Booker T. Washington’s Contribution to Civil Rights Movement Free Essay Samples & Outline

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Sample Essay On Booker T. Washington’s Contribution to Civil Rights Movement

Washington, Booker T., Geraldine McTigue, and Nan E. Wooff. Booker T. Washington Papers Volume 10: 1909-11. 2015.

SAMPLE ESSAY ON BOOKER T. WASHINGTON’S CONTRIBUTION TO CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTThe Washington papers have gained crucial as the main Black and American Historiography publishing enterprise. The papers reveal the black Americans private world during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The authors provide a critical personal perspective on interracial connections during the “accommodation age.” The papers also outline the Booker T. Washington contribution in the civil rights movement in between 1909 and 1991 where Washington remained the most influential black American figure. His phenomenal impact during this time underscored in the papers, documenting his dominant influence on the president Theodore Roosevelt to end the racial discrimination of the black community, and the increasing dissatisfaction of some black Americans with the leadership and philosophy of Washington.

However, Washington’s dominance had various challenges. For instance, the inaugurated president Howard Taff opposed Washington and so did the newly founded Advancement of Colored People National Association. Additionally, widespread race riots, blacks’ discriminatory laws and lynchings also challenged Washington’s influence. However, Washington did not stop his efforts to call for better relationships between races and improve the educational and economic opportunities for black Americans. Through his South speaking tours, Washington affirmed his civil rights movement by drawing large enthusiastic crowds of the people who were influenced by his charismatic style and intelligence. His involvement in the routine life and administration of Tuskegee, and redefining of the duties of the George Washington at the education institute was a major contribution to blacks civil rights. Additionally, the period saw Washington is increasing work on “My Large Education (1911)”, that led to “Up from Slavery and the 1912 The Man Farthest Down, a working class study in Europe which were also effort towards civil rights movements.

Norrell, Robert J. Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011.

From the 1960s, Martin Luther King, Junior characterized the leaderships of the blacks protest against the white authority using direct actions. Norrell, in his book, outlines Booker T. Washington’s contribution in the black leadership during Jim Crow’s era, where he used a different strategy to lift blacks. In his influential biography, the author demonstrates how the segregated South conditions compelled Washington to adopt a less contentious strategy to achieve equality and freedom for blacks. His contribution to civil rights movement includes his call for blacks to acquire economic independence. He also called for black American’s development of moral character that would give them civil rights as full citizens.

Even though, largely accepted as a realistic way of integrating black people into the life of Americans during his ear, his strategy has been disregarded since 1990s. Norell reveals the Booker T. Washington’s full-length biography in a generation. For instance, Up from History, he reveals the larger context whereby Washington worked and his struggles against the white’s bigots, who opposed blacks’ economic ambitions and the black Americans intellectuals such as W.E.B Du Boise who disliked Washington’s influence and other inconstant allies such as Theodore Roosevelt.

Additional, the book outlines the detailed positive power of Washington’s vision that gave hope and optimism to conquer the past oppression and current discrimination of the black race. In fact, Washington’s ideas have since ignited people all over the developing world that there are various means of struggling for justice and equality. Further, Up from History restores Washington as the powerful historical figure sanctuary of the black American leader and critical force in the civil rights movement, revealing his mission, achievement and his poignant man he is.

Bieze, Michael, and Marybeth Gasman. Booker T. Washington Rediscovered. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

The authors reveal that Booker T. Washington, the United States’ founder of the African American education as the studied, celebrated and despised by students and scholars because of his continued contribution to the civil rights movement in the United States. Washington was born into slavery, freed and brought up in the South Reconstruction. He was an active educational reformist in the later and early 19th and 20th centuries respectively. He used education as weapon to bridge the racial divide in American. He pulled himself from slavery and rose up to be the most influential black American leader and the founder of Tuskegge education institute in 1881. He later became the blacks’ spokesperson to improve the blacks through education and industry. He received national fame in 1895 for the Atlanta address and attracted political and public attention as the renowned spokesperson for African Americans. Through his prominence, he established network of supporters in various black societies made up of black ministers, educators and businesspersons. He played a profound role in black politics and won enormous support among the blacks and more in the increasingly liberal whites (mostly the rich whites in the North). Through this, he gained access to the key national political, philanthropist and educational leaders to influence civil rights movement.

The book explores the work and life of Washington through his speeches and writings. Based on his previously unpublished writings, influential speeches, key private, and public documents collections, the authors offer a balanced and informing figure of the controversial and misunderstood African leader. The books outlines the primary themes in the life, politics, religion, celebrity, philanthropy, education and race of Washington and reveal how his range of thoughts and evolution of thinking are critical to the civil right movement and the freedom of the African Americans. The innovative and multifaceted, leader Rediscovered offers an opportunity to experience Booker T. Washington’s works, his intention, examine this black leader in his own right, and compare his contribution to the civil rights movement with those of others such a W. E. B. Dubois.

Verney, Kevern. The Art of the Possible: Booker T. Washington and Black Leadership in the United States, 1881-1925. New York: Routledge, 2001.

The book is a study of the Booker T, Washington ideas and achievements as the most significant blacks leader between 1881 and 1915. Today, most of the historians recognize that the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement was a crucial mark to end of the complex, enduring development of the period (1881-1915). The decades following the 1880s saw significance changes to the black African society because of the start of the racial segregation, urban growth and industrialization.

Examining Booker T. Washington’s leadership during these centuries, the authors explore topics like Washington’s influential responses, both at private and public spheres, to racial segregation, the reasons behind blacks’ urban migration and compare the philosophy of Washington to the ideas and initiatives of the famous African American leaders of his time such as Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and Frederick Douglass.


Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers


WOMEN IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT: TRAILBLAZERS AND TORCHBEARERSAfrican-American based women took an instrumental role in Civil Rights Movements that engaged on securing freedom and equality for both Africans and Americans. Between 1930s and 1950s, the number of women within liberation front has doubled with some risking own life as trailblazers and torchbearers for freedom and equality. They organized movements, championed causes for equal justices, quit jobs, opposed poll taxes, forcibly registered in voting centers and on some occasion engaged with whites on street battles. They demanded equal treatment of both Africans and Americans on social amenities such as education, medical services information among others.

In the process, some of them ended into grilling rooms, lost jobs, life and other valuable resources. However, some of them for instance; Rosa Parks, Septima Clark, Ella Baker and Jo Ann Robinson saw the struggle as the limelight for freedom and justices. It was believed that the equalizes will enable Martin Luther King dreams for freedom will have been attained and all citizens amid of their color, origin and status will live peacefully and share all limited resources available without conflict.

The aim of this research paper is to focus into the efforts of women to bring about equal rights for African Americans during the civil rights movement, from the 1930s to the 1960s. In that instance, the researcher identified the woman/women civil rights activists by looking into the family, educational background and the socio-economic status. Secondly, the paper addressed; factors denying black equal rights as citizens and as human beings, involvement of the person(s) in the struggle for blacks' equal rights, challenges that the individual(s) faced in confronting injustice against African Americans and finally the results or successes on the person(s) activities. Moreover, the paper analyzed the role of women in the civil rights crusade in modern society. Lastly, conclusion remark concerning women and the civil movement was also made.


Women influenced the civil right movements in numerous ways. Some of them such as Mrs. Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Ella Baker and Septima Clark played key roles in convening conferences that provided national recognition of some leaders such as Martin Luther King, Human rights and various organizations formed to liberate the Africans from injustices. On grassroots levels such as southern sections of United States, the women directed voter registrations, taught freedoms in schools, provided housing and food facilities to males and volunteers in the movement and inviting scholars who interviewed them before spreading freedom gospel across the world.

Woman/women civil rights activists’ personal life- family, educational background, and the socio-economic status

Several women significantly contributed to civil right movements. Among them was Fannie Lou Hamer who was born in 1917 in a family of 20 children at Montgomery county Mississippi. Later her family moved to Sunflower County where her parents had secured a job in a plantation owned by E.W.Brandon. Her father enrolled her in several schools where she used to day school before joining them in picking cotton. At the age of 13, she was an ardent picker of the product because she made 200-300 pounds daily.

Hamer rose to become one of the greatest American voting right activist and civil right leader. She was instrumental in organizing several movements against the whites such as Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Her plain spoken and fervent believes in biblical based righteousness electrified her reputation hence becoming one of the greatest person to be followed by Mississippi people. She preached against institutionalized racism, physical beating, loss of their jobs and lynching. On the final stage of her testimony, she would plead with the Africans to register to vote. A great multitude followed her hymns something that made whites put her on notice.

President Johnson called an emergency press conference to divert the people from Hamer’s testimony, but it was too late. In the process, Hamer was arrested, lost her job and put her life in danger. She was constantly harassed for registering people to vote in rural Mississippi. This did not stop her to form and chair Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964 to challenge all whites Democratic Party headed by Jacquelyn Grant. This was a clear indication that she wanted to liberated the oppressed from white dominance and harassment.

Secondly, we have Ella Baker, An African-American civil human rights born on 1903 who began her work in 1930s. She was one of the stout women who worked with Martin Luther King and other activists to bar racism and discrimination. She was a great mentor who licentiously helped to shaped life of many young women such as Rosa Parks and Diane Nash. In her early age, Ella listened to slavery stories from her grandmother. Baker schooled in Shaw University in North Carolina. She was finally stable since after her studies, she got an employment opportunity in New York as an editorial staff.

The hunger to save her people led to the foundation of Young Negroes Cooperative League (YNCL), which sought black economic power restoration. Interestingly, they appointed her as the group national director. Her mandates surrounded consumer education, African and labor history. In 1938, Baker became the secretary for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She traveled several parts of the country-recruiting members, organizing local campaigns and raising money. She dismissed elitism and placed her confidence on many rather than few individuals. In 1964, Hamer and Baker met formed the MFDP, which played a key role in abolishing discrimination.
Third, younger activists such as Unita Blackwell rose from the SNCC movement.

Her work were highly absorbing given that she rigorously participated in the day-to-day organization of demonstrations. She and her husband faced detention on several occasions. The burden of being in jail posed a great threat to their marriage and their child. Blackwell’s family had to take care of the children. The couple was amazing given that they acted as plaintiffs on several laws suits against Mississippi authorities. It became clear that Blackwell played a key role in organizing a boycott in all blacks Henry Weather High School. The students lamented that the principal suspended students who had SNCC buttons and protested against racism in the country. Her devotion made her appointed vice-chair of the state Democratic Party and a member of the Democratic National Committee. Blackwell studied in Harvard University before travelling to china where she met U.S-china People Friends Association.

The presence of Annie Devine and Winson Hudson was another reason that boosted activism over white dominance. Their committed to human rights, courage to wipe out racial terrorism in rural Mississippi led them to higher height. Their work was dangerous, but they had to do it particularly for future generation. Psychological and physical based torture was overwhelming. The later damaged personal relationships, families, careers agitated loneliness among other things.

There were numerous accounting of beating and brutal punishments encountered in the movement. To mention a few, one of the vicious brutal incidence was that took place in Winona. Several women including Hamer, Annelle Ponder, Rosemary Freeman and Vaster Simpson were arrested and beaten on their return from a registration-voting center.

Hamer suffered from a limp, something that led her admitted for several months in hospital. The women did not relent but rather, they employed indomitable spirits against the action. This southern black women culture marveled most white men who opted to run away from the region. Some of them befriended the women for reprieve.

Factors denying black equal rights as citizens and as human beings

Several factors denied equal rights between Americans and Africans encompasses social, political and economic factors. Racial segregation was rampant, and Africans did not have an opportunity of accessing some facilities. There were schools, roads, hotels and hospitals for pure Americans. Discrimination was rampant in offices; job places and entertainment centers. Africans did not have an opportunity of registering constitutionally or voting. In addition to that, not all Africans had the permission to own plantations. Land belonged to the whites. Africans faced subjection to reprisals, brutal beating and denial.

This led to several demonstrations, death and jails. The activists were on a race to see that Africans are constitutionally allowed to vote, own assets, enjoy free services just like whites among other services. In order to meet these elements, the congress had to sit and pass a civil right act-banning race, color, national origin or religiously made discrimination. Some of the traditional European groups had proposed that sale or renting of houses must have a basis on color.

No, Africans had an opportunity of contesting for any political seat, something that led to derail democracy within the country. In order to gang down the problem, women had to boycott duties and create civil disobedience in plantations. The racial segregation problem lasted for over half a century until in 1964 when the parliament amended the civil right act to include Africans. Since that time brutal beatings, bus discrimination and job segregations declined tremendously.

Involvement of the person(s) in the struggle for blacks' equal rights

Ella Baker graduated from Shaw University and secured a job as an editor in New York. She immediately quit the job in 1938 and joined NAACP movement to recruit Africans. She participated in the organization of several leadership conferences that saw grassroots enrolment of Africans in the movement. The organization denounced racial segregation and brutal beatings. Baker played a key role in the struggle for black equal rights. She mentored many southern students before they formed SNCC movement. The movements blocked roads and forced voter registration to ensure that Americans seize from the act. Therefore, in summary form, we can conclude that Baker was very instrumental against racial discrimination and human rights based violation.

In addition to that, Hamer was another strong woman who drew large followers within and outside Mississippi. Hamer had eloquent speeches in her spiritual preaching. Essentially, she used hymns to peach gospels that warned people against discrimination. At one time, she forced herself to a registration room and demanded to be registered. In the process, President Johnson decided to ban her preaches and later she lost her job. She continued to oppose racial discriminations after forming Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In that instance, we can conclude that Hamer had a greater vision in seeking freedom for all oppressed people in the country.

Unita Blackwell and Ella collaborated with other people to liberate African from discrimination. The duos were active in arranging for voter registration. This endangered her life eventually jailed and risking her children. She would attend students’ forum with her husband. On other occasions, she engaged on numerous lawsuits with Mississippi authorities. She courageously believed that struggle for freedom ought to be together with pain. In the process, they faced physical and psychological torture while mistreated by the whites. This had serious consequences on her family given that she was a young couple. The parents had to take their grandchild after she was arrested and detained for organizing boycotts in some schools.

Challenges, which the individual(s) faced in confronting injustice against African Americans

Women faced several challenges on their fight against discrimination. Some of the challenges emanated from the black male dominated organizations. This was when they were joining the organization. Some of them such as Hamer and Ella had to form own organizations. On other occasions, Ella differed with Martin Luther king, but because of having common goals, the differences had to be face settlement quickly. In addition to that, they were only active and had to force the men be silent otherwise both of them will be sacked from jobs and hence trigger for more problems. On other occasions, some of the women faced brutal beatings by the whites. On one occasion, Hamer and other women faced serious attacks, and she sustained limp injuries. She was leading a group of women to a register for votes. The white believed that no African should participate in voter registration or election.

In addition to that, some of the women lost their jobs. Hamer lost her job in plantation after the white learnt that she was preaching against their dominance. In another instance, the Africans faced segregation in bus stations. This triggered boycotts hence a challenge. Moreover, personal and family relationships worsened for the women in the struggle for freedom. The whites could do instance checks within the homes hence inflicting a lot of fear to the families. All the challenges had to be met and therefore, they ended up securing freedom.
Results or successes based on the person(s) activities.

The women mentioned in this research papers did a wonderful job. As a result, they inevitably succeeded in fighting discrimination, human rights infringement and racial discrimination. Hamer and Ella performed well in organizing for meeting that discussed racial discrimination. They preached against the evils, and in 1964, the civil right act was passed allowing Africans to have voting rights and freedom to access all essential public facilities. This was a great achievement after over thirty years of struggle. On the other hand, Blackwell and Rosa achievement a lot from the boycotts organized in schools against racial discriminations.

Analyze the role of women in the civil rights crusade

Women played a key role in civil right crusades. To mention a few, Hamer, Rosa Parks, Blackwell Ella and others helped in organizing conferences that were addressed by great leaders such as Martin Luther King. They organized rallies aimed at teaching freedoms in schools and voter registrations. On other occasions, the women had a role of providing food and other necessities to freedom fighters. Rosa Park played a key role on Montgomery Boycott that was against bus discrimination. On the other hand, Hamer used her eloquence and spiritual preaches and hymns to attract people and convince them to fight discrimination. She could force her way to voters’ registration rooms and demand to be registered.

The women played other roles such as the formation of various political organizations such as NAACP, SCLC, and YNCL among others. The organizations had one objective, and that is liberating the country from discrimination and violation of human rights.


Women in the Civil Rights Movements play the frontline battle against discrimination. We found that they risked jail, job loss and brutal beatings in order to see that there was attainment of freedom. In fact, we can describe them as trailblazers or torchbearers of the struggle for freedom. Given that they engaged in setting up several freedom organizations, we can conclude that they played an equal role to men. In fact, they risked families and their vulnerable lives hence champions of freedom.


Crawford, Vicki L., Jacqueline Anne Rouse, and Barbara Woods. Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Pub, 1990.
Hasday, Judy L. Women in the Civil Rights Movement. Philadelphia: Mason Crest Publishers, 2013.
Atwater, Deborah F. The Voices of African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement. 2006.
Evans, Sara M. Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left. New York: Knopf: distributed by Random House, 2009.
Collier-Thomas, Bettye, and V. P. Franklin. Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement. New York: New York University Press, 2001.
Glasrud, Bruce A., and Merline Pitre. Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement. 2013.
Watts, Jerry Gafio. Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual. New York, NY [u.a.]: New York Univ. Press, 2001.