(1893) Frances E.W. Harper, “Woman’s Political Future”

On May 20, 1893, women’s activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper gave this speech before the World’s Congress of Representative Women, meeting in their conference in Chicago, Illinois. Image Ownership: Public domain If before sin had cast its deepest shadows or sorrow had distilled its bitterest … Read More(1893) Frances E.W. Harper, “Woman’s Political Future”

(1898) Booker T. Washington, “The Madison Square Garden Address”

After his 1895 Atlanta Compromise Speech, Booker T. Washington’s popularity grew rapidly among Northern whites.  In this instance he gives an address at Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 12, 1898, the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.  Not surprisingly he promotes industrial education … Read More(1898) Booker T. Washington, “The Madison Square Garden Address”

(1896) Hugh M. Browne, “The Higher Education of the Colored People of the South”

Hugh M. Browne, educator, Presbyterian minister, and college professor in Liberia, positioned himself between the advocates of industrial and higher education for African Americans.  In the speech below given in Washington, D.C., he describes his educational philosophy and the forces and experiences that shaped it. … Read More(1896) Hugh M. Browne, “The Higher Education of the Colored People of the South”

(1896) Booker T. Washington, “Address to the Harvard Alumni Dinner”

Image Ownership: Public Domain One year after his Atlanta Compromise Speech 40-year-old Booker T. Washington was on his way to becoming the most influential African American in the United States.  One example of that growing influence was the invitation from the Harvard Alumni to speak … Read More(1896) Booker T. Washington, “Address to the Harvard Alumni Dinner”

(1898) Mary Church Terrell, “The Progress of Colored Women”

Mary Church Terrell, the daughter of former slaves, became by the beginning of the 20th century one of the most articulate spokespersons for women’s rights including full suffrage.  In 1896 she was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women and by 1910 she … Read More(1898) Mary Church Terrell, “The Progress of Colored Women”

(1883) Alexander Crummell, “The Queens of Womanhood”

On August 15, 1883, Alexander Crummell, founder of the Union of Black Episcopalians and the American Negro Academy and a graduate of Oxford University in England, gave the address below to the Freedman’s Aid Society at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. … Read More(1883) Alexander Crummell, “The Queens of Womanhood”

(1880) P.B.S. Pinchback, “Campaign Speech for GOP Presidential Candidate James G. Garfield.”

Image Ownership: Public Domain Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, the son of a white Mississippi planter and a former slave, was the first African American to serve as governor of a state when after the governor of Louisiana was impeached, he as Lt. Governor completed the … Read More(1880) P.B.S. Pinchback, “Campaign Speech for GOP Presidential Candidate James G. Garfield.”

(1879) John Mercer Langston, “The Exodus: The Causes Which Led The Colored People of the South to Leave Their Homes – The Lesson”

In 1879 an unanticipated migration of nearly seven thousand African Americans from Mississippi and Louisiana to Kansas prompted a debate among national black leaders.  Frederick Douglass thought it unwise that black women and men would leave the South.  John Mercer Langston disagreed.  As in this … Read More(1879) John Mercer Langston, “The Exodus: The Causes Which Led The Colored People of the South to Leave Their Homes – The Lesson”

(1896) Booker T. Washington, “Democracy and Education”

In 1895 Booker T. Washington, the founder and Principal of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama rose to national prominence when he gave his famous Atlanta Compromise Speech at the Cotton States Exposition.  Approximately one year later on September 30, 1896, Washington addressed an audience at the … Read More(1896) Booker T. Washington, “Democracy and Education”