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Booker T. Washington Puts Economic Advancement Ahead of Political Rights

Booker T. Washington, born a slave in 1858, was the most influential black leader at the turn of the century. He had worked as a laborer and domestic servant after the Civil War, eventually attending Virginia's Hampton Institute. In 1881, he founded [...]

W.E.B. DuBois Critiques Racial Accommodation

The most influential public critique of Booker T. Washington’s policy of racial accommodation and gradualism came in 1903 when black leader and intellectual W.E.B. DuBois published an essay in his collection The Souls of Black Folk with the [...]

W.E.B. DuBois Defines "The Talented Tenth"

At the beginning of the twentieth century, as now, access to quality public education was uneven, and the problem disproportionately impacted African-American children. W.E.B. DuBois, himself highly educated, was sharply critical of Booker T. [...]

An Activist Advocates for Women's Leadership in Improving Black Life

Mary Church Terrell was one of the first African-American women to complete a college degree. Terrell, an educator and activist, also founded the National Association of Colored Women. The National Association was organized into many local [...]

Marcus Garvey Calls for Pan-Africanism and Race Pride

Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant, was the leader of the largest black mass movement in the nation's history.  His Universal Negro Improvement Association, which had chapters throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Africa, promoted race pride, [...]

Strategies for Change worksheet

This worksheet helps students prepare for a role play debate about what strategy African Americans should pursue towards full equality in the twentieth century. The instructions for this activity can be found in the activity "Debate: How Should [...]

Item Type: Worksheet
"The Reason"

In the early twentieth century, African Americans had plenty of reasons to leave the rural South: disfranchisement, segregation, poverty, racial violence, lack of educational opportunities, and the drudgery of farm life. As the cartoon below from [...]

Item Type: Cartoon
Map of Railroad Routes Followed by Black Migrants

African-American migrants to the North chose their destinations primarily based on their state of origin: those from Georgia and the Carolinas headed to cities along the eastern seaboard like New York and Philadelphia; migrants from Alabama and [...]

Item Type: Map
A Tenant Farmer’s Daughter Remembers Leaving Mississippi

In 1917, ten-year-old Rubie Bond left Mississippi with her parents and migrated to Beloit, Wisconsin. Her father, who worked as a tenant farmer in the South, had been recruited to work at a factory in Beloit. In 1976, she was interviewed as part of [...]

Item Type: Oral History
Help Wanted Advertisements in the Chicago Defender

In the United States, the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918) increased the demand for industrial production while decreasing the flow of European immigration. Labor shortages in both factories, mines, fields, and service industries meant greater [...]

Item Type: Advertisement

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