The Atlanta Exposition Adress

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In 1895, Booker T. Washington gave what later came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise speech before the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. In this speech he preached that in order to gain understanding from whites, African Americans would have to concentrate on creating economic security by improving their skills. He preached the importance of an education and that no African American should be denied of it. Instead of hatred between blacks and whites, they should work together and make America a better place. In his speech he says “Cast down your buckets where you are” he was referring to African Americans and how they should make the most of their situation; instead of protesting and trying to reach political equality, they should make the most out of it and try to get an education. He also referred this to the whites. He told African Americans that they should stop trying to achieve political equality. Even though he did say this, he still believes that African American should have the right to vote because with this they can learn the exercise of self-government. He was trying to show them that his people are still going to work on the fields, build their railroads, and continue to make America what it has become; all it takes is just giving them a chance. Overall Booker T. Washington longed for equality but believed in hard work and self-help. He believed blacks would gain the acceptance they desired through improving their skills and proving themselves through their labors. He believed that would earn far more respect from the whites than protests and speeches.
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