Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2017 Margaret P. G. Christ. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department, Black Studies Program

First Advisor

Allison Dorsey


By the turn of the twentieth century, Booker T. Washington’s industrial education model had not only spread as an idea and as practice in the United States, but it also had begun to receive international attention. Tuskegee Institute’s cotton-growing expedition to the German colony of Togo between 1901 and 1909 was one application of this philosophy to Africa. Using Tuskegee Institute's cotton-growing expedition to Togo as an entry for considering Booker T. Washington's industrial education model as he and others applied it to Africa, this thesis explores African Americans' trips to and thinking about Africa at the turn of twentieth century. Placing the Togo trip in the context of Washington's writings on Africa allows a glimpse into the limits of and tensions within Washington's own philosophy; furthermore, comparing the Togo expedition to trips that African American missionaries took to Africa reveal certain differences but also many commonalities across, and similar tensions arising from, the multiple approaches to 'uplifting' the continent that African Americans took in this period.