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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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February 27, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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February 27, 2018
 

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SPIRIT of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S AD )CAIE LIFE / LEGALS PAGE B9 wednesday, ]~bruary 2~. 201S "We want our heroes to be heroic, to fight against injustice; to stand up for what is right. Booker T. Washington was the best known black leader during the era of Jim Crow segregation, when African-Americans lived in a state of second-class citizenship and where the only way to survive was to find ways to accommodate to white supremacy. Booker T. Washington is not a hero to some people today because his public strategy was to accommodate to Jim Crow, to accept "half a loaf" and to work within a highly charged world where blacks had few civil rights " I RAYSMOCKIHist )rianl Booker FRoM pAGe as rice throughout the South ran openly as proud white supremacists who vowed to keep black people in a second-class status. It was in this climate of extreme rac- ism, where black men were lynched for "crossing the color line" almost weekly in the South and where race riots in major U.S. cities were not uncommon, that Washington was called to be the leading spokesman of his race. Publicly, Washington seemed to conciliate to racial violence. He played down vi- olence with mild statements that he hoped things would get better and that the best black people and the best white people would work this out. He urged blacks to avoid agitating for civil rights. His bargain with the white South was to stay out of politics and in return whites in power would not interfere with blacks getting an education and fmding a job and moving up the economic lad- der, if not the political ladder. Because of this public stance, black leaders 50 years later, during the Civil Rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s would look back at Wash- ington as an accommodator to racial injustice and no hero. But most of the black leaders and their white allies in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s had no idea that Washington had a secret life, a different approach to race advancement that he hid from the public and often from his own black allies. Only when scholars started to look into Wash- ington's vast collection of papers, which were do- nated to the Library of Congress, did we discov- er that with secret support from President Theo- dore Roosevelt and his attorney general, Wash- ington was fighting against racial discrimination in court cases, and fighting against a new form of slavery called peonage, where blacks were en- slaved for not paying their debts. Using money obtained from wealthy white Northerners, Washington bought up black news- papers around the country and had influence with LEFT: Ray Smock wrote 2009 book about the who played a role in ]lnla's early history. white newspapers to positive stories of racial worked se- t with Du Bois, his chief critic. Washington kept his school Institute out of the wars going on behind scenes. But Tuskegee, we was Washing- of oper- for a nationwide network of secret efforts to undue the bonds of Jim Crow America. Washington, through no fault of his own, was born into a world of blatant racism that only got worse during the Reconstruction era. Racial segregation actually grew worse from the 1890s up to World War II and beyond. We all in- herit the time in which we are born, and we all have to decide how to address the injustices of our own time. Here is Washington's best message from his time to our time and to all of time and to all op- pressed peoples wherever they may be - Nothing is more important or more empowering than an education. Knowledge is power. At the conclusion of my study of Washing- ton, which I undertook with my mentor and dear friend University of Maryland professor, Louis R. Harlan, we published 14 volumes of Wash- ington's papers. While we were doing that, Harlan wrote a two- volume biography of Washington, the second of which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. We worked on a film about young Booker learning to read, and I wrote my own biography of Wash- ington several years ago. Fromthis experience I learned that heroes come in many guises. There are many ways to fight injustice. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and Washington is one of those giants. - Historian Ray Smock works as the director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education at Shepherd University Concert FROM PAGE B10 parlor is a treat not to be missed, explains Stewart, known for performing modem world premieres of 19th-century chamber composi- tions. Sunday's back-to-back performances will mark the first concert by the Charles Washing- ton Chamber Music Society. The size of the parlors in the stately home at 600 Mording- ton Ave. dictated the need for multiple shows, according to Walter Washington, a Washing- ton family descendant and the president of the Friends of Happy Retreat. Proceeds from the concert will help continue the restoration work at Happy Retreat, accord- ing to Washington who helped create the non- profit created more than a decade ago. In recent years, the Friends group has held popular daylong festivals on the grounds of Happy Retreat with live jazz and bluegrass and the sale of craft beers and wine - all to help fund needed upgrades and other restora- tion work at Happy Retreat, and to make the home regularly available for the public's en- joyment. One of the stars performing with Stewart on Sunday will be cellist Rene Schiffer, who serves on the faculty of the Cleveland Insti- tute of Music and as a founding principal with Apollo's Fire Baroque Orchestra, which has toured throughout the world. Others on the lineup: Stanley Yates, a guitarist with an interna- tional reputation as a performer, teacher and scholar; Flutist Angela Collier-Reynolds (a mem- ber of the Gateway Chamber Ensemble and an adjunct professor at Fairmont State Univer- sity); and Emily Bentgen (principal oboist with WANT:TO GO? :Charles Wash- i amber Music Society:inaugural l Vhen: Pefformanc es at 1:30 and the f der of Charles Town at 600 Mordi- ngton Ave. How mueh: A ticket costs $50, Happy :Retreat restoration The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington). Along with works by well-known compos- ers, Sunday's concerts will include less fa- miliar music from early composers including Matin Marias, Femando Sor and Ferdinando CaruUi. The initial performance begins at 1:30 p.m with a second show starting at 4 p.m. To purchase a $50 ticket or to learn more about the concert or about Happy Retreat, go to the Friends of Happy Retreat website, hap- pyretreat.org. - Christine Snyder Lovin' it ! Christa Bowie (with Spirit of Jefferson ad director Mary Burns) accepts her Cupid's Crawl prize basket- with items and gift certificates from dozens of area businesses- in the newsroom office on Monday. Bowie's name was chosen at random from those who took part in the fun annual pre-Valentine's Day event in Chades Town held on Feb. 10. GREG STAUB A weekly visit from YOU can make to a child! I ~::~'i~ i::~i :.~ ~ ':!~ ~l~l . ~ I t I I ~ilNt.'~ ~ " ~ I .t! ! www.readaloudwestvirginia.org lauriepdx@ outlook.corn AT THE iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii i!i!iii!i!i!~i:ii il i i iii iiiiiii i i i iii~iiiiiiiii!iii~iii iiiiii~i i 10 ,iil 1 to4 p.m. at Ranson Civic Center at 431 W, Second Ave. Thousands of newly engaged couples can connect with the businesses they need at the second-annual Ranson Bridal Expo, including caterers, florists, wedding venues, photographers + many more. DMISSION is $2 - with all monies raised donated to Shenandoah Women's Center THE STATE'S NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY PRESENTS WEST VIRGINIA PRESS POLICY AND IMPACT NOT POLITICS OR PERSONALITIES A 30-MINUTE WEEKLY VIDEO PROGRAM FEATURING NEWS AND 2018 LEGISLATIVE COVERAGE THIS WEEK: Teacher pay and protest Sports betting Guns on college campuses SNAP benefits work requirements INDEPTH: West Virginia Manufacturers Association President Rebecca McPhail and Huntington Regional Chamber President Bill Bissett talk with WVPA's Don Smith WATCH: Look for coverage in this newspaper, on its website or on Facebook. or VISIT WVPRESS.ORG