Booker T. Washington, Essay

300 Words2 Pages
Booker T. Washington played an influential role as a leader for the segregated and cruelly ordained Negro race. His black rights strategies were simple but highly controversial and presented the black population with a dilemma of whether or not to adhere to what can be said Washington’s meeker black rights strategies. He held a strive and succeed philosophy that maintained; through hard work and self respect the black man would be able to elevate his position in society. As Washington was the first leading spokesman in the generation after Reconstruction he held a strong role however his strategies were constantly undermined by other Negro leaders, therefore the strength of his success can be questioned. Washington seemed to be antithesis to the average under – privileged black man, his iconic image presenting him as an upper-middle class gentleman. As the founder of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial institute he strived to bridge the gap between the races. He was a man who upheld deep Christian values, with the belief that God will reward the good people in due course and believed that the only way the black community could further their social development was through education and hard work; only then would politicians heed their words. Gardner relates how Washington had a constant concern for the relation of education along with economic independence as a ‘solution to the problem that plagued American society and tarnished its highest ideals of freedom’. Jones, A. M. The Limits of Liberty American History 1607-1992 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press 1995) Norrell, R. J. ‘Booker T. Washington: Understanding the Wizard of Tuskegee’ the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education No. 42 (2004) pp 96 - 109 Booker T. Gardner ‘The Educational Contributions of Booker T. Washington’ The Journal of Negro

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