Jun. 30, 2019

June 30, 1906 - John Hope, First African American President Morehouse College

Point-Counter Point
Booker T. Washington vs. John Hope
1895/1896

In our black educational history, few colleges or universities have the prowess of Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia or Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. When you think of black educational leaders in the late 19th and 20th centuries Booker T. Washington, was the famed Wizard of Tuskegee, he founded Tuskegee and build an institution that was nationally known. While John Hope was selected to be the very first African American president of Morehouse College on June 30, 1906.

Today, in honor and recognition of that momentous selection. I go back a couple of years to a blog post I created. The post was the divergence of views that these two educational leaders had related to how blacks should proceed related to the struggle for civil and social rights. I have selected two speeches from Washington and Hope on opposite poles given one year apart. While Booker T. Washington's speech in September of 1895 is renowned in American history, The Atlanta Compromise. John Hope's rebuttal speech given in the winter of 1896 is now as well known, Equality Is What We Seek.

While Booker T. Washington felt that economic progress superseded any attempts at social or civil rights for African Americans. John Hope felt that the most important battle for African Americans was the struggle for full civil and social rights. It was point-counterpoint for two educational titans in the late 19th century. Today on 123rd year after Dr. John Hope became the first African American President of Morehouse College I revisit and bring to my audience these counter thoughts on how our ancestors should've battled against the bigotry and oppression that was confronting them in America.

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