Booker T. Washington was a great influence for the black community. The efforts he made to become such a wonderful leader were incredible. Booker T. Washington was a man that started up from scratch. He grew up as a Black slave, who did not have many choices in life. He was born on April 5, 1856 in Virginia and he had a white father and a black mother. When he was still a child he went to work in a coal mine after the Emancipation Proclamation. When Booker was seventeen he went to Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute to work as a janitor.
He would then use this job to help pay for tuition and attend the school. After all of the struggles and hard work that Booker T Washington went through in his life he ended up becoming a very influential speaker and great leader for the black community. Booker T. Washington had several different qualities that made him a great leader. The first quality is that he was very charismatic. People from all over would follow Booker and listen to what he had to say. He gained a lot of attention at his Atlanta Address of 1895 where he tried to get southern whites and black slaves to work together.
The black slaves would listen to the political white views and in exchange get to work weekly and get a basic education. After this is when he became a main leader for African Americans and their movement while also drawing the attention of politicians and philanthropist. Pragmatism was another quality that Booker possessed. He always tried to take what he was preaching and connect it to the real world. He always stated that the best way for African Americans to get equality is through education so he teamed up with several wealthy philanthropists who helped him fund thousands of small schools to help educate blacks in the south.
Even after he died these efforts still went on to try and influence people to become more intellectual. Booker preached that blacks should accept that they were inferior to whites. He told them that we have to prove to them that we are socially capable of taking care of ourselves. He said the way we do this is make successful businesses we get educated and get into politics. For these beliefs, Booker was called “The Great Compromiser. ” Many white ex-slave owners began to respect Booker’s notions. Not only was he becoming acknowledged by the Blacks but now also by the whites. Booker T.
Washington was being secretly funded by great industrialists like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. He did face some obstacles along the way though. People like W. E. B. Du Bois did not agree with Booker in the fact that Du Bois wanted African Americans to be stronger and fight more for civil rights. Some people thought that Booker’s message was coming across as segregation being okay and something that did not need to be changed but accepted. Booker T Washington accomplished a lot throughout his life. He received a master’s degree from Harvard University and an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth College.
Booker was the first African American ever invited to the White House. The President at the time was Theodore Roosevelt and he invited him in 1901. He just so happened to also be the first African American to be put on a United States postage stamp and the first to be honored on a coin. The house that he grew up in Virginia was made into the Booker T. Washington National Monument and he had a state park named in his honor. He influenced many people around the United States and his push for education is seen by the number of schools across the country that is named after him.
Agitation was used all throughout Booker’s Protest movement. Promulgation which is to recruit members, includes informational picketing, use of posters, bumper stickers, painting messages in prominent locations, passing out leaflets and mass protest meetings. Booker gained a lot of his followers and attention by being very vocal and speaking to large groups of people. Another strategy of agitation is polarization which once they have enough members they force people to choose between the agitator and the establishment.
He would flag the issues of how African Americans needed to be more educated and get a basic education if they wanted to fight for civil rights. He had control over a large group of people including whites and blacks from people who had no money at all to knowing and being funded by some of the richest men in America at the time. He used this control to help his movement and put forth what he believed. Booker T. Washington led a difficult but admirable life. He grew up with little promise in his life yet he would go on to persevere and not let his skin color hold him back.
He got an education, a job and influenced thousands of people in the United States to follow what he was preaching. Some people did not like how he went about his protest but Booker was quoted saying, “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. ” Works Cited ” Booker T. Washington. ” 2012. Biography. com 06 Oct 2012, 11:27 http://www. biography. com/people/booker-t-washington-9524663 ushistory. org, . “Booker T. Washington. ” U. S. History Online Textbook. Independence Hall Association, 2012. Web. 6 Oct 2012. . Wormser, Richard. “Jim Crow Stories. ” PBS. Educational Broadcasting Corporation, 2002. Web. 6 Oct 2012. .