When racism was a huge problem in the U. S in the late 20th century there were two main African American leaders that stepped into play to help control the issues. Even though they were completely opposite both of them made huge changes in the segregation of the United States of America, the names Booker T. Washington and W. E. B Dubois will never be forgotten, As a consequence the rivalry between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B Du Bois is one well known to scholars and historians of the African American community.
This paper compares and contrasts the ideals of Washington and Du Bois and identifies the difference between the two dealing with discrimination. In the early twentieth century, there were several different approaches on the question of black equality. African-American figures such as W. E. B Du Bois and Booker T. Washington held opposing views and approached the problem in different ways. They both felt African Americans deserved equality, but Booker T Washington felt that the way to achieve this would be through education.
He felt that the creation of Tuskegee Institute would allow African Americans to use education to enter the work force and gain economic equality. W. E. B Du Bois was a critic of Washington and felt that Washington’s approach to gaining equality was far too passive. Critics felt that Washington’s methods would take a long time and blacks had to work with the white man without demands and protests. Du Bois accused Booker T. Washington of appeasement and demanded for a much more radical approach to the problem.
The first question this paper will answer is who was Booker T. Washington? The second question this paper will answer is what was Booker T. Washington’s view on blacks and equality? The third question this paper answers is who was W. E. B Dubois? The fourth question this paper answers is what were W. E. B Dubois views on civil rights and equality for African Americans. The fifth question this paper answers is what was the difference between Dubois and Washington? The sixth question this paper answers is what did Dubois and Washington have in common? The final question this paper answers is Was Booker T. Washington or W. E. B.
Du Bois more effective in providing strategies dealing with discrimination leading up to the 1920’s? Booker T Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and political leader. Washington was born into slavery to Jane, an enslaved woman, and a white father, a planter. As a youth worked in salt furnaces and coal mines in West Virginia for several years, then made his way east to Hampton Institute, a school established to educate freedmen, where he worked to pay for his studies. He attended Wayland Seminary in Washington, D. C. in 1878 and left after 6 months. In 1881, the Hampton president Samuel C.
Armstrong recommended Washington to become the first leader of Tuskegee Institute. Washington wanted the blacks to live to their full potential. He believed that blacks should work for themselves. Washington asked whites for help not equality. He wanted to have blacks trained for society and real life situations, he believed that was way more important than being book smart and not being able to use anything you learned outside. He urged blacks to be humble and patient. He said that they should work hard and be humble. If they would do this, whites would come to see that they deserved to be treated with respect.
That is how they should fight for their rights. Washington is seen as wanted to act in ways that would accommodate white views. He did not want to really push aggressively and demand rights. Washington was also primarily concerned with education for black Americans. He founded the Tuskegee Institute in hopes that blacks could raise themselves to equality through their own education. W. E. B Du Bois (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois) was one of the most prominent intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century.
He was an intellectual leader in the United States as a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. Born in Massachusetts, Du Bois graduated from Harvard, where he earned his Ph. D in History, the first African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard. His father deserted his mother by the time he was two. When he was young, Mary his mother suffered a stroke which left her unable to work. The two of them moved frequently, surviving on money from family members and Du Bois’s after-school jobs. Du Bois believed he could improve their lives through education.
In 1888 Du Bois earned a degree from Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1909 Du Bois with a group of like-minded supporters founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Movement focused on freedom of speech and criticism, the recognition of the highest and best human training, full male suffrage, a belief in the dignity of labor, and a united effort to realize such ideals under sound leadership. Du Bois focused on the exact opposite things that of Booker T. Washington. Du Bois focused on a strategy called the gradualist political strategy.
The gradualist political strategy was focused on blacks being book smart to get anywhere in life. He believed that they should be just like whites, with high education which all comes from reading, writing and organized education. He wanted blacks to have intellectual advances in our race. The difference between W. E. B Du Bois and Booker T. Washington was Du bois mainly took Washington’s idea and took them a step further. While Booker T. Washington just wanted blacks to have the opportunities without equality Dubois wanted blacks to have the opportunities as well as be equal to whites.
Booker T. Washington’s ideas were peaceful, slow, non confrontational, non aggressive in any form. W. E. B. Dubois was not a quiet man. He believed action was now. He gathered like minded people, he was a founding member of the NAACP, he wrote in the newspaper, he spoke to the classes, he introduced himself and his colleagues to white academic leaders, especially Jewish community leaders, he opened dialog, he didn’t wait for white to notice that they are just like us he went forward and showed it he was pretty much a Public Relations man and he promoted equal rights.
Washington’s career as a leading spokesman for African Americans was launched with a single speech at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition in 1895. This speech, often called the “Atlanta Compromise,” played down the importance of civil rights and social equality among the races in favor of economic and educational advances for African Americans. At the time he delivered this speech, it was widely praised by both blacks and whites, although it was not long before critics of Washington’s position emerged to challenge his leadership.
Early complaints about Washington’s accommodation to the white South came from the black scholar W. E. B. Du Bois and others. But until he died in 1915, Washington was the most influential black leader in America, and the most famous black celebrity in the country, an adviser to presidents and representative to European heads of state. His autobiography Up From Slavery is still in print more than a century after it was first published. Du Bois became a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was editor of the influential magazine published by the NAACP, The Crisis.
After Booker T. Washington’s death in 1915, Du Bois wrote a remarkable obituary of his adversary, praising Washington for the good he did at Tuskegee Institute but also blaming Washington for the lack of progress the race had made under his leadership. Sources W. E. B Dubois souls of Black folks Up from Slavery –Autobiography by Booker T. Washington The Autobiography of W. E. B Dubois www. pbs. org www. yale. edu http//xroads. virgina. edu www. biography. com