National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Booker T. Washington Papers

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Booker T. Washington by Frances B. Johnston, c. 1895, Courtesy Library of Congress


University of Maryland

University of Illinois Press

Additional information at   

Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856 –1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States and became the leading voice of the formerly enslaved who were newly oppressed by the discriminatory laws enacted in the post reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between 1890 and 1915 Washington was the dominant leader in the US African-American community. In 1895 his Atlanta Compromise called for avoiding confrontation over segregation and instead putting more reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement in the black community, with a goal of building the community's economic strength and pride by a focus on self-help and schooling. This collection is a selective edition of his writings, addresses, and correspondence.

Complete in 14 volumes, including a cumulative index volume


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