Atlanta Exposition Address

1035 Words5 Pages
On September 18, 1895, a profound African American leader, activist and advocator for racial equality, Booker T. Washington spoke before an integrated mass at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia. Although the organizers of the exposition worried that the demeanor of the public would not be prepared for such a progressive move outside of their innate social norm, they decided that inviting a black speaker would impress Northern visitors with the evidence of racial progress in the South. The “Atlanta Compromise Address”, as it came to be called, covered concerns of “uppity” blacks by claiming that the African American race would complacently live by the productions of their hands.
Considered the definitive
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Washington was speaking of. We still appear to respect and value a record deal with all the perks or stardom over an understanding of real estate or property ownership and acquiring an industrial skill. To the overvaluing of entertainment, we can today add athletics and “urban pharmaceuticals”. We still have too many of those who believe it is of more value to get while they can at any means necessary than starting and building a successful career and business.

While entertainment, sports, and other forms of making do each have their value to those who find it suitable, these are not foundational to the sure success of a people. These, if sought prematurely and without the proper foundation will not provide for lasting success, and may in fact cause failure to achieve the lasting success of a society.

As I took a step and researched more on the late leader it is clear that you must understand one thing in order to keep all of Booker T. Washington 's writings and ideas in proper perspective. He loved the pure value of work. He worked tirelessly himself and taught that a job well done was reward enough in itself. But he also understood and taught that:
“The man who has learned to do something better than anyone else, has learned to do a common thing in an uncommon manner, is the man who has a power and influence that no
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