-
ing between our respective races."

"I am unqualifiedly in favor of hav-
ing a colored member on the City
School Board. There are certain unique
problems of negro life, just as there
are unique problems in the life of any
other substantial minority. While you
would not have a negro on the School
Board solely as a representative of the
colored people, it is most essential that
an intelligent, broadminded and liber-
al colored man or woman be a mem-
ber of that Board, in order that when
problems arise concerning the colored
people, the School Board may be able
to have the benefit of official and in-
timate and intelligent counsel."

"I understand that some people fool-
ishly object to a negro on the School
Board on the grounds that he would
represent only the colored people and
thus create a sort of sectionalism in
that Board. Of course, even if this
were so, it is not any real argument
against a negro to the Board. But the
argument in itself is stupid. The in-
telligent negro thinks in terms of the
community as a whole just as much
as the intelligent white man. It is
only when a problem arises concern-
ing the negro that the colored mem-
ber of the School Board might have
some specific and unique angle of ap-
proach which would be extremely val-
uable to the entire Board."

"Since the Negro group presents
such a different problem and is, as a
group, so separated from the major-
ity group, there is great need for the
presence of Negroes on the planning
and formulatory boards in order that
they might accurately and sympathet-
ically interpret the needs of their
group to the majority."

"When Negro children are in a so-
ciety in which opportunity is limited
for them, the psychological effect of
having the schools which they attend
administered by a group responsible
to a board on which men and women
of their own color serve is most im-
portant. The formative years are
those spent in elementary and second-
ary schools. For that reason, it is
most important that children see in
the school system a pattern which, in
its implications, offers an inspiration
to them."

[1]

 

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THE FIRST COLORED Professional, Clerical and Business DIRECTORY OF BALTIMORE CITY 25th Annual Edition, 1937-1938
Volume 515, Page 1   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  
  << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>


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