How Did Booker T Washington Influence African American Education

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Booker T. Washington was a prominent African American educator and political leader. His ideas about race relations and education affected American society during a time of significant social upheaval. Washington’s views on Frederick Douglass, and W. E. B. Du Bois, is shown through his literature. Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856 and freed after the Civil War. He received his education at the Hampton Institute in Virginia and later founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He became a leading African American education center. Booker T. Washington believed African Americans should focus on economic and social advancement through vocational education and self-improvement, rather than political activism. He argued that this …show more content…

He stated, “Cast down your bucket where you are [...] You are training the very men and women who will make this country great in your homes, churches, and schools.” Despite his disagreements with Du Bois, Washington recognized the importance of education for African American progress. He believed vocational education was more practical and immediately useful for African Americans than academic education was. Washington wrote, “The individual who can do something that the world wants to do will, in the end, make his way regardless of his race” (Washington 109). He emphasized the importance of practical skills and the ability to contribute to society to achieve economic and social …show more content…

Washington admired Frederick Douglass and recognised him as an important figure in the struggle for African-American rights. However, Washington also criticized Douglass for focusing on political activism rather than economic and social advancement. Washington wrote, “I knew that, after all, the white world wanted was an opportunity. [...] [Douglass] seemed to urge our people to depend on others more than on themselves” (Washington, 1998). Washington believed African Americans needed to build economic and social power rather than relying on outside support or political action.

Washington also disagreed with Douglass’s emphasis on education to achieve racial equality. Washington wrote, “I have always been afraid of educated Negroes. Most of them pass through the world finding fault with the world” (Washington 100). Washington said education was vital for African-American progress but stressed vocational education rather than academic education as the key to economic and social

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