Impact of the Booker T. Washington Strategy on the African-American AgendaIntroductionThe end of slavery in the South presented challenges for the freed black men and women in the region that continue to affect the social progress made ethnic minorities in the United States to this date. While slavery was undoubtedly a major contributor to the degradation process of the humanity and intelligence of the colored race at the time, the real problem for the leaders of the communities was the integration of their people into the American system. For the white men, their issue was how to not cede power to a growing population of black people that could till the lands better than them and were filled with hatred for the atrocities committed against them by several generations. As the dominant group, some of the agenda used to maintain the control of the slaves remained part of the social systems and institutions that maintained the nation. So, black people were systemically denied access to education, voting rights, and opportunities that would have improved their socioeconomic conditions to make them compete with the white man. The Booker T. Washington Strategy of industrial training and economic production was the most appropriate solution for black people to deal with the devastating impact of slavery and path to social and political emancipation during the era.Analysis of the Washington Strategy for Social and Political AdvancementWhen slavery ended in the South, black people were unprepared and ill-equipped to meet the socioeconomic challenges of freedom and the path to integration into the larger context of the political system despite the denial of their voting rights by the white majority. The several decades of hard physical labor on the plantations and the fields cultivating crops in chains left them so traumatized that majority ran to the North after abolition. For those that remained in the Black Belt of the South, debt and poverty was their situation despite the low cost of land, access to education, existence of the religious institutions, and huge crop harvest. According to Washington, black people lacked the required skill to benefit from their labor because of several years of unjustly doing so against their will made them consider it as a degrading means of livelihood. Also, their time on the plantations was not spent learning the management of industrial farming but scheming methods for their escape from the harrowing conditions that they lived and worked in(2). Therefore, the lack of voting rights or social segregation was the least significant of the problems the black race faced during the period. It was the lack of skills and competencies to compete with the white man in the occupation they know, which was farming.?Booker T. Washington’s proposal for the emancipation of the black race at the time was based on the premise that the justice and equity sought by the people can only be achieved through industrial training and skill acquisition that would result in the economic development of the people. He argued that what the black people needed was to spend more time in the knitting business and industrial farming until they can get a mortgage on the white man’s house and make him foreclose it willingly. It is the means to earn the respect of the majority ethnic group that was used to oppressing the black people through their perception of the latter’s lack of intelligence and poor state. In retrospect, the wholesome adoption of this strategy would have improved the fortune of the black race and ended the many instances of social inequality that exist in American to this day. What many of Washington’s critics, including WEB De Bois, failed to accept when presenting their argument about the need to improve the quality of education of blacks is that the people were unprepared for this kind of development. While some level of education is necessary for managing the finances of the farms and freeing the people from poverty, the formal ones proposed by these critics would increase the level of the inferiority of blacks because of its irrelevance to their immediate.?A review of the Tuskegee system of training that was used to implement the Washington strategy showed that the elements of the program meet the needs of the population in the Black Belt through the elimination of the perspective that labor was a disgrace. According to Washington, one of the immediate impacts of the fourteen years of work in this industrial training direction is the increased enrollment figures of technical training institutions in the region (1). A significant number of people that were determined to run away from labor became excited to learn and teach their children the intelligent labor taught by the several industrial schools in the region. Therefore, the access to education became useful to the peoples’ needs and contributed to their economic empowerment which set the stage for the true emancipation demanded during the slave era by the slaves. People of color were no longer in debt as they understood the approaches and sacrifices for increasing their production, maximizing their profits and reducing the debt burden that increased their level of poverty.?Web De Bois criticized the accommodationist philosophy of Washington because he believed that “the ideals of physical freedom, of political power, of school training, as separate all-sufficient panaceas for social ills, became in the third decade after slavery dim and overcast” (7). He continued his argument by highlighting the needs of African-Americans during the era to include the training of schools that awaken the deft hands, eyes, and ears to increase the number of gifted minds in the community. Although this position was essential to the derivation of the benefits of freedom, it was untenable at the time because it will not result in the strong foundation needed by blacks to transit from the source of social problems to the creators of its different solutions.