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"The Opening of the Library"
This passage is adapted from "The Opening of the Library" by W.E.B. DuBois, professor of Economics and History at Atlanta University, published in the Atlanta Independent on April 3, 1902.
"With simple and appropriate exercises thebeautiful new Carnegie Library was thrown opento the public yesterday." So says the morning paperof Atlanta, Georgia….05The white marble building, the gift of AndrewCarnegie, is indeed fair to look upon. The sitewas given the city by a private library association,and the City Council appropriates $5,000 annuallyof the city moneys for its support. If you will climb10the hill where the building sits, you may look downupon the rambling city. Northward and southwardare 53,905 white people, eastward and westward are35,912 African Americans.And so in behalf of these 36,000 people my15companions and I called upon the trustees of theLibrary on this opening day, for we had heard thatblack folk were to have no part in this "free publiclibrary," and we thought it well to go ask why. Itwas not pleasant going in, for people stared and20wondered what business we had there; but thetrustees, after some waiting, received us courte-ously and gave us seats—some eight of us in all. Tome, unfortunately, had fallen the lot to begin thetalking. I said, briefly:25"Gentlemen, we are a committee come to askthat you do justice to the black people of Atlantaby giving them the same free library privileges thatyou propose giving the whites. Every argumentwhich can be adduced to show the need of libraries30for whites applies with redoubled force to theblacks. More than any other part of our population,they need instruction, inspiration and properdiversion; they need to be lured from the tempta-tions of the streets and saved from evil influences,35and they need a growing acquaintance with whatthe best of the world's souls have thought and doneand said. It seems hardly necessary in the 20thcentury to argue before men like you on the neces-sity and propriety of placing the best means of40human uplifting into the hands of the poorest andlowest and blackest….I then pointed out the illegality of using publicmoney collected from all for the exclusive ben-efit of a part of the population, or of distributing45public utilities in accordance with the amount oftaxes paid by any class or individual, and finally Iconcluded by saying:"The spirit of this great gift to the city was notthe spirit of caste or exclusion, but rather the50catholic spirit which recognizes no artificial differ-ences of rank or birth or race, but seeks to give allmen equal opportunity to make the most of them-selves. It is our sincere hope that this city will proveitself broad enough and just enough to administer55this trust in the true spirit in which it was given."Then I sat down. There was a little pause, and thechairman, leaning forward, said: "I should like toask you a question: Do you not think that allow-ing whites and blacks to use this library would be60fatal to its usefulness?"There come at times words linked togetherwhich seem to chord in strange recurring reso-nance with words of other ages and one hearsthe voice of many centuries and wonders which65century is speaking….I said simply, "I will express no opinion on thatpoint."Then from among us darker ones another arose.He was an excellent and adroit speaker. He thanked70the trustees for the privilege of being there, andreminded them that but a short time ago even thisprivilege would have been impossible. He said wedid not ask to use this library, we did not ask equalprivileges, we only wanted some privileges some-75where. And he assured the trustees that he hadperfect faith in their justice.The president of the Trustee Board then arose,gray-haired and courteous. He congratulated thelast speaker and expressed pleasure at our call. He80then gave us to understand four things:1. African Americans would not be permitted touse the Carnegie Library in Atlanta.2. That some library facilities would be providedfor them in the future.853. That to this end the City Council would beasked to appropriate a sum proportionate to theamount of taxes paid by blacks in the city.4. That an effort would be made, and had beenmade, to induce Northern philanthropists to aid90such a library, and he concluded by assuring usthat in this way we might eventually have a bet-ter library than the whites.Then he bade us adieu politely and we walkedhome wondering.
1. Which choice best explains why DuBois wrote this passage?
2. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
3. As used in line 23, "lot" most nearly means
4. It can be reasonably inferred from the passage that
5. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
6. As used in line 35, "growing acquaintance" most nearly means
7. Which claim does DuBois make to the trustees?
8. DuBois uses the example of a "catholic spirit" (line 50) to support the argument that
9. The author's reflections expressed in lines 61-65 most likely indicate that he
10. The four-point list in the passage can be described as
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