Booker T. Washington: The Wizard of Tuskegee 1901-1915

By Louis R. Harlan | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THIS book begins in 1901, when Booker T. Washington at the age of forty-five was approaching the zenith of his fame and influence, and ends with his death in 1915. It is a biographical study in the sense that its focus is on the complex, enigmatic figure of Washington, the most powerful black minority-group boss of his time. It also recounts the inner life and struggles of the small black middle class in that generation once removed from slavery, as a coterie of college-bred black men and women challenged Washington's powerful coalition of northern white philanthropists, southern white paternalists, black businessmen, and such members of the black professional class as he could attract to his side.

Washington was born in 1856, a mulatto slave on a small Virignia farm, and spent the early years of freedom in West Virginia working in the salt furnaces and coal mines and as a houseboy, and attending a Freedmen's Bureau school.* After graduating from Hampton Institute, then a secondary normal and industrial school, he founded Tuskegee Institute in 1881 in the Black Belt of Alabama. During the next fifteen years he was engrossed in building his institution, mollifying the local whites, and raising money in the North.

A single speech in 1895 catapulted Washington into national fame and recognition as a black spokesman. In what became known as the

____________________
*
For a detailed account of Washington's early life, see my earlier book, Booker T. Washington: The Making of a Black Leader, 1856-1901 ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1972).

-vii-

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Booker T. Washington: The Wizard of Tuskegee 1901-1915
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Contents xv
  • Chapter 1 Partners of Convenience: Washington and Roosevelt 3
  • Chapter 2 Black Intellectuals and the Boston Riot 32
  • Chapter 3 Conference at Carnegie Hall 63
  • Chapter 4 Damming Niagara 84
  • Chapter 5 Family Matters 107
  • Chapter 6 Other People's Money 128
  • Chapter 7 Tuskegee's People 143
  • Chapter 8 Other People's Schools 174
  • Chapter 9 Up from Serfdom 202
  • Chapter 10 a White Man's Country 238
  • Chapter 11 Provincial Man of the World 266
  • Chapter 12 Atlanta and Brownsville 295
  • Chapter 13 Brownsville Ghouls 323
  • Chapter 14 Black Politics in the Taft Era 338
  • Chapter 15 Washington and the Rise of the Naacp 359
  • Chapter 16 Night of Violence 379
  • Chapter 17 Outside Looking In 405
  • Chapter 18 Gonna Lay Down My Burden 438
  • Notes 459
  • Index 529
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