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Black ink : Black Student Movement, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. online resource ([Chapel Hill, N.C.]) 1969-current, January 18, 1988, Image 4

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Page 4 January 18, 1988 Other Influential Black Leaders— by GARRAUD ETIENNE Staff Writer Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) Frederick Dougias (1817-1895) While George Washington is the father of the United States, Frederick Douglas is the father of the Afro- American nation. His tenets of nonviolent, passive resistance, belief in the impor tance of vocational and industrial educa tion, self-help and black integration into mainstream American society laid the philosophical groundwork for later black leaders and the subsequent civil rights movement. Born a slave in Maryland, Douglas escaped slavery and went on to become a leading abolitionist. Both his newspaper The North Star (est. 1847) and his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an autobiographical depiction of his slave experiences, were highly respected and landmark abolitionist literature. A man of recognized superior in tellect and motivation, as a journalist, essayist and public speaker, Douglas fought against not only slavery and racial discrimination, but campaigned for women’s rights, temperance, and world peace, and decried both capital punish ment and lynching. W.E.B. Dubois (1868-1963) A free-born Negro of mixed heritage, Dubois was a prolific writer of high in tellect who underwent many changes of ideology throughout his long life. As one of the founding fathers of the NAACP and editor of its official newspaper The Crisis, he originally admired Booker T. Washington but later came to criticizc his accommodationist tactics. He believed that the "Talented Tenth" (a core of black intellectuals) and whites of goodwill would be able to inspire the black masses to achieve. He often wrote for the need for racial self-segregation and a separate and .strong black economy that would eventually entitle blacks to a degree of political powej". Foreshadowing some of the more radical elements of the later civil rights movement, he called for “a Negro nation within a nation." He was also one of the earliest black leaders to stress pride in African heritage and the strength of the black race. His famous text. The Souls of Black Folk. powerfully envisioned the struggle of Afro-Americans; one-soul Negro, the other American, with reconciliation between the two near impossible. Malcolm X (1925-1965) Born Malcolm Little, son of a West Indian mother and a Baptist minister, from an early age Malcolm was exposed to the relentless violence of white racism. Malcolm witnessed the brutal beating and murder of his father, who was involved in Garvey’s UNIA, at the hands of white supremacists and the resultant nervous breakdown of his mother that soon followed. „ An intelligent and promising highschool student, Malcolm was discouraged from pursuing his scholastic goals by a teacher who informed him that his goals weren’t proper for a young black boy. He grew more and more alienated from white society and soon found himself imprisoned. It was there that he found his calling, the Nation of Islam. Under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad, Islam offered the black man an explanation of his condition. The Black Muslim group at the time preached that whites were "blue-eyed devils" and that salvation and redemption would soon come from God. Allah. Malcolm, as was customary with converts, rejected his "slave" surname and adopted the title "X", Using his skills as an inspirational orator and his remarkable insights into the American racial situation, Malcolm made a name for himself as an uncompromising "radical" who had nothing but condemnation for the white man, his "evil, alien" religions and his unmerciful oppression of the black man. Malcolm staunchly criticized passive resistance and labeled the integration movement as another white hoax. Of Martin Luther King. Jr., he said: "Any Negro who teaches other Negroes to turn the other cheek is disarming the Negro of his God-given right ... his moral right ... his natural right . . . his intelligent right to defend himself." An unusual and complex post- Reconstruction era leader who claimed that the black man’s best friends were southern whites, Washington was not only an accommodationist and apologist for white racism as many of his opponents claimed, but more importantly a skillful politician who attempted to upgrade the statiis of his race while not incurring the wrath of white reactionaries. Born a slave in Virginia, Washington wrote that although he only caught an oc casional glimpse of classrooms and btxjks as a child, he always had a burning desire for literacy and an education. Through much hardship, he managed to complete an education at Hampton Institute and later accepted the position of principal at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. There he began his career as an educator and became, in the minds of whites who sup ported his accommcxlationist views, a race leader. In both his autobiography Up From Slavery and his famous speech The Atlanta Compromise Address. Washington expressed his ideas on the best course of action for blacks; 1) slay Marcus (1880- With the exception of Dr. Martin Luther King, Garvey is the most influen tial and respected leader in the history ol black resistance. No leader before him had ever appealed to the masses of alienated blacks, especially those of the northern ghettoes. Born in Jamaican iruiroon society of free blacks. Garvey developed a fierce, almost fanatical pride towards the black race and culture and distrusted both whites and light-skinned Negroes. Throughout his travels between the U.S., Central America and the West Indies, Garvey saw first-hand the exploitation of black peoples at the hands of whites. This abuse, and his subsequent belief that integration was neither feasible nor desirable, led to the formulation of his famous "back to Africa" ideology. Garvey believed in the not necessarily physical migration of blacks to Africa, but a spiritual redemp tion of Africa aiuLthe creation of a strong Africa, free from imperalist colonial rule. He wanted black professionals, intellec- and work in the south, work hard at farming and manual labor and hope to im press whites with industrious behavior and loyalty; 2) deprecated political action and voting by blacks, and 3) the need for blacks to seek education in farming and industrial techniques rather than academic education. Washington’s beliefs were well received by many whites and deplored by many black intellectuals, especially W.E.B. Dubois. Many opposed him on the grounds that his policies would send a message to whites that blacks were con tent and had no intention of leaving their place. One critic characterized Washington as “the biggest white man’s nigger ever.’’ However, many who have subsequently studied the writings, speeches and actions of Booker T. Washington have come to believe that he was not necessarily an “Uncle Tom’’ but an expert diplomat who fed white segrega tionists whal they wanted to hear in order to obtain their support in building black schools, libraries and other educational facilities. Garvey 1940) tuuls and businessmen to help create a strong Africa that would be respected by the while world. He criticized other black leaders for their integraiionist beliefs and reliance on white support. His organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). claimed to have a membership of six million, and his newspaper The Ncfiro World, a circulation of 2()0.(){)(). He founded a fleet of cargo ships. The Black Star Line, to conduct trade among the black communities of the U.S.. West In dies and Africa. His actions brought a resurgence to black resistance and racial unity that would later mature into the civil rights movement of the 1%0’s. The flag that symbolized the civil lights movement was first incorporated by Garvey and characterizes his racial pride: the bkn)d of African peoples everywhere GREEN — green jungles of Africa. Iiope and aspiration BLACK — the common color of the black race "This is a great time to be alive... Therefore, I am not yet discouraged about the future... \Nhen days grow dark and nights grow dreary, we can be thankful that our God combines in His nature a creative synthesis of love and justice which will lead us through life's dark alleys and into sunlit pathways of hope and fulfillment." —from Strength to Love, Dr. Martin Luther King, ]r.

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