Abstract Booker T. Washington felt that blacks should work towards wealth instead of fighting for civil rights. Washington stressed the importance of using skills to advance in society. He felt that over time, blacks would be naturally integrated into society through improved social status. Washington also had many critics of his work including the equally controversial W. E. B. Dubois. In Washington’s view work and education were the key factors to the success of the newly freed slaves.
To further apply these views Washington along with George Campbell founded the Tuskegee Institute, which was a training school for blacks. It was here that poor blacks would have the opportunity to learn skills that would make them truly free. In Washington’s words_, “The individual who can do something that the world wants done will, in the end, make__ his way regardless of his race” _ (Washington, 1901, p. 55). Tuskegee had over 60 buildings and an endowment of $3 million in 1915 at the time of Washington’s death.
Unsurprisingly Washington had many critics both black and white. One of the most notable was another black leader, W. E. B Dubois. Dubois’s views opposed Washington’s in that he thought African Americans should fight for civil rights. He felt that blacks would get nowhere in the industrial or economical world if they had no justice or equality on the legal level. Many blacks felt that Washington’s approach was too conservative and that he was undermining their goal for racial equality.
White critics thought that an educated black wouldn’t work in the field but they also opposed Dubois’s vision of racial equality. Washington’s outlook on blacks proved at least partially correct with the success of Tuskegee Institute. Even with much opposition and many critics Washington held his ground and defended his opinion on the future success of African Americans. No matter which view you support you must agree that Booker T. Washington is one of the most important figures of not only Black History, but American History.
“Without property, there could be no individual rights. Not black power, or white power, but green power ----economic power----- is the key to ending discrimination”_ (Washington, 1901, p. 22). _ Reference Page www. answers. com%2Ftopic%2Fbooker-t-washington www. buzzle. com%2Farticles%2Fbooker-t-washington-biography. html www. gale. cengage. com%2Ffree_resources%2F_b. html www. infoplease. com%2Fbiography%2Fvar%2Fbookertwashington. html www. nps. gov/bowa/btwbio. html www. who2. com/bookertwashington. html