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6. LENGTH OF SCHOOL TERM
(NOTE.-The data attached are not exactly what Mr. Givens suggested. White rural schools are not listed; the rural schools are undifferentiated. However, this probably makes a more favorable comparison since, if Negro schools were excluded, the rural average would be raised. It is already higher than the Negro school average.)
Little progress is observed in the Negro schools when one compares the length of school term of white, Negro, and rural schools. For the 8 years considered, the white schools averaged a little over 163 days a year; the Negro schools averaged a little over 137 days. The rural schools for 4 years averaged 152 days. Thus, the white pupils had school opportunities open to them over a school month longer than did the Negroes, and the rural pupils had 15 more school days per year than did the Negroes.
There is, however, one encouraging factor, namely, the progressive increase in length of school year in the case of Negro schools. While the white schools are seen to have declined even in years of prosperity, the Negro schools have been constantly increasing. Columns 6, 7, 8, and 9 of table 8 show the averages for Table 8.-Length of school term (days) in white schools, Negro schools, and undiffer
entiated rural schools in 17 States, 1927–34
1927-28 1929–30 1931-32 1933-34 1927-28 1929–30 1931-32 1933-34 1927-301 1931-32 1933-34
I Not ascertainable. 2 Data for all 17 States summarized in Office of Education, Bulletin (1935) No. 13, make this average 131 Source: Combined tables from the Biennial Surveys of Education for the years indicated.
Negro schools to be 140, 132, 135, and 142. As footnote 2 indicates, when all data for the 17 States are combined, including that for Kentucky and for West Virginia which are given in summary form in Office of Education Bulletin (1935) No. 13, the average for 1927–28 is reduced to 131. Thus, there is a constant increase in length of school years for Negro schools. Over the period shown in this table, the increase for Negro schools is one of 8 percent; white schools showed a decrease.
7. PERCENTAGE OF THE NEGRO POPULATION THAT IS RURAL
The American Negro has not been primarily an urban group.
The very nature of their traditional function in American life has held them to the land. Even now, 60 years after their liberation, they fall 13 percent under the national average for urban distribution and 17 percent above the national average for rural farm distribution. In other words, while almost 58 percent of the total white population lives in cities, only 44 percent of the Negro population lives in cities; and while 23 percent of the white population lives in rural farm areas, over 39
percent of the Negroes live in such areas. Only 5,000,000 of the Nation's 12,000,000 Negroes live in cities of over 2,500 population. It is clear, then, that the Negro is primarily a rural inhabitant.
From table 9 it is clear, also, that the Negroes in rural areas have the greatest proportion of school-age youth. In 16 Southern States which are commonly Table 9.—Number and percentage of Negroes 5 to 19 years of age in the total urban
rural-farm, and rural nonfarm population in 16 States, 1930
reputed to have the greatest Negro concentration, over 40 percent of the ruralfarm Negroes are of school age. Of the urban Negroes only slightly over onefourth are of school age. (The last column of table 9 may be of interest to anyone concerned with the educational problems of Negroes. Each of the 16 Southern States' population of Negroes is listed with the number and percentage of that population which is aged 5 to 19 years. The range of youth proportions goes from 42 percent in South Carolina to 27 percent in Kentucky with the regional average being about 35 percent. This means that one in every three Negroes in the South is of school age.)
Of greater interest, perhaps, is table 10 which shows for each Southern State the total number of Negroes of school age and their urban-rural distribution.
Table 10.-Number and percentage of Negioes 5-19 who live in urban, rural-farm,
and rural nonfarm areas in 16 States, 1930
Immediately it is obvious that the urban southern Negro is not the crux of the educational problem. On farms and in rural non-farm areas are over three-fourths of all the Negroes in the South who are of school age. Table 11, which ranks the Table 11.-Sixteen Southern States ranked according to the percentage of Negroes
5-19 years of age living in rural areas: 1930 census
States according to the rural school population, shows the overwhelming ruralness of the Negro school population of the South. Not a single State has even half of its Negro school children in urban areas.
The implication which may be drawn from such facts is that those who are concerned with Negro welfare must also be concerned with rural welfare. For some sections of the country it will be statistically valid to compare Negro needs with rural white needs. The problem of Negro education becomes one not of the city systems, but of State or county concern.
However, the rural tendency cannot be overemphasized, for current trends in migration tend to present changes which may alter the picture. Figure VIII shows the tremendous urbanization of the Negro population even in the last 10 years. The rural farm areas lost about 9 percent of their Negro inhabitants, and
FIGURE IX.-Percentage of Negroes in total population of each State: 1930. Over 50 percent Negro population
the urban gained about nine. The rural non-farm areas, for both Negro and white population, are those which are registering the least change.
Of interest also to the student of Negro education is the state distribution of the Negro population. Traditionally, of course, the Southern States are the States most concentrated with Negro population. Figure IX shows that there are 11