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The Legacy of Booker T. Washington and the Atlanta Compromise


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The Legacy of Booker T. Washington and the Atlanta Compromise

By Marjorie Romeyn-SanabriaFebruary 18, 2014, 8:30 AM

Despite his prodigious career in education, Booker T. Washington’s legacy has been tarnished with a charged failure to do more for civil rights during his lifetime: Robert J. Norell, a historian and author of a recent biography on Washington’s life damned him as a “heroic failure”. In 1895, Washington delivered a speech that would be known as the Atlanta Compromise: a short address to allay white fears of a black uprising in a postbellum South. It was delivered to a mostly white audience at the Cotton Sates and International Exposition in Atlanta concerning the current state of black men and women in the South, their place in society, and their future as citizens in the country that once held them as property. “…[Y]ou can be sure in the future, as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding, and unresentful people that the world has seen.” Though the language may have been obsequious, if one reads between the lines and flowery phrases, Washington’s address contained a warning about the protracted denial of the black man of his identity in the South—a warning that was brought to pass through Washington’s ideological descendants. Scissors-32x32.png

Washington believed in the value of blacks being able to provide for themselves by the work of their own two hands with neither resentment nor entitlement.


His views were not universally welcomed among blacks—especially not among the intelligentsia. One of the most prominent black intellectuals of his time, W.E.B. DuBois, denounced Washington’s views and demanded that blacks be fully reinstated with access to education, health care, jobs, and the right to vote. Eloquent, sophisticated, and respected in social and academic circles, DuBois found Washington’s philosophy about black education anathema to the black American cause. But geography and time separated the two men. Scissors-32x32.pnghttp://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-legacy-of-booker-t-washington-and-the-atlanta-compromise/

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Don't think so.


I was thinking more in terms of how Booker T. Washington is thought of in "certain circles", the same ones who get all warm and fuzzy about DuBois.


Oh now I see what you were trying say.




I have a Thing about Presentism! Absolutely guaranteed to get me going...and not in a good way.

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Recovering Whitney Young, Civil Rights Hero

By Marjorie Romeyn-SanabriaFebruary 21, 2014, 6:16 AM

“You don’t get black power by chanting it. You get it by doing what the other groups have done. The Irish kept quiet. They didn’t shout “Irish Power”, “Jew Power”, [or] “Italian Power”. They kept their mouths shut and took over the police department of New York City, and the mayorship of Boston.”

–Whitney Young, 1968

Most people, when asked to name prominent civil rights leaders and activists, stick to the the brightest stars: Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. The history is egregiously abridged: a woman refused to go to the back of a bus, a man in Washington had a dream, an elegant Muslim with a jazz quartet goatee warned, “by any means necessary”. After a great struggle, civil rights were granted to African Americans, and the country redeemed its conscience after several hundred years of slavery and abhorrent treatment of blacks. An angry group of activists called the Black Panthers were also in the mix, but no one discusses their provocative clothing and displayed weapons in polite company.

At no point is the name Whitney Young mentioned, not even as an afterthought. Young, who advised presidents, expanded the National Urban League, and effectively negotiated with powerful businesses to incorporate diverse hiring practices, is erased from the pages of the Book of Civil Rights Leaders. President Richard Nixon offered this glowing epitaph at Young’s funeral: “Whitney Young’s genius was that he knew how to accomplish what other people were merely for.” How could a man whose influence extended to the Oval Office and boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies be forgotten?

There is a possible explanation for this scrubbing from history.snip http://www.theamericanconservative.com/recovering-whitney-young-civil-rights-hero/

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