Booker T Washington vs. W.E.B Dubois, Two Different Styles of African American Leadership

Booker T Washington vs. W.E.B Dubois, Two Different Styles of African American Leadership

Length: 1739 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the early history of the civil rights movement two prominent African American leaders, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois arose to accomplish one goal, education for all African Americans. During the turn of the century, between the years 1895 and 1915 there were many theories on how African Americans were going to achieve first-class citizenship. With two separate views on how to accomplish this goal, the African American community was split in half on who to support. While Booker T. Washington believed in industrial and agricultural labor, W.E.B. Du Bois proposed a strategy of pursuit through higher education in order to gain first-class citizenship for the African American race.
Born the son of a slave, Booker Taliaferro Washington was considered during his time to be the spokesman of the African American race. Washington believed that if African Americans focused their attention on striving economically, they would eventually be given the rights they were owed. With this in mind, he encouraged blacks to attend trade schools where they could learn to work either industrially or agriculturally. At his famous Atlanta Exposition Address in Atlanta he declared, "Our greatest danger is that, in the great leap from slavery to freedom, we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in the proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor, and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life" (Humanities Washington).
Washington’s suggestion was one that the Negro race was familiar with. The southern and northern whites accepted his plan because it acknowledged the inferiority of the black race. The Negro "Okayed" it b...


... middle of paper ...


... households. Calling on the talented tenth, Du Bois argued that if the top ten percent of African Americans were schooled and trained, they could go back into their communities and help pull the other ninety percent, who weren't eligible to go to school, up (The Talented Tenth). Both, Du Bois and Washington dedicated their lives to finding a way to gain rights for the American Negro. Each of these intellectual individuals dedicated their lives to this one goal. However, it seems that W.E.B Du Bois was more logical in his proposition for the advancement of African Americans. He aimed straight for success, the success that the blacks well deserved and did not accept inferiority. I strongly agree that intelligence, no matter what the condition or time, is the key, but as Mr. Du Bois put it, "Education must not simply teach work—it must teach life" (The Talented Tenth).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

DuBois and Washington on Education Essay

- DuBois and Washington on Education Over 100 years ago W.E.B DuBois and Booker T. Washington began a debate over strategies for black social and economic progress, which is still prevalent today. Booker T. Washington believed that the role of education for African Americans should be an industrial one, where as W.E.B DuBois wanted African Americans to become engaged in a Liberal Arts education. Washington's approach to solving the problems African Americans faced was rooted in his belief in an industrial education....   [tags: Debate Education African American]

Powerful Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of B. Dubois 's The Souls Of Black Folk

- In what is arguably W.E.B. DuBois’ most famous work, The Souls of Black Folk, he introduces and addresses two concepts that describe the Black experience in America— the concepts of “the veil” and “double-consciousness.” Though DuBois uses these terms disjointedly, their meanings and usage in his works are deeply intertwined. The implication, as well as the connotation of these words not only describe the plight of being Black and American then, it rings true to the core and essence of what it means to still be both Black and American today – the remnants of the past live on....   [tags: Black people, African American, White people]

Powerful Essays
1735 words (5 pages)

Essay on W.E.B. DuBois's Thoughts on Education

- W.E.B. DuBois’s Thoughts on Education The Souls of Black Folk, written by W.E.B DuBois is a collection of autobiographical and historical essays containing many themes. DuBois introduced the notion of “twoness”, a divided awareness of one’s identity. “One ever feels his two-ness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled stirrings: two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keep it from being torn asunder” (215). There are many underlying themes in this collection of essays....   [tags: DuBois Education Educating Essays]

Powerful Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

African Americans ' Struggle For Equality Against Racism Essay

- African Americans’ struggle for equality against racism. African Americans in the US struggled to get equality from the racist Southerners. From 1877-1920, African Americans battled against white southerns and the government for equal justice. This group of people faced challenges to gain a better life for themselves and for their families. Through many years of hard struggle of inequality, African Americans started to fight back to gain justice and equality. A few African Americans spoke out for the black community against white people that they should be considered equal....   [tags: African American, Jim Crow laws, Black people]

Powerful Essays
974 words (2.8 pages)

A Brief Biography of W.E.B. Dubois Essay

- William Edward Burkhardt DuBois, whom we all know as W.E.B. DuBois; was a novelist, public speaker, poet, editor, author, leader, teacher, scholar, and romantic. He graduated from high school at the age of 16, and was selected as the valedictorian, being that he was the only black in his graduating class of 12. He was orphaned shortly after his graduation and was forced to fund his own college education. He was a pioneer in black political thoughts and known by many as a main figure in the history of African-American politics....   [tags: African American civil rights history]

Powerful Essays
1432 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Racial Personality Of African American Writing

- African American writing regularly addresses racial personality—from books on going to expositions on Black Power—from journalists as differed as W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison. Be that as it may, these authors are once in a while studying on how they build a racial personality for themselves and their characters. Dark writings can possibly uncover the variables that make racial personality and clear up how the procedure of consideration and prohibition work inside the African American group....   [tags: Black people, African American, White people, Race]

Powerful Essays
1581 words (4.5 pages)

. E. B. Dubois, Of The Dawn Of Freedom: A Synopsis And Critical Discussion

- W. E. B. Dubois, Of the Dawn of Freedom: A synopsis and critical discussion William Edward Burghardt Dubois' work, The Souls of Black Folk, gave a critical discuss of the early, twentieth century through the eyes of the Negro. Although many have limited this work to Dubois' argument of, The Talented Tenth, it should be noted that Dubois' work encompasses much more than that. The purpose of the essay is to summarize and give a critical eye to W. E. B. Dubois' Of the Dawn of Freedom. In the first line of this work Dubois, states the now famous and words that would be reiterated by most Black intellectuals and social scientist of the twentieth and now early twenty-first century, "T...   [tags: Dubois Essay Analysis]

Free Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois' Common Goal of Equality for African Americans

- Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois' Common Goal of Equality for African Americans The United States societal system during the 19th century was saturated with a legacy of discrimination based upon race. Cultivating a humanitarian approach, progressive intellectuals ushered in an era of societal reconstruction with the intention to establish primary equalities on the pervasive argument of human race. The experiment poised the United States for rebellion and lasting ramifications. The instantaneous repercussions for both races evolving from the emancipation of African-Americans were plainly stated by the daughter of a Georgia planter in the summer of 1865: "There are sad changes in store...   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
1535 words (4.4 pages)

B. Dubois Essay

- W.E.B. DUBOIS (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois) had an essential role in the founding of the NAACP (National Association for the Colored People), his diligent labor as the “Father of Pan-Africanism”. He travels around the world teaching colored what he knows. Letting them know you can do it. That most of all we need to stick together. That his extraordinary life of 95 years stretched from the Jim Crow era to Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington. The leading civil rights activist were both during and subsequent....   [tags: W. E. B. Du Bois, African American]

Powerful Essays
1085 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Johnson and Dubois

- Johnson and Dubois Many parallels can be drawn between the works of W.E.B. DuBois and those of James Weldon Johnson. Johnson was greatly influenced by many concepts created by DuBois, especially those presented in DuBois's classic work The Souls of Black Folk. Johnson was so impressed with DuBois and his ideas that he sought him out in 1904 at Atlanta University. The two men developed a strong friendship and later worked for years together in the NAACP, Johnson's diplomatic temperment often balancing DuBois's more volitile one.* As Johnson developed his ideas about literature, he adopted the use of "double consciousness" the theme presented by DuBois in Souls of Black Folk....   [tags: Comparative, Literary Analysis, African American L]

Free Essays
323 words (0.9 pages)