Politics and Civil Rights Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1940 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies

Politics and Civil Rights

Booker T. Washington

The White advocates of equality were surpassed by the forces of reaction being fatigued by the efforts and divisions of the Civil War and Reconstruction and the longing for the country to reunite and the destiny of African-Americans was left to the individual states. Most of the states associated with restrictive laws those imposed segregation of the races and the second-class status of African-Americans. The courts, the police, and groups like the Ku Klux Klan all compelled such discriminatory practices. The African-Americans reacted in varied modes. (We Shall Overcome: Introduction)

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Booker T. Washington was considered as one of the most influential African-Americans at the turn of the twentieth century. Booker T. Washington became a pioneer in black education irrespective of his birth as a slave in Hale's Ford and has exerted a strong impact on racial representative in national politics. He became famous mostly because of his role as founder and head of Tuskegee Institute, a vocational school for blacks in Tuskegee, Ala. (the African-American Journey: Washington, Booker T) Washington came with a single definite program at the psychological moment when the nation was a little embarrassed of having bequeathed much sympathy on Negroes, and had absorbed its energies on Dollars. His policy of industrial education, appeasement of the South and submission and silence as to civil and political rights, was not completely unique; the Free Negroes from 1830 up to wartime had struggled to create industrial schools, and the American Missionary Association had from the first taught various trades; and Price and others had required a way of honorable alliance with he best of the Southerners. (of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others)

Term Paper on Politics and Civil Rights Assignment

However, Washington initially, indissolubly connected such things; he infused enthusiasm, unlimited strength and full confidence into this program, and varied it from a by-path into a genuine Way of Life. The fact of means by which he accomplished this is acknowledged to be an interesting study of human life. It distressed the nation to listen to a Negro advocating such a program after many decades of sour complaint; it upset and won the appreciation of the South, it interested and won the support of the North; and after a complicated whisper of remonstration, it silenced if it did not transform the Negroes themselves. (of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others)

Washington instituted separation as the natural leaning of both races. Washington regarded immediate agitation for social equality to be 'the extremist folly'. (Hampton Institute and Booker. T. Washington) in the later part of the 19th century, more and more blacks became the sufferers of lynchings and Jim Crow laws that divided blacks. To reduce racial conflicts, Washington counseled blacks to stop demanding equal rights and to simply get along with whites. He advocated whites to give blacks better jobs. (the African-American Journey: Washington, Booker T) Washington categorically urged the black people to surrender at least for the present, three things - First was political power, Second was the focus on civil rights, Third was higher education of the Negro youth, - and focus all their energies on industrial education, the accumulation of wealth and the support of the South. This policy has been audaciously and insistently urged for over one and half decade, and has been successful for probably a decade. (of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others)

In 1895 Washington accorded his famous 'Atlanta Compromise' speech, in which Washington advocated African-Americans to halt at their present condition in the words 'cast down your buckets where you are', and that is to continue in the Jim Crow South and accept racial discrimination rather than of making what he considered immoderate demands for equality. According to him the racial discrimination is a purely social fact. The difference can be as isolated as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things necessary to mutual progress. This speech was sometimes known as the Atlanta Compromise since Washington acknowledged inequality and segregation for blacks in substituting for economic progress. (the African-American Journey: Washington, Booker T) This 'Atlanta Compromise' is by all probability the most remarkable thing in Mr. Washington's career. The South represented it in varied ways: the radicals acknowledged it as a full surrender of the demand for civil and political equality; the conservatives took it as a generously envisaged working basis for mutual acceptance. Both accepted it and presently, its author is definitely the most illustrious Southerner ever since Jefferson Davis, and regarded as the one with the largest personal following. (of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others)

Irrespective of the fact that he shared the long-range objectives of equality and integration of late Frederick Douglass, Washington gave up agitation and protest tactics. During his lifetime, Washington attempted to content the whites in both the North and the South through his public actions and his speeches. He advocated blacks to subjugate demands for political and social rights, concentrating rather than on enhancing job skills and usefulness. He opined that the opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory presently values more than the scope to expend a dollar in an opera-house. He called upon the white people to depend on loyal, proven black workers, permitted to secure education and become productive. (Booker Taliaferro Washington: Narrative Essay) He never publicly safeguarded black political causes that were unpopular with Southern whites. But Washington confidentially funded lawsuits against isolation and restoration of the liberty of blacks to vote and serve on juries. (the African-American Journey: Washington, Booker T)

In this manner the projects of Booker T. Washington and schools that followed his principles, were funded by wealthy, white, northern donors incorporating John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Anna T. Jeanes, and Julius Rosenwald. They accepted his approach of not directly tackling racial disparity but 'uplifting the people' through education. (Hampton Institute and Booker. T. Washington) Washington created political machinery through Tuskegee, based on the financial assistance of a coalition of northern financiers, members of the white Southern elite, and conservatives attracted by his compromising rhetoric and severe espousal of the principle of self-help. (People & Events: Booker T. Washington, 1856-1915) the Tuskegee Institute and Hampton Institute provided training to an army of black educators, and the teachers stressed upon self-improvement and job training to enable black students to become productively engaged and self-proficient as craftsmen or industrial workers. (Hampton Institute and Booker. T. Washington)

The Tuskegee Institute under the patronage of Washington's leadership from the year 1881 to 1915 has become a significant force in black education. Tuskegee championed in agricultural extension, transferring demonstration wagons that entailed better mode to farmers and sharecroppers. Graduates instituted several 'little Tuskegees'. African-Americans caught up on the poverty and degradation of cotton sharecropping developed their farming methods, income, and living conditions. Washington advocated them to become capitalists, instituting the National Negro Business League during 1900. Black agricultural scientist George Washington Carver functioned at Tuskegee from 1896 to 1943, formulating new products from peanuts and sweet potatoes. Till 1915 Tuskegee had 1500 students and a larger membership than any other black institution. (Booker Taliaferro Washington: Narrative Essay)

Washington is recognized as a disciple of accommodation and until his death in 1915 was the undisputed spokesman of black Americans. (Hampton Institute and Booker. T. Washington) Washington emerged to be a shrewd political leader and counseled Presidents and also members of Congress and governors, on political appointments for blacks and sympathetic whites. He advocated wealthy people to donate to several black organizations. He also owned or funded many black newspapers. In 1900, Washington instituted the National Negro Business League to assist black business firms. (the African-American Journey: Washington, Booker T) He regulated black newspapers through subsidies or secret partnerships, enraging the critics. Overawed by his power and hoping his tactics would function, many blacks move out. (Booker Taliaferro Washington: Narrative Essay)

As the most striking black man in America in the early 20th century, the leadership of Washington initiated to experience a number of confrontations. The blacks as well as liberal whites initiated to criticize and pushed for enhanced emphasis on bringing back civil rights, and deterring the unconscionable violence against blacks in the South. Washington continued to be influential till his death but was compelled to share leadership with others with the passage of time. (Booker T. Washington: 1856-1915) by the year 1910, the influence of Washington had initiated to decrease as Du Bois and others initiated new movements. Such movements gave rise to the creation of such organizations as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People- NAACP and the National Urban League. (the African-American Journey: Washington, Booker T) His doctrine was apt to make the whites, North and South, transfer the burden of the Negro problem to the shoulders of the Negro and continued to be critical and rather pessimistic spectators; when actually the burden lies with the nation, and the hands of none of us are clean if we incline not our energies to correcting these great wrongs. (of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others)


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