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Extra resources for Access to History. Race Relations in the USA 1863-1980
Helped by his white employer and black friends, Washington set off for Hampton in 1872. He was forced to spend the ﬁrst night of the journey outside a hotel that would not accept black guests. His Hampton entrance examination consisted of cleaning a room. What does Booker T. Washington’s life reveal about race relations and opportunities for blacks between 1856 and 1895? Northern whites established the Hampton Institute to educate freed blacks: 1868 Key date (ii) Education Key question Protest or Accommodationism 1880–1915 | 47 Proﬁle: Booker T.
As slaves, they earned no money for their labour, but their masters provided food and shelter. By 1877, they were theoretically free to do any work in any place they wanted, but in practice, lacking property, education and any experience other than farming and domestic service, most were scraping a living sharecropping on some white-owned land. In terms of material goods, they often remained as poor, if not poorer than in 1863, and just as subject to white landowners. In that sense, things 38 | Race Relations in the USA 1863–1980 really were not much better, although at least they now had the opportunity to risk moving to seek work elsewhere (perhaps in the city or in the North) and they surely felt better at the end of enslavement.
Their very basic agricultural skills and illiteracy made migration to Northern cities a frightening prospect, especially as Northern employers and unions excluded black labour. However, Northward migration was popular. Between 1880 and 1900 Chicago’s black population rose from 6480 to 30,150. Some Southern blacks moved West: black migrants founded 25 all-black towns in the new state of Oklahoma. Other blacks advocated emigration to Africa, to ‘establish our own nation’, but that was prohibitively expensive and impractical for the vast majority of Southern blacks.