Cotton States and International Exposition
Cotton States Exposition cost just one-ninth as much as the Chicago
fair; its Midway was a quarter the size. Nevertheless, this fair
was a remarkable achievement. Atlanta, a city of 75,000 people,
had been ravaged by William Tecumseh Sherman's army 31 years earlier.
staged the exposition in 1895 in a bid to attract national attention
and to identify the city as the capital of the New South. when
it held its exposition. Some 800,000 visitors toured a "fairyland"
filled with electric lights, walked through a steam-powered textile
mill, and witnessed one of the first public exhibitions of moving
pictures. Visitors could also see Benjamin Franklin's cane and
the Liberty Bell, which was transported from Philadelphia.
return for $200,000 of federal funds, Atlanta agreed to construct
a Negro Pavillion featuring paintings and sculptures by African
American artists and highlighting "the progress made by the
Negro since emancipation."
the fair is best remembered for a speech by Booker T. Washington,
a former slave and the founder of the Tuskegee Institute. Just
a few months earlier, Frederick Douglass had died, and Washington
would assume his position as the preeminent African American leader
of his day until his death in 1915.
all things that are purely social we [blacks and whites] can
be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things
essential to mutual progress,'' Washington said.
wisest of my race understand that the agitation of questions
of social equality is the extremest folly, and that progress
in the enjoyment of all privileges that will come to us must
be then the result of severe and constant struggle rather than
of artificial forcing. ... It is important and right that all
privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important
that we be prepared to exercise those privileges. The opportunity
to earn a dollar in a factory just now is infinitely more important
than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera house.''
T. Washington's Compromise Speech of 1895 by Alicia Gantt
as an overview for this eXploration.
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Booker T. Washington's staunchest critic, W.E.B. DuBois, Harvard's
first black Ph.D. and a founder of the NAACP, later wrote: ''Mr.
Washington's programme practically accepts the alleged inferiority
of the Negro races.... In other periods of intensified prejudice
all the Negro's tendency to self assertion has been called forth;
at this period, a policy of submission is advocated."
Washington, in his speech, accept second-class citizenship for
According to the articles, what was the public response to the
Atlanta Exposition and to Washington's speech?
for the Cotton States Exposition
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