“I am not quite sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth, but at any rate, I suspect I must have been born somewhere and at some time.”
This is the story of a hardening Jim Crow color line. Lynchings and race riots. Black troops in Brownsville being summarily discharged “without honor.” Black Americans are indeed watching as Reconstruction-Era progress erodes. What can they do?
Booker T. Washington has a vision. This Southerner of self-reliance–a former slave who’s gained an education and built an incredible place of learning in Tuskegee, Alabama–believes it’s about perseverance. Economy. Work. Black Americans, he believes, will thereby prove their worth–and rights will follow. But some, like, W.E.B. Du Bois, disagree. The Northerner and prolifically publishing scholar believes in making bold demands for equality. Not tomorrow. Today. The divergence of their paths will only grow as the Progressive Era marches on.
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Aaron Mahnke and Grim & Mild