Cover for WASHINGTON: Booker T. Washington Papers Volume 6: 1901-2.  Assistant editor, Barbara S. Kraft. Click for larger image
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Booker T. Washington Papers Volume 6

1901-2. Assistant editor, Barbara S. Kraft

Probably nothing in Booker T. Washington' life had as much symbolic significance for the blacks for whom he claimed to speak as the day he dined with President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House, October 16, 1901. Not even the publication of his autobiography earlier that year had indicated so clearly just how far "up from slavery" Washington had traveled. Though criticized by many, the dinner was a sign, especially to his black supporters, of Washington's arrival at the heart of power in America.

Even as Washington expanded his political influence to become a counselor of presidents, the racial climate was worsening and black political rights in the South were plummeting. Volume 6 documents the events of this somber period, including Washington's secret challenge to the Alabama grandfather clause. It also includes evidence of T. Thomas Fortune's diminishing influence with Washington and the extension of the Tuskegee Machine's web of influence into the North.

"The Washington Papers continue to provide a rich load of material for social historians. Intelligently and imaginatively edited, they illuminate not only the life of Booker T. Washington but the several worlds in which he lived."--Allan H. Spear, Journal of American History

On the subject of Washington "There is no better source to consult than Louis R. Harlan's biography and the first . . . volumes of the Washington papers."--New York Review of Books

"A major enterprise in Black historiography."--Times Literary Supplement

Louis R. Harlan is professor of history at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Booker T. Washington: The Making of a Black Leader, 1856-1901, a Bancroft Prize winner. Raymond W. Smock recently published, with Pete Daniel, A Talent for Detail: The Photographs of Miss Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1889-1910. Smock is a former editor of the Maryland Historian. Barbara S. Kraft, is co-author of In The Minds and Hearts of the People: Prologue to the American Revolution, 1760-1774 and is currently writing a book on the Henry Ford Peace Expedition.

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