Ida B. Wells: “Booker T. Washington and His Critics”

(1904)

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Document Text

Industrial education for the Negro is Booker T. Washington’s hobby. He believes that for the masses of the Negro race an elementary education of the brain and a continuation of the education of the hand is not only the best kind, but he knows it is the most popular with the white South. He knows also that the Negro is the butt of ridicule with the average white American, and that the aforesaid American enjoys nothing so much as a joke which portrays the Negro as illiterate and improvident; a petty thief or a happy-go-lucky inferior.…

[Booker T. Washington] knows, as do all...