The compromise was announced at the Atlanta Exposition Speech. The primary architect of the compromise, on behalf of the African-Americans, was Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute. Supporters of Washington and the Atlanta compromise were termed the "Tuskegee Machine."
The agreement was never written down. Essential elements of the agreement were that blacks would not ask for the right to vote, they would not retaliate against racist behavior, they would tolerate segregation and discrimination, that they would receive free basic education, education would be limited to vocational or industrial training (for instance as teachers or nurses), liberal arts education would be prohibited (for instance, college education in the classics, humanities, art, or literature).
After the turn of the 20th century, other black leaders, most notably W. E. B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter - (a group Du Bois would call The Talented Tenth), took issue with the compromise, instead believing that African-Americans should engage in a struggle for civil rights. W. E. B. Du Bois coined the term "Atlanta Compromise" to denote the agreement. The term "accommodationism" is also used to denote the essence of the Atlanta compromise.
After Washington's death in 1915, supporters of the Atlanta compromise gradually shifted their support to civil rights activism, until the modern Civil rights movement commenced in the 1950s.
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 - November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.
Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1895 his Atlanta compromise called for avoiding confrontation over segregation and instead putting more reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement in the black community.