Lincoln and Washington: Statesmen of Racial Reconciliation
Lecture 3: Booker T. Washington and the Lessons of Lincoln
Rising to prominence during a time of terrible troubles for African Americans, Booker T. Washington devised a strategy and a way of speaking that could reach widely different audiences, separated geographically and racially. Prudence was essential. Washington’s circumspection, which became a source of power in his situation and furthered the difficult work of racial reconciliation, later had the paradoxical effect of making it harder for succeeding generations, accustomed to a more militant style of black leadership, to see Washington’s greatness. The lecture will examine how Washington invoked Lincoln to further his own redemptive moral vision and subtle statesmanship.