The college of life, or Practical self-educator: a manual of self-improvement for the colored race
To the Great African Race, numbering MANY MILLIONS in the United States of America, from whose hands the shackles of slavery have fallen within the present generation, and whose progress in that short period has astonished the world, and challenged its admiration:- And to the MILLIONS of souls of the same race in the "Dark Continent" to whom those of America will carry the light of Christianity to disenthrall them from the bonds of savagery and superstition.
And to yet other millions now groaning under the yoke of "slavery in semi-civilized countries and in the islands of the sea to all the sons and daughters of Ham wherever they are found and whatever their condition We send this Volume with our Greeting Happy indeed should be the African Race in this closing decade of the nineteenth century. From the long dreary night of past ages of barbarism and slavery, the darkness is passing away the morning light has broken and the sun of liberty and enlightenment is rising gloriously in the heavens.
To these people, among whom the spirit of liberty has so recently been born and over whom the star of hope is smiling; To that Great Nation, which we believe, shall rise like a triumphant Phenix from the ashes which smoulder over the superstitions, the persecutions and the barbaric ruins of ages past.\
In preparing this volume for the Eight Millions of Afro-Americans in this country certain well-defined objects were in view, as follows:
To advise, encourage and educate the thousands of young people of the race and to inspire them with a desire to better their condition in life by Self-Improvement; To afford the valuable information needed by the large class of men and women who are engaged in the responsible duties of active life, and to place within the reach of parents a valuable guide for the successful training of their children, and a Family Educator for the Home.
With the above purpose in view portraits of many successful men and women of their own race, with sketches of their achievements in life, are given as examples of what may be accomplished through education, patience, perseverance and integrity of character. Many engravings illustrating Afro-American Progress are introduced as object lessons of the great advancement of their own people, impressing them with the fact that they must educate and elevate themselves if they would attain success in life.
This volume is intended as a Self-Educator and is in no sense a history or book of biography; therefore it cannot be expected to include the portraits or mention all prominent men of the race, nor describe all historical events. Sufficient portraits and sketches of successful Afro-American men and women are given as a GUIDE TO SUCCESS, and illustrations of places, objects and events are given for the purpose of inspiring ambition and as an incentive for the sons and daughters of the race. Some subjects concerning the race, but not concerning Afro-American Progress, have been purposely omitted, as it is believed these subjects are not in accord with the purpose of the book. To the future, the race must look forward. Let each individual prepare for it by Self-Education. Within this volume will be found "A College of Life," embracing the following departments:
Thirty Years of Advancement, Afro-American Progress Illustrated, Negro Department Cotton States and International Exposition, Achievements of Successful Men and Women of the Race as a Guide to Success. Rules of Etiquette for all Occasions, Marriage and Domestic Life,
The Care and Management of Children, Bible Stories for the Young, Household Economy, Athletic Sports, Physical Development, How to be Healthy and Strong: Bookkeeping and Penmanship, Correspondence and Letter Writing, The Correct Use of the English Language, Sentiment and Culture of Flowers, Amusements and Pastimes s How to Organize Societies, Practical Suggestions for Home and School, Masterpieces of Eloquence Selections from the World's Best Authors, and an Encyclopedia of Valuable Information and Important Facts for Reference.
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