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tv   Reel America Booker T. Washington The Life and the Legacy - 1986  CSPAN  April 17, 2019 10:51pm-11:25pm EDT

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dylan is . watch c-span city tour of rochester minnesota. on cspan-2's book tv working with cable affiliates as we explore the american story . >> harlem born actor and dr. many food food -- in a career that spanned 50 years, one of his films was booker t. washington, life in the legacy produced in 1986 for the national park service. that is next on real america on real america tv. >> >> the year is 1881, the place
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tuskegee alabama, with 2000 residents, most of them people of color. it's the smallest county seat in the state antiblack violence is not uncommon for segregation continues to separate the races, socially, politically . >> young booker t. washington brings teske the into students are being. >> barely 24 years of age, this young man will create a chain of events over the next 34 years of his life that will affect all americans, black and white.
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from 1881 to 1915, he will achieve what to many is considered the impossible he will build one of the most impressive education institutions in all of america. who will in addition become the center of heated controversies, debates and even riots and, i the time of his debt he his name will be known around the world . >> you want to know about his days here, is that the idea? >> washington was 16 when he came to hampton . >> you should have seen him when he got to the campus. you walked most the way, 400 miles from west virginia where he lived. >> samuel armstrong, the founder of hampton institute in virginia i was hereunder armstrong when booker t. washington developed his ideas on industrial education. he went home to west virginia after graduation, did some teaching, dabbled in politics, even went to a seminary in washington. i brought him back
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here in 1979 and put him in charge of the indian student. we had 75 of him, he did a fine job and then came tuskegee. when those gentlemen asked my advice, it didn't take me long to make up my mind. history proved me right, don't you think? >> despite the obstacles and difficulties in setting up tuskegee institute, washington maintains that optimism about the future find most people find it hard to accept. first impressions of the town fill in with a sense of opportunity . >> of blisters for starting for tuskegee, i found it almost impossible to locate on any matter but instead of finding my work in low marshy countries , i found tuskegee a beautiful quiet town with a high and healthy location. as a rule, the colored people
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all through the section are poor and ignorant. but the one encouraging thing is that they see their weaknesses and are desirous of improving . >> the reason i ask you to come today, >>'s ability to influence important individuals and win support for the visionary goals, far exceed the ardent supporters. >> one solemn night i found 100 acres space for shops and classrooms that we need to advance several hundred dollars . >> we don't have that kind of money . >> i've contracted general james marshall he's a dear friend of general armstrong and well fixed. >>
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>> i supposed to yankee benefactors will put up buildings also . >> if you need books we will make them. were dedicated to an ideal mr. campbell. students can produce and it's our object to surround the student was such an air of business and industry, that it will be next to impossible for him not to make himself felt in active business or some other fear of usefulness . >>. >> nothing, sir. >> i didn't come here to be a bricklayer. i guess you would rather be somewhere, is that
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what you think and education is all about? you're from alabama you? >> yes sir. >> do many negroes speak greek? >> [ laughter ] >> no sir. but, still, you can serve your neighbor by speaking greek to him and helping him build a better house. >> i understand. i hope so. i truly do now. >> >> washington's iron will and strong sense of difficult wonders, and institution began to grow out of the alabama mud, the south young blacks, a new
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era of educational opportunity is donning. one of the supreme ironies in washington's career concerts the contribution to allowed tuskegee to expand and prosper. by his dependents on the kindness of the carnegie's and baldwin's to finance the institute, washington has become their unwitting tool. force by need for continued support into adopting positions that may not necessarily reflect the best interest of the country's blacks. >>, the long island railroad henry william baldwin junior became washington's great friend as well as a staunch supporter. >> mr. baldwin, i understand you are very supportive of booker t. washington . >> yes. i'm for mr. washington out of tuskegee, very right. not just for the colored people but your entire selves.
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the he's a master politician he knows were sitting -- he understands most white people will never accept negroes as social equals . >> mr. bowman, i think there are many negroes and some whites disagree with that statement . >> they are not intelligent. they're very realistic in their thinking. >> i know there are liberal white people, some overeducated negroes who seem to be talking against tuskegee. . >> the fact that tuskegee works, it is training thousands of negroes and doing a fine job of it. look around the south, springing up all over, a harvard man and accepted he
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will take a position at a black college in the midwest and will become the premier black intellectual of his era the looming large in the controversies that increasingly demonstrate the complexities of washington's care there. under washington stewardship the institute is well on its way to becoming an educational model. uniquely suited to the needs of the southern black community that washington understands so well. he works ceaselessly, keeping abreast of every detail of the school's operation, continuing also his exhausting schedule and appearances, national recognition comes with a speech before the national education's association in 1884. also, as a result of the nationwide success of his autobiography, out from slavery. >> america learns that there are blacks in the south, seriously trying to shape their own destinies.
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delicate plans for survivors despite the hostility of many white neighbors. the word goes out that this little campus in the backwaters of alabama is becoming a major force. william baldwin remembers . >> this atlanta exposition put us over, they left a great vacuum and the exposition was a big event and just to show the world the south was on its feet again a strong and proud, recovered from the war and reconstruction. every aspect of southern life is on display and booker t. washington stole the show. when he spoke at the opening day ceremonies, his was the voice of every needle in the nation, perhaps not quite everyone . >> on that day he spoke for all of them.
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>> i was so nervous i couldn't even go to the hall i wandered around outside until i heard applause. >> they were obliterated in a single day that he spoke with an angel . >> -- the importance of relations with the southern black man is a next-door neighbor i would say, cast down your bucket where they are. >> pass it down by making every man the way of the people by
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all reason by whom we are surrounded. [ applause ] >> passing down the agriculture, the mechanics in domestic service and in the profession, no race can prosper this much dignity, no, to overshadow our opportunities. [ applause ] >> in all things, there are socials, and yet has a hand in
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all things melting central to mutual projects . >> overnight, he becomes the united leader of [ null ] americans and the voice remembered. >> it startled the nation to hear [ null ] advocating such a program with accommodation after decades of people complaints. it startled in one the applause and interested after confused murmur of protest, it didn't convert the negroes themselves . >> so you supported washington at this point? >> as a matter of fact, here, i wrote a letter to that effect. my dearest washington, let me heartily congratulate you on
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your phenomenal access at atlanta. it was a word simply spoken. i thought at the time that the atlanta compromise could be a step towards reaching a real settlement. plus the hardening and black subsequent loss and killed any chance of that. >> >> they had important considerations in calling for socials up rations and south of those experiencing lynching, flogging and other forms of violence that plex land and other end vigilante groups. perhaps they remember the genocide of the parents and grandparents of indian students at hampton institute in the atlanta compromise that extended
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diplomatic skills and we could be sure he's vitally concerned with the safety and future of his beloved tuskegee institute which he strongly believed was the key to afro america success and future . >> the institute is making valuable contributions to advancement of southern white and black communities. there's much to preserve and present. there are 37 villains in all but three built by the students own hands. >> 700 acres of farmland. a dairy and an assortment of livestock provided food and practical agricultural experience for the students. there are nearly 1000 of them on campus. the curriculum offers instruction in 27 vocations in all building trades.
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carriage and wagon making, tailoring, industrial education is coming-of-age. the 70 member faculty includes the chemist george washington carver. the institutes at washington's request for a compromise of agricultural service symbolized. >> also on the growing step are distinguished individuals, msj scott, journalistic carries a title of private secretary. scott says washington with devotion and a measure of ruthlessness, powering the sophisticated lyrical and public relations operation that will come to turn with the infernal tuskegee machine.
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>> it's gonna be a proud day for every [ null ] in the land , everything has been carefully planned down to the last flower in the floats. i'm setting the schedule with the white house this afternoon . >> president mckinley wants ideas for his speech. >> you said say something to encourage colored people to get education and build character and the basis of citizenship and put something about both races being moderate and self- controlled. put it in your own words. >> see to it immediately. >> usually the chicago
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conservative is very unfair and misrepresented your opinions. >> be a sack full as possible . >> you can depend on that server. . >> the president came in it was a grand and glorious day that a relationship is filled, washington's career as a formidable political broker begins.. the oak designed by robinson taylor, was responsible for the design of most of the early campus buildings . >> margaret murray . >> after her first year on campus, washington is so impressed by miss mary's work
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as a teacher that he selects her as the institutes lady principal for the relationship blossoms and on october 12, 1892 margaret murray and plays a major role in the institutes growth. >> she helps organize self-help groups for women in the count of tuskegee and surrounding countryside . >> as her hundred has been becomes increasingly concerned with fundraising and political activities taking away from tuskegee for long periods, miss washington becomes an extension of his presence on campus . >> from the standpoint of black survivors in the hostile racial climate of the south, the
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effective diplomatic skill can be on the national and local level. >> where is he, you're hiding that no good -- >> my neighbors that i would sacrifice her school here in tuskegee for him. >> you won't find me. >>, >> i will take my wagon i want to get him out of the county tonight. >> almost every piece, you
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hypocrites. booker t. washington is a man who would cast his own brother into the hands of a bloodthirsty mob. must tell him the real truth. tell him what you discovered. the real truth. tell him that my cabin is a refuge, how long will tuskegee last. this too shall pass. >> as america moves further and further away from reconstruction. class act black aspirations of citizenship are increasingly repressed. booker t. washington's optimistic statements are no longer accept double to many black intellectuals. men try to symbolize the opposition of a growing number
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of black intellectuals. he denounces washington and confronts the dehumanizing aspect of segregation. on july 30, 1903, consultation with washington comes to pass. they call it the boston riot. >> the speaker becomes a shouting match, seemingly detached from the scene. panic follows and several colleagues are dragged from the church and arrested. across the country it's front-page news. >> the so-called boston riot for the first time really there was serious [ null ] opposition . the press couldn't ignore this but i'm sure they would like to. they were forced to publish opinions that people saw, that many criticisms were valid and after he served a 30 day jail
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sentence, and they were persecuting a man so from the point of view from the opposition, this was a rousing success. >> he began to move into the enemy camp . >> the machine was pushing me in that direction. >> washington built tuskegee and i'm afraid he was a captive of his own oppositions. >> first, we must talk about the boys and try to. no other intellectuals. you really need to be critical of america. -- what do they know
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about a sharecropper's life. that every man woman and child has to live with every day of their lives in the south for black people. the south is where the overwhelming majority of our people lived. now and forever, that must be the central fact in defining a political position for black people in this country , not some abstract demand for justice . >> the boys spent years in the south has he not? >> this is my land and these are my people. i'm fighting for what is best for the masses of american negroes
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>> du bois is a frustrated swab who turned his back on the masses. booker t. washington. >> we uncovered washington that through your supporters, you and emma scott have attempted to subvert back opposition to policies and that the so-called tuskegee machine has tried to destroy economically, men such as william monroe trotter who spoken out against her leadership of the race, how would you react to that, sir? >> young man. history will be my judge. not you. >> as the 19 century fades into history, washington reaches more than ever this tireless fundraising at tuskegee and other southern schools that
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follow industrial education. tuskegee continues to prosper under his leadership, despite raging controversies and there will be 50 buildings on campus 2000 students and an endowment that exceeds $2 million. 2000 black men and women will graduate from the institute to five times that number have spent sometimes in the lives of standing at tuskegee spirit. on a personal level, washington and his family are amply provided or by his friend, andrew carnegie, so much so that he's able to give up his salary. . 1913, the health begins to change.
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while in a fundraising tour that he collapses in new york. >> washington remembers. >> there were so many things he wanted to do for tuskegee. >> mrs. washington, i realize this is very painful for you but, could you recall could you try to recall the final days . >> i got the telegram and and headed away from the station. . i don't remember much about the ride i prayed a lot. and i quite a lot. that to new york
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and the doctor was there and the doctor said that there was a chance they could save him if he stayed in new york. after they finished talking i turned to my husband and he read the question in my eyes i was born in the south, margaret and i have lived and labored in
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the south, and i will die and be buried in the south. so, we brought him home . >> he survived the arduous train trip home by a mere five hours. on the morning of november 14 booker t. washington passes peacefully away. he is buried in the campus cemetery, 10,000 people gathered to pay last respects. messages of condolence are received from around the world. memorial services are held across america.
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web deboyd's, pays a final tribute to the wizard of tuskegee. booker t. washington was the greatest [ null ] leader since frederick douglass and the most distinguished man , white or black who has come out of the south the civil war. the grid that he accomplished can be no doubt. throughout the history of african-americans, washington's influence can be found almost everywhere. the economic program of marcus garvey and the movement of the 1960s calling for economic self- determination all have origins in washington's philosophy . >> .
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>> to the stage, the controversial life is over, the legacy of tuskegee lives.
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this is a special edition of american history tv, a sample of the compelling history programs that every weekend on american history tv like lectures and history, american artifacts, real america, the civil war, oral histories, the presidency and special event coverage about the nations history. enjoy american history tv now and every weekend on cspan-3. >> the battle of guadalcanal was the first major ally defensive in world war ii. thursday night on american history tv on cspan-3, military historians from the national
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world war ii museum in new orleans, it begins at 8 pm eastern, thursday on cspan-3. up next on american history tv real america, a film from the student nonviolent donating committee also known as cynic got called we will never turn back and shot in rural mississippi and includes interviews with like farmers and sharecroppers and describes the violence and intimidation experienced when trying to register to vote. >> this is essentially for americans. people calling themselves american. trying to make democracy live. it begins with a heartfelt assumption that we are not an island of perfection but in fact a land of imperfection in an imperfect world. negroes are trying to register to vote and


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