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 +====== Atlanta Exposition Speech of 1895 ======
 +
The Atlanta Exposition Address of 1895 or the Atlanta Compromise Speech was given on Sept. 18, 1895. Booker T. Washington spoke before a predominantly white audience at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta.  It has been said that the organizers of the exposition were nervous about inviting a black speaker, but decided that Washington’s presence would provide evidence of racial progress in the South.  The speech outlines Washington’s belief in industrial education in addressing the concerns of the African American community and is seen as an attempt by Washington to ease the concerns of whites.  In it he attacks the efforts of Reconstruction by stating that blacks began their new lives at the top instead of at the bottom by taking seats in Congress or in State legislatures instead of learning industrial skills or seeking real estate.  Washington believes in blacks working from the bottom up, but refrains from suggesting that blacks could or should reach the top in the first place. After the speech, Washington became a much sought after national figure.  The reception among African Americans was more complex.  For example, just after the speech was given, W. E. B. Du Bois writes Washington a letter showing his support, but with time Du Bois began to change his views and began referring to the speech as the Atlanta Compromise. The Atlanta Exposition Address of 1895 or the Atlanta Compromise Speech was given on Sept. 18, 1895. Booker T. Washington spoke before a predominantly white audience at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta.  It has been said that the organizers of the exposition were nervous about inviting a black speaker, but decided that Washington’s presence would provide evidence of racial progress in the South.  The speech outlines Washington’s belief in industrial education in addressing the concerns of the African American community and is seen as an attempt by Washington to ease the concerns of whites.  In it he attacks the efforts of Reconstruction by stating that blacks began their new lives at the top instead of at the bottom by taking seats in Congress or in State legislatures instead of learning industrial skills or seeking real estate.  Washington believes in blacks working from the bottom up, but refrains from suggesting that blacks could or should reach the top in the first place. After the speech, Washington became a much sought after national figure.  The reception among African Americans was more complex.  For example, just after the speech was given, W. E. B. Du Bois writes Washington a letter showing his support, but with time Du Bois began to change his views and began referring to the speech as the Atlanta Compromise.
 
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about/atlanta_exposition_speech_of_1895_or_the_atlanta_compromise.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/14 13:09 by dkovacs
 
 
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