In bringing this book before the public, it is my hope that the friends of the Snow Hill School and all who are interested in Negro Education may become more familiar with the problems and difficulties that confront those who labor for the future of a race. I have had to endure endless hardships during these twenty-five years, in order that thousands of poor negro youths might receive an industrial education,—boys and girls who might have gone into that demoralized class that is a disgrace to any people and that these friends may continue their interest in not only Snow Hill but all the schools of the South that are seeking to make better citizens of our people. I also hope that the interest may be sustained until the State and Nation realize that it is profitable to educate the black child as well as the white.
-that is, the collection of slaves' cabins. We had about three acres of ground cleared around our cabin and my grandmother and I farmed. I do not know how old I was when I began working, for I have been a farm hand ever since I could remember anything. We usually made one bale of cotton each year and about twenty-five or thirty bushels of corn. Sometimes my grandfather would do our plowing and at other times,--as we had no stock,--my grandmother and I worked out for others to get our plowing done.
In the summer time it was the custom for little Negro boys to wear only one garment, a shirt. Sometimes, however, my grandmother would be unable to get one for me and in that case she would take a crocus sack or corn sack and put two holes in it for my arms and one for my head. In putting on a sack shirt for the first time the sensation was extremely irritating. It seemed as if a thousand pins were sticking me all at once, but after a few days it would become all right and I could wear it comfortably. For sev