Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois Compare and Contrast

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In the end of 1877, reconstruction had ended and the blacks were living in poverty and had been dealing with discrimination. The laws that were placed in previous years had worked around this and later on this had gotten arguably worst. The blacks had either a political, social, or economic position. During this time period, segregation began to appear and separate the races. White supremacy was accepted and blacks’ rights were being threatened or even taken away. However, two African Americans Booker T Washington and W.E.B Du Bois had offered different strategies for dealing with the problems the blacks had. Although Washington and DuBois had opposite ideas on this situation, their dedication had helped the blacks have more jobs through education, gained economic equality, and fought for the civil rights of the African Americans.

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Education was the main argument between DuBois and Washington. Between 1877-1915, the African Americans had little education. Compared to the whites, the blacks had been receiving little education (doc A). Washington did not approve of this since he believed that in order to have value in their society, they would need to improve their education percentages. Foreign-born white people were receiving a higher percentage for literacy rates compared to the blacks(doc B). DuBois argued that in order to be considered as educated, you would need to be able to read. Unfortunately, the blacks were either receiving poor education or no education at all unlike the whites. Both philosophers had tried to raise these percentages with different strategies but the same motivations. Ida B Wells had stood up to lynching and had spread her strong arguments about equality. Wells had created a big impact on the rights for African Americans during this time period and further.

Many people disagreed to having blacks educated. Many Americans began to blame their financial problems on the freed blacks around them which had introduced the society to lynching. Between 1890-1895, the lynching for the blacks had reached its highest peak which was 165 of people lynched. (Doc C)Although the whites were also lynched, throughout this era it was common to have the blacks lynched rather than another race. This had made it difficult for the blacks to stand up for their own rights.

Washington believed that the blacks should focus on their own tasks for survival rather than political protest. He had founded a school which is known as Tuskegee that provided industrial education. This school would provide jobs as farmers, housekeepers, blacksmiths, carpenters, etc. He believed the blacks would have value to the American society after attending this school. (Doc G) In 1895, Washington had given the Atlanta speech. This compromise had forced African Americans to accept segregation. In order for them to be accepted into American society, the blacks would have to accept discrimination and to be loyal. He believed that this would have made at least some progress in their education. (Doc D).

On the other hand, DuBois believed that the blacks should protest and continually fight for their own rights to be acknowledged. Dubois argued education for mostly negro males and supported if your rights are ever threatened or taken away, to keep protesting in season and out of season (Doc E). Therefore, the Niagara Movement was a group founded for equality between each race. (Doc F). The purpose of this movement was to fight for their rights and have equal economic opportunities. This movement had led to challenging the Plessy vs. Ferguson case.

The Plessy vs. Ferguson Case had established the saying separate but equal.  Jim Crow laws had been established because of this case. After the case, water fountains had been separated but of course equal. (Doc J)

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Booker T. Washington And W.E.B. DuBois Compare and Contrast. (2019, Jul 28). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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