Tuesday, December 18, 2007
TUSKEGEE MACHINE A popular euphemism used by a number of early twentieth century black intellectuals, including Monroe Trotter and W. E. B. Du Bois, the Tuskegee Machine referred to the financial control exerted over black education and, in particular, over black newspapers and periodicals by Booker T. Washington. As a result of this media control, readers of black newspapers and magazines rarely encountered materials unfavorable to Washington's philosophy of accommodation. Du Bois, who originally coined the euphemism, described the Tuskegee Machine in following terms: "Tuskegee became the capital of the Negro nation. Negro newspapers were influenced and finally the oldest and largest was bought by white friends of Tuskegee. Most of the other papers found it to their advantage certainly not to oppose Mr. Washington, even if they did not wholly agree with him. Negroes who sought high positions groveled for his favor." See also: MONROE TROTTER and BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.