Conference at Carnegie Hall
I am quite sure that several of the members, perhaps the majority of those who have been in opposition, are either silenced or won over to see the error of their way.*
AS HE saw black opposition to his leadership and his policy of compromise mount toward the Boston Riot, Washington knew that his best hope was not the leadership of a faction but spokesmanship for a unified black community. He understood the problem, but he did not know how to deal with it. Instead of meeting his critics half- way, he invited only some of them to a summit conference, and then packed the meeting to overshadow them with his numbers. His use of the methods of a political boss rendered his effort at black unity, or at least the isolation of Trotter, abortive. The New York Conference, held in secret in Carnegie Hall, January 6-8, 1904, is nevertheless instructive because it reveals that Washington's whole purpose was not to persuade or treat with his critics but to outmaneuver and over- whelm them.
As early as 1900 Washington had vaguely considered calling a gathering of twelve to fifteen prominent black men to discuss concerted action for racial advancement. 1 In early 1903, while he had Du Bois at Tuskegee to discuss a position he had offered him as director of____________________