african american leaders Essay

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Jesse Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B DuBois are all African American leaders. All of these men were leaders in their own time and their own sense, living in different eras with different views, but they all shared common ground. All four were African Americans trying to overcome obstacles and become influential leaders in their society.

Jesse Jackson was an African American civil rights activist and political leader. He was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1941. Jackson overcame numerous childhood insecurities. He was shunned and taunted my classmates and neighbors. However, instead of letting this adversity defeat him, Jackson developed his exceptional drive and understanding for the oppressed. He
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That is what drew attention to his trial. For the last 17 years Mumia has been locked up and denied any visits from family or press. Although imprisoned and “silenced” he is still considered an influential voice.

Booker T. Washington rose up from slavery and illiteracy to become the foremost educator and leader of black Americans at the turn of the century. He was born on April 5, 1856 in Franklin County, Virginia. As a child he worked in the salt mines but always found time for education. Washington constantly dreamed of college but as an African American this dream was nearly impossible. His scrupulous working habits from the mines set him out for college at the Hampton Institute. He graduated in 1876 and became a teacher at a rural school. After 2 years of teaching, he went back to the Hampton Institute and was a “professor” here for 2 more years. His next challenge would be at a new all black college, Tuskegee Institute where he would become president. Under Washington's leadership (1881-1915), Tuskegee Institute became an important force in black education. Washington won a Harvard honorary degree in 1891.

Washington was powerful and influential in both the black and white communities. He was a confidential advisor to President Roosevelt and for years, presidential political appointments of African-Americans were cleared through him. By the last years of his life Washington began speaking
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