Booker T. Washington
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"ATLANTA COMPROMISE" Speech
Washington's Speech Has Been Described As Conciliatory, Among Other Things. In It He Advised Black Americans To Put Less Focus On Social Advancement And Become More Proficient In Common Labor Such As Mechanics, Agriculture And Domestic Work -- Subsequently, "Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are," Became The Theme For The Historic Oration.
At The Time Of His Speech, Booker T. Washington, The Founder Of Tuskegee Institute, Was Considered The Most Influential Black Man In America. Blacks Comprised One Third Of The Southern Population, While Totaling Approximately 8 Million, In The United States. Whites Were Concerned About African Americans' Increasing Desire For Civil Rights. Washington Eased Their Fears By Pointing Out How "Loyal And Devoted To Serving Whites," Black Americans Had Always Been. He Told White America That Its Success And Prosperity Was Directly Tied To The Way They Treated Black Americans. He Encouraged Whites To Employ Blacks Rather Than Giving Away Jobs To Immigrants --"In All Things That Are Purely Social, We Can Be As Separate As The Fingers Yet One As The Hand."
If White Americans Responded Enthusiastically To Washington's Speech, Black Leaders Such As W.E.B. Du Bois, Educator, John Hope, And A.M.E. Bishop, Henry McNeal Turner, Were Equality As Critical Of It. Turner Said:
"the colored man who will stand up and in one breath say that the Negroid race does not want social equality and in the next predict a great future in the face of all participation of which the colored man is a victim, is either an ignoramus or is an advocate of the perpetual servility and degredation of his race."
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.