Daily Almanac for Wednesday, February 24, 2021: Black History Month Feature, Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington in 1905, digitally retouched By Harris & Ewing – http hdl.loc.gov, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African American community and of the contemporary black elite. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Washington was a key proponent of African-American businesses and one of the founders of the National Negro Business League. His base was the Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college he founded in Tuskegee, Alabama. As lynchings in the South reached a peak in 1895, Washington gave a speech, known as the “Atlanta compromise“, which brought him national fame. He called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to challenge directly the Jim Crow segregation and the disenfranchisement of black voters in the South.

Washington mobilized a nationwide coalition of middle-class blacks, church leaders, and white philanthropists and politicians, with a long-term goal of building the community’s economic strength and pride by a focus on self-help and schooling. With his own contributions to the black community, Washington was a supporter of racial uplift, but secretly he also supported court challenges to segregation and to restrictions on voter registration.

Black activists in the North, led by W. E. B. Du Bois, at first supported the Atlanta compromise, but later disagreed and opted to set up the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to work for political change. They tried with limited success to challenge Washington’s political machine for leadership in the black community, but built wider networks among white allies in the North. Decades after Washington’s death in 1915, the civil rights movement of the 1950s took a more active and progressive approach, which was also based on new grassroots organizations based in the South, such as Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Washington mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century, which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, develop strategy, network, push, reward friends, and distribute funds, while punishing those who opposed his plans for uplifting blacks. His long-term goal was to end the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of African Americans, who then still lived in the South. His legacy has been very controversial to the civil rights community, of which he was an important leader before 1915. After his death, he came under heavy criticism for accommodationism to white supremacy. However, a more balanced view of his very wide range of activities has appeared since the late 20th century. As of 2010, the most recent studies, “defend and celebrate his accomplishments, legacy, and leadership”.

EMBER DAYS

Ember Days occur next on February 24, 26, and 27. Ember Days happen four times a year at the start of each season. In Latin, Ember Days are known as the quattuor anni tempora (the “four seasons of the year”). Traditionally observed by some Christian denominations, each set of Ember Days is three days, kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. These three days are set apart for fasting, abstinence, and prayer. The first of these four times comes in winter, after the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13; the second set comes with the First Sunday in Lent; the third set comes after Whitsunday/Pentecost Sunday; the four and last set comes after the Feast of the Holy Cross. Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic: “Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.” Which means: “Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, are when the quarter holidays follow.” Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for three successive months. As with much folklore, this is grounded in some common sense since the beginning of the four seasons cue the changes in weather as well as a shift in how we keep harmony with the Earth and respect our stewardship of the Earth, our “garden of Eden.”

1780s

1830s

1880s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

COURTESY www.almanac.com

RELATED ARTICLES
New York Mets News
1 week ago
College AD Nightcap
4 weeks ago
College AD Nightcap
1 month ago
Bally Sports Ohio News
2 months ago
NASCAR Cup Series News
2 months ago