Divergent Paths to Racial Equality

Topics: W. E. B. Du Bois, Black people, William Monroe Trotter Pages: 3 (1226 words) Published: July 23, 2013
In a writing in 1903 W.E.B. Du Bois said that, “easily the most striking thing in the history of the American Negro since 1876 is the ascendancy of Mr. Booker T Washington.” • The ascendancy of this man is one of the most dramatic and significant episodes in the history of American education and of race relations •Ascendancy means to hold a position of dominant power or influence •In 1881, Washington went to Tuskegee, Alabama and founded Tuskegee Institute •Olivia Davidson, a teacher, Hampton graduate, and the wife of Washington, played a crucial role as a fundraiser for the school •She canvassed the community and even traveled to New England where she made friends and money for the Institute •He had a practical program of training African Americans to live as comfortably and independently as possible, given southern racial realities •His plan to produce farmers, mechanics, domestic servants, and teachers in rural schools throughout the state appeared less threatening to those whites who believed that a liberal arts university was for blacks to seek social quality •Washington made no public demand for equality but he secretly made court cases that challenged the Jim Crow rules. And he told his people to just obey the South’s segregation laws and cooperate with white authorities •In 1895 Washington gave a speech at the Atlanta Exposition, which catapulted him to national acclaim. The speech won praise from both whites and blacks •In 1900, Washington wrote a autobiography called Up From Slavery, which presented a meditation on his life that fleshed out his philosophy more. The autobiography broadened the good will of white citizens because of its tone and blacks recognized the message of racial self help. •Booker T Washington by this point successfully positioned himself as the dominant black leader of the new century •Tuskegee’s agricultural department opened in 1896 under a man named George Washington Carver, who taught students to be more...
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