Stamped

by

Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

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Booker T. Washington Character Analysis

Booker T. Washington was a prominent Black leader in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He believed that Black people should cooperate with white segregationists and work their way up from the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, rather than fighting for civil rights through the law. Therefore, he was a more extreme assimilationist than his main rival, W. E. B. Du Bois, who wavered between assimilationism and antiracism.

Booker T. Washington Quotes in Stamped

The Stamped quotes below are all either spoken by Booker T. Washington or refer to Booker T. Washington. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers edition of Stamped published in 2020.
Chapter 15 Quotes

Du Bois believed in being like White people to eliminate threat so that Black people could compete. Washington believed in eliminating thoughts of competition so that White people wouldn’t be threatened by Black sustainability. And there were Black people who believed both men, because, though we’re critiquing their assimilationist ideas in this moment, they were thought leaders of their time.

Related Characters: Jason Reynolds (speaker), W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington
Page Number: 122-123
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

It was 1933. Du Bois’s life as an assimilationist had finally started to vaporize. He just wanted Black people to be self-sufficient. To be Black. And for that to be enough. Here he argued that the American educational system was failing the country because it wouldn’t tell the truth about race in America, because it was too concerned with protecting and defending the White race. Ultimately, he was arguing what he’d been arguing in various different ways, and what Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Marcus Garvey, and many others before him had argued ad nauseam: that Black people were human.

Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:
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Booker T. Washington Character Timeline in Stamped

The timeline below shows where the character Booker T. Washington appears in Stamped. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Battle of the Black Brains
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
...was biracial. He even blamed Black people for getting lynched—and so did other activists, like Booker T. Washington and even Frederick Douglass. The journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett proved them wrong by showing that... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Booker T. Washington was Black America’s other main leader. He told Black people to accept jobs like farming... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
...his Black supporters by kicking a group of prominent Black soldiers out of the army. Booker T. Washington was one of Roosevelt’s biggest supporters, so Black people also turned against him—and toward Du... (full context)
Chapter 16: Jack Johnson vs. Tarzan
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
While W. E. B. Du Bois beat Booker T. Washington in their fight for political influence, the famous Black boxing champion Jack Johnson was busy... (full context)