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 &quot;Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.&quot; 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&apos;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 &quot;soul&quot; 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. &quot;to the striving in the souls of black folk,&quot; 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.
He felt that the way to peace was for whites to embrace the blacks' desire for economic opportunities, and for blacks to respect the whites' desire for social separation of the races.
Urged fellow African Americans to accept status quo, and work gradually to improve themselves and prove themselves valuable, productive members of society.
Booker T. Washington
Ida B. Wells-Barnett 1862 - 1931 Best known as an investigative journalist who reported on lynching in a factual, courageous, and consciousness- raising style. She was a literary activist who wrote stirring essays to inform and persuade people to demand equal rights. She wanted to write for people who had little or no school training to describe their problems in a simple, helpful way.
W.E.B. Du Bois 1868-1963 "Renaissance Man" Most multifaceted and influential writer that black America ever produced. Published sociology and history of African American people Believed that ideas not slogans were the way to get rid of bigotry. Believed in the "ideal of human brotherhood" Established the Niagara movement which became the NAACP.
James Weldon Johnson 1871 -1938 Dedicated to helping black people he became known as an author, politician, critic, journalist, poet, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson is remembered best for his writing, which includes novels, poems, and collections of folklore. In 1900, he wrote the "Negro National Anthem" - "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" with his brother.
Often criticized as a black artist co-opted by white media hype, a poet who by singing "serenely sweet to whites" only postponed the realization in his words: "I know why the caged bird sings."