Economic Power and Tuskegee Self-Help

Too Much Black

The History of Black AmericaBooker T. Washington and Black capitalism
By Lance Selfa (2012)

With his conservative “self-help” philosophy, Booker T. Washington became the main spokesperson for [Black Americans] at the end of the 19th century.

UNEMPLOYMENT AND poverty are the plight of millions of Black workers in today’s America. Yet paradoxically, Black political power has grown in the decades since the height of the civil rights and Black Power movement. This is because political power without economic power is empty.

But what kind of economic power? Many Black political leaders argue for a version of “Black capitalism”–that increased economic power within the

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