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Defining the StruggleNational Racial Justice Organizing, 1880-1915$
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Susan D. Carle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945740

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945740.001.0001

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The Afro-American Council’s Internal History, 1898–1908

The Afro-American Council’s Internal History, 1898–1908

(p.93) 5 The Afro-American Council’s Internal History, 1898–1908
Defining the Struggle

Susan D. Carle

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the trajectory of the National Afro-American Council's internal history, which involved three stages: first, more radical members' efforts at dissent; second, Booker T. Washington's efforts to seize control; and, third, attempts by leader Bishop Alexander Walters to reunify and revive an almost moribund organization, which took place too late to stop the radicals from leaving to form a new organization called the Niagara Movement. This chapter argues that the chronic dissention that stymied the National Afro-American Council was responsible for its relatively narrow emphasis on civil and political rights issues. These were pressing matters on which all members could agree and thus provided it with its pragmatic, short-term action agenda.

Keywords:   Bishop Alexander Walters, National Afro-American Council, race disfranchisement, nadir period, Booker T. Washington, late nineteenth-century civil rights radicalism, Frederick McGhee, Judson Douglas Wetmore, Oswald Garrison Villard, John Milholland, Brownsville incident, Atlanta race riot of 1906

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