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Portrait of Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington, perhaps the most influential African American in politics of his day

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Booker T. Washington Speaks at the Cotton States and International Exposition
September 18, 1895

A reporter in the crowd listening to Booker T. Washington deliver this important speech on September 18, 1895, described the event this way: "His eyes and his whole face lit up with the fire of prophecy... It electrified the audience, and the response was as if it had come from the throat of a whirlwind." One of the most politically powerful African Americans in the country from 1895 to 1915, Booker T. Washington was the first African American man ever to address a racially mixed Southern audience. What did Washington tell his audience?
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