Black Excellence

26th Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909 Republican

  • Took over when William McKinley was assassinated
  • He referred to White Americans as the “forward race”, who had the responsibility to raise the status of minorities through “training the backward races in industrial efficiency, political capacity, and domestic morality.”
  • In concerns to race, Roosevelt used a rising tide raises all ships metaphor, stating that if morality and thrift among the colored men can be raised then those same virtues among whites, already assumed to be more advanced, would rise to an even higher degree. At the same time, he warned that the debasement of the blacks will in the end carry with it the debasement of the whites.
  • Believed in a long term approach to improving civil rights.

Theodore Roosevelt did a lot for National Park but close to nothing for African Americans. Some historians argue that his presidency is actually the start of blacks starting to look for an alternative to the Republican Party. Many were extremely angry with his handling of  the Brownsville affair

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