A brief history of the civil rights movement. Including some biographical info on Booker T Washington and W. E. B. DuBois

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Born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia in 1856 Booker T Washington was no stranger to prejudice and the harsh realities for a black man growing up in the south. His childhood was one of privation, poverty, slavery and backbreaking work. On September 22, 1862 Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation, but of course it could not be enforced until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Soon after Washington and his mother moved to Malden, West Virginia where he spent long exhausting days packing salt. Like many of the freed slaves Washington craved an education. At the age of 16 attended the Hampton Institute in Virginia. The Hampton institute was started and run by General Samuel Chapman Armstrong. The purpose of the institute was to train black teachers, but Armstrong believed every student should have a trade as well. General Armstrong and the Institute would have a strong influence on Washington later on in life.

July 4th 1881, Washington began his first day as principle of the new Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee Alabama. Washington modeled the Tuskegee institute much after the Hampton Institute where he received his training. He encouraged all his students to learn a trade and not push to attain equal civil and political rights. That it was best to concentrate on improving their economic skills and the quality of their character. The burden of improvement resting squarely on the shoulders of the black man. Eventually they would earn the respect and love of the white man, and civil and political rights would be accrued as a matter of course. This was a very non-threatening and popular idea with a lot of whites. His views on race relations where the hallmark of a speech given at the Cotton States and International Exposition held in...