To combat racist images, writers of the Harlem Renaissance imitated white models and in the process erased their racial selves. In response to a seemingly rigid and fixed set of racist representations of the black as the ultimate negated ”Other”—as all that white culture feared about its “nether” side—black writers attempted to rewrite the received text of themselves. Blacks, well before 1925, were an “already read text,” as [critic] Barbara Johnson has defined a stereotype. Locke and his followers, by appropriating the trope of the New Negro from the radical black socialists then supplanting that content with their own, not only sought to rewrite the black term, they also sought to rewrite the (white) texts of themselves. If the New Negroes of the Harlem Renaissances sought to erase their received racist image in the Western imagination, they also erased their racial selves, imitating those they least resembled in demonstrating the full intellectual potential of the black mind.
is a resource used daily by thousands of students, teachers, professors and researchers. We invite you to become a part of our community.
Washington was a dominant figure of the African-American community, then still overwhelmingly based in the South, from 1890 to his death in 1915. His Atlanta Address of 1895 received national attention. He was considered as a popular spokesman for African-American citizens. Representing the last generation of black leaders born into slavery, Washington was generally perceived as a supporter of education for freedmen and their descendants in the post-Reconstruction, Jim Crow-era South through basic education and training in manual and domestic labor trades. Throughout the final twenty years of his life, he maintained his standing through a nationwide network of supporters including black educators, ministers, editors, and businessmen, especially those who supported his views on social and educational issues for blacks. He also gained access to top national white leaders in politics, philanthropy and education, raised large sums, was consulted on race issues, and was awarded honorary degrees from leading American universities.
She and Washington agreed that the students needed more than a 'book education' and they thought they must show them how to care for their bodies and how to earn a living after they had left the school. They tried to educate them in a way that would make them want to stay in these agricultural districts (rather than leave for the city and be forced to live by their wits). Many of the students came initially to study so that they would not have to work with their hands, whereas Washington aimed for them to be capable of all sorts of labor and to not be ashamed of it.
Copyright 2004-2017 by the Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press. All rights reserved.
See Also: Booker T. Washington Delivers the 1895 Atlanta Compromise Speech
Making the Atlanta Compromise: Booker T. Washington Is Invited to Speak
"Equal and Exact Justice to Both Races": Booker T. Washington on the Reaction to his Atlanta Compromise Speech
"Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are": Booker T. Washington's Atlanta Compromise Speech