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

By Louis R. Harlan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Black Intellectuals
and the Boston Riot

Is the rope and the torch all the race is to get under your leadership?

WILLIAM MONROE TROTTER

IT WAS inevitable that Booker T. Washington's leadership would face bitter challenge from within the black minority group and a denial of its legitimacy, for he rose and prospered at a time of deep depression for blacks, the worst since emancipation. The great majority of black freedmen remained in the rural South, exchanging slavery for another exploitative system of sharecropping, and most of them had to mortgage their share of the crops to a merchant--often also the landowner--who would furnish them the necessities until the harvest. Some even slipped over the edge into peonage, or involuntary servitude for debt. Just as Washington was establishing his rule over this empire of poverty, southern whites in the 1890s began a movement of several decades duration to take back the rights that the Civil War and Reconstruction had established for blacks. They took away the voting rights of most blacks, extended segregation to virtually every walk of life, justified this by a verbal assault that denied human status and dignity to blacks, and punctuated these changes by lynchings and race riots. Northern whites also adopted white supremacy in attitude and deed, particularly by occupational and residential segregation.

-32-

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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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