The Negro Race by Booker T. Washington
Kindle Edition | Print Edition
Print Length: 21 pages
While not quite the same as giving a presentation to the Ku Klux Klan, one might not expect someone like Booker T. Washington to be invited to speak at an event billed as “The First National Conference on Race Betterment.” This obscure lecture delivered in 1914 in Battle Creek Michigan detailed Washington’s hope for the black race and some words of advice for how whites could help, and not harm, his efforts. Today’s concept of ‘race’ is much different than those common in the early part of the 20th century. In light of their understandings, driven on in large part by eugenic considerations, it is possible to forget that there was a day when elites (of all races) could gather openly to share ideas on how to ‘better the race.’ Included is a brief introduction and an informative afterword to put Washington’s unexpected welcome at such a conference in broader perspective.