By Manning Marable
The background of the black fight for civil rights and political and financial equality in the United States is tied to the innovations, agendas, and kinds of black leaders. Marable examines various types of black management and the figures who embrace them: integration (Booker T. Washington, Harold Washington), nationalist separatism (Louis Farrakhan), and democratic transformation (W.E.B. Du Bois).
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Extra info for Black Leadership
The “Tuskegee spirit” was subsequently expressed in the creation of other black professional societies: the National Bar Association in 1903, the National Negro Bankers Association in 1906, the National Association of Funeral Directors in 1907, and the National Negro Retail Merchants Association in 1913. The close cooperation between black educational institutions and the black private sector in providing thousands of young entrepreneurs with business and managerial skills and a modest access to capital was largely responsible for the creation of a new black elite in the early twentieth century.
Washington was the most influential black American educator in the early twentieth century. Born as a slave in 1856, he attended Hampton Institute, an industrial and agricultural school for blacks and American Indians. At the age of twenty-five, in 1881, he was appointed principal of Tuskegee Institute, an industrial school that had recently been created by the Alabama state legislature. Washington constructed a comprehensive economic and social program for black development within the capitalist system during the period from 1880 to 1915.
In Alabama, for example, there were 180,000 black adult males of voting age in 1900. After the ratification of Alabama’s white supremacist state constitution in 1901, black voters almost disappeared. In 1908, only 3,700 black males in Alabama were registered voters; two decades later, the figure had fallen to 1,500. Other states carried out similar measures. In Louisiana the black electorate declined from 130,000 in 1896 to fewer than 5,000 in less than a decade. In Virginia the number of black voters dropped to 21,000, out of a black adult male population of 150,000.
Black Leadership by Manning Marable