The WEB DuBois and Booker T. Washington Debate

Slavery has been around for centuries dating back to the early 1600s, It was practiced throughout the 17th,18th and 19th centuries it’s even still alive to this day. Slavery was the system in which Blacks was not looked at as people but as property by law, Slaves were looked down upon and was treated horribly. After the Civil War in 1865, the United States Constitution ratified the 13th Amendment which statesNeither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.Which abolished in all states in America slaves were free to live their lives as people and not as property. On the outside, this course of action looks good Blacks were free they are now by law treated as equals, but this was the beginning of the Nadir American Race Relations. It was when White Americans in the south had hostility towards African Americans. Racism played a big part in this period things like segregation, lynchings and legal racial discrimination. This hindered blacks from doing things in their everyday life like working, voting gaining a good education and more.

When it came to influential African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century there were two leaders who played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement. Booker T. Washington and William Edward Burghardt Du Bois they disagreed on the strategies of black social and economic progress in America. In September of 1895 in Atlanta, Georgia Washington was invited to speak at the Cotton States and International Exposition at Piedmont Park. His speech promoted an accommodationist policy which means he may not agree with the opposite party point of view but he is willing to compromise to make both parties somewhat happy. This urged blacks to accept discrimination for the time being and focus on evolving themselves through business and technical education.Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions ( Washington para.4). This is statement mean you should build up where you are you may not be in the best place right now but if you work hard with whatever you are doing we all can be successful. He thought that this process would win the respect of whites and would lead blacks to be accepted as citizens.

W.E.B. DuBois approach was the total opposite of what Washington wanted he didn’t want peace he wanted justice for African Americans. Du Bois advocated political action and a civil rights agenda for his strategy. He published his book The Souls of Black Folk in 1903 which argued that social change in the black community would be accomplished by protest and development of a group of college-educated blacks he called “the Talented Tenth:” The Negro Race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education then, among Negroes, must first of all deal with the “Talented Tenth.” It is the problem of developing the best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the worst (DuBois para 8). He also believed that political action and agitation were also ways to achieve equality for blacks.

Even though Dubois disagreed with many of Washington’s opinions, but he also respected him as one of the first true black intellectuals who tried to help the black race. Both Washington and DuBois wanted to end racism for blacks in America. They also where both powerful leaders in the late 1800s and early 1900s and are college graduates. Lastly, they both wanted a good education for African Americans. As you can see, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois had a shared overall goal of improving the political, economic, and social standing of African Americans. I think they both have good ideas on how to fix the problem. Du Bois favored education and political action, While Washington wanted to wait it out and make progress through the learning of skills and trades. Both men are saying important information yes I think we should fight for our rights as American citizens but I also think we should build up our lives and get things together for our future.

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