The Atlanta Compromise

On this day in 1895, Booker T. Washington delivered the Alanta Compromise address.

This was an agreement between Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, other African-American leaders, and Southern white leaders. It was first supported, and later opposed by W. E. B. Du Bois and other African-American leaders.

The agrement was never written down. It agreed that blacks would not ask for the right to vote, would not retaliate against racist behavior, and would tolerate segregation and discrimination. The would also receive free basic education, limited to vocational or industrial training. Liberal arts education would be prohibited.

Black leaders began to take issue with the compromise at the turn of the 20th century. Following Washington’s death in 1915, supporters of the Atlanta compromise slowly shifted their support to civil rights activism, leading up to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s.

Booker T. Washington was born in Hale’s Ford, Virginia in 1856 (date unknown). He died in Tuskegee, Alabama on November 14, 1915.

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