Sep. 18, 2019

The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project Presents The Atlanta Compromise

September 18, 1895
The Cotton States Exposition
Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta Compromise
Booker T. Washington


Thirty years after the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, Booker T. Washington came before the Cotton States Exposition to speak about the future of blacks in the southern states. This speech took place
124 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia at the Cotton States Exposition.

Booker T. Washingon spoke to an audience consisting primarily of southern white men. He spoke not of civil nor social rights Booker T. Washington spoke of economic rights. Today, I celebrate that speech by bringing those historic words to life again in my voice. The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project presents The Atlanta Exposition Speech by Booker T. Washington.

This was quite a controversial speech that was met with opposition from noted blacks such as John Hope, Monroe Trotter, and WEB Dubois. It was not a speech that endeared Washington to blacks in the intellectual world but it did endear Washington to both southern and northern philanthropists. It moved Booker T. Washington to the level that he was the most powerful black leader in the south.

Booker T. Washington became known as the Wizard of Tuskegee, whose life's strategies became a model for many of our ancestors across this nation.‚Äč