Vicksburg Evening Post, July 20, 1905

Vicksburg Evening Post, July 20, 1905

Elder Gayles Denounces Dances and Secret Societies.

The first breeze in the Convention was caused by the Rev. G. W. Gayles, who is the father of the Convention and one of the most intellectual colored men in the State. Dr. Gayles was at one time a member of the Mississippi Senate. He said that the Convention had been insulted by a Society of men and women who gave a ball last night next door to the church while the convention was in session. “Some of our preachers were in there, too, I am told,” he said, “and if that be true then they are unfit to be in the Convention. These dances are doing more to send the negro to hell than all the saloons in Mississippi. There is nothing which is doing more to pull our people down than the modern dance. Our people form themselves into secret Societies which give balls, and look how bold they are getting to come right into our face and give balls. What are we going to do? Are you preachers going to sit still and see these things go and not speak out against them? Some of you are so mixed up in these Societies that you can’t speak out. A preacher has no business in being a Grand Master. He has too much to do for his race and people. Natchez College nor any other College can raise the negro race until we get away from these dance balls. Let every negro do his duty.”

When Dr. Gayles had concluded there were fifty delegates on the floor claiming the attention of the chair. Cries of “Shame! Shame!” came from many throats.

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