"...I plead for industrial education and development for the Negro not because I want to cramp him, but because I want to free him."
Booker T. Washington
Washington drew on his experience at Hampton Institute for the curriculum at Tuskegee. He saw that most white Southerners objected to black education because they believed that educated blacks would not work as manual laborers. So his system of hard work, discipline, and self-help was a way to educate blacks without antagonizing whites.
Tuskegee Institute's educational program went further than Hampton Institute's in its promotion of African American social, political, and economic participation in mainstream society. Although Washington originally argued that blacks should stay out of politics, he later rejected black disfranchisement.
Last updated: February 26, 2015