Booker T. Washington

As an influential African-American, living in a time of escalating segregation, Booker T. Washington negotiated a course between accommodation and progress in advocating greater civil rights for blacks. His philosophy of “request” not “protest” allowed him to gain the respect of presidents and politicians. Washington believed education was a cornerstone for the advancement of blacks and his efforts to raise money for his beloved Tuskegee Institute helped secure its well-deserved reputation as a leading educational institution for African Americans.

Social issues Booker T. Washington addressed:

  • Segregation
  • Education
  • Civil rights

Social issues that need to be addressed today:

  • Segregation - Segregation not only perpetuates rigid stereotypes and reinforces negative attitudes toward members of the other group, but also leads to the development of a social climate within which violent outbreaks of racial tensions are likely to occur. Source
  • Education - Children living in a rural environment are twice as likely to be out of school than urban children. Additionally, children from the wealthiest 20% of the population are 4 times more likely to be in school than the poorest 20%. Source
  • Civil Rights – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, the workplace and facilities serving the public. Even though we have made progress, prejudice and racism are still with us. The need to protect the equal rights of all is as important as ever.