Analysis Of Booker T. Washington Essay

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At the beginning of the twentieth century there were no two voices more influential in Black America than those of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. The staunch differences in their respective ideologies gaining their roots by way of the backgrounds both men endured in the earliest days of American Reconstruction following the Civil War. Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in Virginia on April 5, 1856. Following emancipation his mother moved the family to West Virginia to rejoin her husband. Washington saw the value of education from a young age, and this is what led him to eventually attend and graduate from Hampton University. In 1881 he was recommended by the Hampton President of the time to become the leader of the brand new normal school in Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute. This political and educational position allowed Washington to become a highly trusted voice among those charged with the task of educating the next generation of young, black educators. Hence the amount of attention focused on Booker T. Washington’s famous (some may call infamous) Atlanta Address, in which he states very clearly his take on how African Americans should go about coexisting with white America, primarily in the Southern states. This “Atlanta Compromise” as many of its critics would come to refer it as, called for a rather passive approach by African Americans to go about issues regarding civil rights. Rather than try to challenge fundamentally unjust laws such

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