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Booker T. Dubois Analysis

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Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois had contrasting views on how to attain racial equality. In the time following the Civil War the rebellious South was readmitted to the Union with conditions set forth by the federal government. One important condition was granting the full political equality for blacks and ending “the problem of the color line” (The Souls of Black Folks, 1). This was the premise of the Reconstruction time period. However, Reconstruction was an unsuccessful effort. The South refused to work with the North to form a united nation, and the newly freed slaves were reluctant to exercise their new civil liberties, in part, due to the rise of the Klu Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups. The North was at odds and distracted…show more content…
However, two influential and contrasting individuals, Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois decided to address the matter of equality amongst black and white Americans. Booker T. Washington 's key strategy can be summarized in one word, practicality, here and now. His strategies were based upon the realities of the color line. White Americans still associated with the idea of slavery will fight to keep African Americans down, as second class citizens, because of one attribute that whites hold over blacks, power. He believed that in order to become equals, the black community needed to climb to the level of whites. To do so blacks would need to be educated and to get involved in practical occupations. Washington believed that education was the key to Black economic success, thus his intended Faustian Bargain. He argued that giving up civil rights, higher education, and political rights, blacks would be given an economic opportunity. Washington suggested such a bargain, because he believed that races needed to start at the bottom, and work their way up gradually, as he states, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” (xroads.virginia.edu). A lot of what Washington believes in has come from his own…show more content…
DuBois criticized the, “here and now” approach, because his concern was with the future of the black and white world in which they lived. In Souls of Black Folk, DuBois mentions a veil that needs to be uncovered for blacks and whites to “come tenderly and cheerily into those sad little lives and brush the brooding hate away” (The Souls of Black Folks, 91). Removing such a veil would difficult, but with a proper education, DuBois believed one day someone would lift the it. What was a proper education? DuBois, unlike Washington, believed that proper education was with a higher education, and not an industrial one. A clear example of his disagreement with Washington was when he states in his address to the country, “when we call for education we mean real education. We believe in work. We ourselves are workers, but work is not necessarily education” (www.digitalhistory.uh). He made this address to help spark the Niagara movement, because he wanted African Americans to fight and protest to achieve their equality. At the very least he sought out to achieve the right for blacks to vote. “With the right to vote goes everything: freedom, manhood, the honor of our wives, the chastity of our daughters, the right to work, and the chance to rise, and let no man listen to those who deny this” (www.digitalhistory.uh). In his time period and even present time period, that right to vote means the right to move the country in a
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