In My Own Words
T. and the Atlanta Compromise
By Miles Parish
SeeingBlack.com Junior Writer
The Atlanta Compromise was the nickname of a famous speech given
by Booker T. Washington in 1895 in Atlanta when he assured Whites
that he would not do anything to challenge White supremacy. White
supremacy is a system where Whites get the best and have most of
the power to run things and believe they deserve it because they
are somehow better because they are White.
Whites were afraid that after slavery and Reconstruction, Blacks
would fight for their equality and then Whites would have to share.
Washington urged Blacks not to challenge this system but to keep
in "their place" and try to do what they could where they were.
He said Black people should "cast their buckets where they are."
The Atlanta Compromise was important because it made Washington
very famous and popular among Whites and it helped him raise a lot
of money for his institution, Tuskegee Institute. It was also important
because there were other Blacks who were fighting to challenge White
supremacy and teach Black and White people different ideas about
equality. When Washington gave this speech, it was harder for them
to get their ideas out.
-- April 9, 2001
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