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  • Booker T. Washington was born in West Virgina in 1856, in what he describes as the most miserable, desolate and discouraging surroundings. He did not know his father, raised by his mother who was a cook until emancipation came at the end of the Civil War. He worked in a coal mine and was determined to make his life better by getting an education and got admitted to an industrial school for blacks. He then served on the faculty of that school, and the founded a school for blacks teachers in Alabama "Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute." He worked there until his death in 1915. His philosophy of progress was: industrial education, accomodation of southern white supremacy, emphasis on racial pride, solidarity and self-help. He was a great publicist and got the attention of businessmen, and politicians to get attention on a national front. He was a dynamic speaker and made himself famous with his autobiography Up From Slavery. This was written in a simple, folksy style and became very popular with whites as well as blacks. Won praise from literary magazines for its style and tone.
  • She was born to slave parents just before Emancipation and then attended as one of first students of school in her town of Mississippi. Her parents died of yellow fever in 1878, and she dropped out of school.She later became a teacher and supported her entire family. She moved to Memphis and later became a journalist. She was an activist who often found herself in the midst of controversy. She was outspoken about lynchings and finally had to leave town, moving to New York to continue her writing and activism. She is remembered as an outspoken and articulate advocate of equal protection under the law and civil rights for black people. She put herself at constant risk to do so.
  • Born in Great Barrington, MA, and cherished books and intellecualism. His father deserted the family when he was an infant, but his mother was a prominent family and she protected and nurtured his love of learning. She sent him to predominantly white schools and churches and he graduated with honors with no thought of discrimination. It wasn't until he went to college in Tennessee that he experienced the racism of the south and the life of African Americans. Graduated and went to Harvard then wrote extensively on the African slave trade. He became a college professor and laid the foundation for African American sociology. In 1903 he wrote The Souls of Black Folk in which he describes the distinctive artistic traditions, culture and communal values of African American which he calls the "soul" of black folk. He was known as a radical Democrat who was not afraid to talk about socialism and communism. He was committed to spiritual ideals. "to the striving in the souls of black folk," to become co-workers in the kingdom of culture. He felt that all races of people had inherent power and genius. He was an educated scholar and his manner of writing was scholarly but he most often turned to traditional literary forms such as poetry, fiction, and prose that expressed his deep emotions. He wanted to raise his race. Because of his left wing politics he was indicted by the government for promoting the banning of atomic weapons, in 1951, accused of being a subversive power.He was ostracized by many African American leaders and civil rights leaders and in 1961 he moved to Ghana , and renounced his American citizenship.

The+Literature+Of+Reconstruction The+Literature+Of+Reconstruction Presentation Transcript