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On the issue of social equality, Booker T wrote:
... The [Southern] white man is constantly confusing civil priviledge with social intercourse ... So far as I can discern, the Negro in no part of the country feel it necessary to have purely social intercourse with the white man, nor does he hanker after it, but the difficulty in discussing the question grows out of the fact that in the South many white people regard the matter of riding on the same railroad coach or on the same seat in a street car or in the same waiting room at a depot "social equality." The Negro does not object so much to the separation of the races in these regards in itself but he knows by experience that in nine cases out of ten where the Negroes are so separated the colored man gets the bad end of the bargain."

That does not sound like an Assimilationist to me.
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I agree that Booker T. Washington was not an assimilationist.

I see Booker T. Washington being the dupe of the nation'a capitalists, e.g. Andrew Carnegie, The Rockefellers, and The Astors; most notably Carnegie.

I think Booker T.'s flaw was in his gullibility, and his slowness in comiing to realize he was being 'had'.

That does not negate all the good work.

I insistently point out the flaw so that it does not get incorporated into the (institutional) history of African America.

Many, if not all, of our heroes had 'feet of clay'.


Jim Chester
I realize that Booker T had relationships with all of these industrialist; but I have yet to see where he was duped. I think, as VOX referenced on the "leader" thread, that Booker T
understood that we were a people not only denied freedom, but also largely robbed of the basic tools to be able to fully realize the promise of such freedom, even if we had it. Outside of DuBois' talented 10th, the masses of black people in that day lacked education, pride, skills, and any kind of understanding of our history. We were largely a blank slate. He figured that that generation needed to build something for future generations to run with.

He promoted a strategy of developing a firm economic base by practicing/selling the trades/labor that we "learned" during slavery, so that our children had a financial base and, therefore, options.

I can't be mad at that.
I can't be mad at that.---K4R

Nor I.

The industrialists were supportive of Booker T., because he was generating the workforce needed to carry the burgeoning Industrial Revolution forward.

Carnegie in particular, underwrote his efforts to the tune of 600,000 1890s dollars with $150,000 specified to protect him from personal attacks that might interfere with the task.

The benchmark strike in Homestead, Pennsylvania occurred in 1892. Carnegie was trying to break the union.

Washington's newly trained work force was the answer to Carnegie's most dire need.

Humanitarianism was the least of the concerns, although it provided a very welcome disguise.

Booker T. never acknowledged that misuse.

Very late in his life he began to talk about it.


Jim Chester

That northward-flow of labor began in the early 1900s

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