When it all comes down to it, one of the greatest intellectual battles U.S. history was the legendary disagreement between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. This intellectual debate sparked the interest of the Northerners as well as the racist whites that occupied the south. This debate was simply about how the blacks, who just gained freedom from slavery, should exist in America with the white majority. Even though Washington and DuBois stood on opposite sides of the fence they both agreed on one thing, that it was a time for a change in the treatment of African Americans. I chose his topic to write about because I strongly agree with both of the men’s ideas but there is some things about their views that I don’t agree with. Their ideas and views are the things that will be addressed in this essay. To begin with, the legendary Booker T. Washington believed that in order for blacks to gain equality in the United States, we need to peacefully “make friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded” (Broesamle & Arthur, 52). Washington warned blacks that in order to earn the respect and equality from the white population, we must be prepared to start at the bottom. He meant starting at the bottom in jobs such as elementary teachers instead of college professors and manual laborers instead of CEO’s so we could earn the respect of whites. Washington knew that making strong demands wouldn’t get the black race anywhere, so “casting down our buckets” and becoming friends and earning the respect of whites seemed like a better option to him because it seemed to have better results. On the other hand, Booker T. Washington recognized existing equally with whites wouldn’t be a simple task. This is why ... ... middle of paper ... ... same thing for blacks, first-class citizenship, but their methods for obtaining it differed. Because of the interest in immediate goals contained in Washington’s economic approach, whites did not realize that he anticipated the complete acceptance and integration of Negroes into American life. He believed blacks, starting with so little, would have to begin at the bottom and work up gradually to achieve positions of power and responsibility before they could demand equal citizenship—even if it meant temporarily assuming a position of inferiority. DuBois understood Washington’s program, but believed that it was not the solution to the “race problem.” Blacks should study the liberal arts, and have the same rights as white citizens. Blacks, DuBois believed, should not have to sacrifice their constitutional rights in order to achieve a status that was already guaranteed.
After the Civil War, African Americans encountered great discrimination and suffering. During this era, two influential leaders emerged from different philosophical camps. Brooker T. Washignton of Virginia and William Edward Burghardt Dubois of Massachusetts proposed, different means to improve African Americans’ conditions. These men had a common goal to enrich the black community. However, the methods they advocated to reach these goals significantly differed.
Two of the most influential people in shaping the social and political agenda of African Americans were Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois, both early twentieth century writers. While many of their goals were the same, the two men approached the problems facing African Americans in very different ways. This page is designed to show how these two distinct thinkers and writers shaped one movement, as well as political debate for years afterward.
Both Washington and DuBois wanted the same thing for blacks—first-class citizenship—but their methods for obtaining it differed. Because of the interest in immediate goals contained in Washington’s economic approach, whites did not realize that he anticipated the complete acceptance and integration of Negroes into American life. He believed blacks, starting with so little, would have to begin at the bottom and work up gradually to achieve positions of power and responsibility before they could demand equal citizenship—even if it meant temporarily assuming a position of inferiority. DuBois understood Washington’s program, but believed that it was not the solution to the “race problem.” Blacks should study the liberal arts, and have the same rights as white citizens. Blacks, DuBois believed, should not have to sacrifice their constitutional rights in order to achieve a status that was already guaranteed.
In this essay you will read about numerous similarities as well as differences between these two gentlemen. Their names are Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. But before I explain the differences between these two gentlemen, I will give you a more in depth background on each of them. This information that I will provide for you will give you a clearer thought on how they were raised and their beliefs.
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois were very important African American leaders in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They both felt strongly that African Americans should not be treated unequally in terms of education and civil rights. They had strong beliefs that education was important for the African American community and stressed that educating African Americans would lead them into obtaining government positions, possibly resulting in social change. Although Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois had similar goals to achieve racial equality in the United States, they had strongly opposing approaches in improving the lives of the black population. Washington was a conservative activist who felt that the subordination to white leaders was crucial for African Americans in becoming successful and gaining political power. On the other hand, Du Bois took a radical approach and voiced his opinion through public literature and protest, making it clear that racial discrimination and segregation were intolerable. The opposing ideas of these African American leaders are illustrated in Du Bois’ short story, “Of the Coming of John”, where Du Bois implies his opposition to Washington’s ideas. He shows that the subordination of educated black individuals does not result in gaining respect or equality from the white community. In fact, he suggests that subordination would lead the black community to be further oppressed by whites. However contrasting their views might have been, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois were significant influential black leaders of their time, who changed the role of the black community in America.
The debate over the necessity of equal opportunity in education for minority groups can be traced back to the post Civil War era. The well-known debates between African-American intellectuals W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington focused on this issue. DuBois believed that the newly emancipated blacks should be slowly integrated into the culture of white America. He argued that the best way for African-Americans to further themselves in society was to embrace their differences and not try to be subjected to the same educational system as the majority population.
DuBois presents the question “[h]ow does it feel to be a problem?”, introducing the attitude towards African-Americans upon their emancipation (DuBois 3). The idea of freedom for slaves meant equality, but “the freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land […] the shadow of a deep disappointment rests upon the Negro people” (6). The challenge faced during this time was how to deal with the now freed slaves who once had no rights. DuBois states that African-Americans merely wish “to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly i...
Washington believed that the only way for African Americans to obtain their rights was through labor and proving that they deserved the rights given to them. Born and working as a slave in his early childhood, he watched how white men were brutal and unsympathetic to blacks first hand. At the age of ten, he was released of slavery and focused on his education so that he may one day change the way whites looked at black people. He watched as the KKK wreaked havoc among black communities and progressive African Americans for 20 years after the Civil War. Watching the authorities do nothing about the racial discrimination drastically affected Booker’s way of thinking. Realizing that African Americans at this point were unable to force change on the America they lived in, Booker believed that the only way to gain rights is through hard labor. In 1895, Booker went to Alabama and
Many affiliates of minority groups disagreed upon how to deal with the injustice of racial segregation and how to progress economically and socially as a culture during the era of Jim Crow. Two famous opponents that deviated in their methods of social and economic progression were, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. Washington suggested that African-Americans should help themselves become equal by becoming educated instead of sulking about discrimination; he believed they should rise above prejudice. His adversary completely conflicted Washington’s stance, he believed that Washington’s method led whites to believe the oppression was permanent. DuBois once stated, “but they are absolutely certain that the way for a people to gain their
Booker T. Washington's philosophy was on accommodation to the oppression of the Whites. He gave advice to African Americans to trust and believe the paternalism of the Whites in the south and accept the fact of the supremacy of the white. He also stressed on the mutual interdependence of Whites and African Americans in the South, but they say that they believed to maintain being socially separate; “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress”. Washington advised African Americans to keep saving their money, keep working hard, keep purchasing property, obtaining a useful education and most importantly to remain in the south. By obeying such orders, Washington believed the Blacks could earn full citizenship rights ultimately. Whites...
Lewis’s viewpoint is not without it’s truths. The Harlem renaissance was overseen by a number of intellectuals such as Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and W.E.B. Dubois. Booker T. Washington‘s, a highly influential speaker of the age, words appealed to both Caucasians and African-Americans. Washington forged an interracial bridge of communication through his unique tactics in the quest for equality. He believed in more subtle ways of gaining equality through hard work, cunning, and humility. He stated, “The wisest among my race understands that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing.”(Salley, 15) With this statement, Washington himself denies that this new awakening in equality and arts could be forced,...
W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington were two very influential leaders in the black community during the late 19th century, early 20th century. However, they both had different views on improvement of social and economic standing for blacks. Booker T. Washington, an ex-slave, put into practice his educational ideas at Tuskegee, which opened in 1881. Washington stressed patience, manual training, and hard work. He believed that blacks should go to school, learn skills, and work their way up the ladder. Washington also urged blacks to accept racial discrimination for the time being, and once they worked their way up, they would gain the respect of whites and be fully accepted as citizens. W.E.B. Du Bois on the other hand, wanted a more aggressive strategy. He studied at Fisk University in Tennessee and the University of Berlin before he went on to study at Harvard. He then took a low paying research job at the University of Pennsylvania, using a new discipline of sociology which emphasized factual observation in the field to study the condition of blacks. The first study of the effect of urban life on blacks, it cited a wealth of statistics, all suggesting that crime in the ward stemmed not from inborn degeneracy but from the environment in which blacks lived. Change the environment, and people would change too; education was a good way to go about it. The different strategies offered by W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington in dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination faced by Black Americans were education, developing economic skills, and insisting on things continually such as the right to vote. ...
From slavery being legal, to its abolishment and the Civil Rights Movement, to where we are now in today’s integrated society, it would seem only obvious that this country has made big steps in the adoption of African Americans into American society. However, writers W.E.B. Du Bois and James Baldwin who have lived and documented in between this timeline of events bringing different perspectives to the surface. Du Bois first introduced an idea that Baldwin would later expand, but both authors’ works provide insight to the underlying problem: even though the law has made African Americans equal, the people still have not.
Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes… Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are” because “As we [African Americans] have proved our loyalty to you in the past” and “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers” (2). Washington asks for assistance from the white people but also adds that African Americans can be socially distinct from them as long as they both support each other. Upon the matter of social equality, Washington is first to remark “The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of all questions of social equality is the extremest folly” because progress is only possible through “severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing” (2). He says that African Americans need not be socially equal as it will prevent them from progressing; his definition of progress is only possible through hard work. Due to the numerous opportunities Washington is renouncing, the white majority is accepting of his speech because they are viewed as above the African Americans. African Americans achieve some support through Washington’s speech and the white people are still above the African Americans, so both sides come to terms. Hence, The Atlanta Exposition Address aims at
Education has always been an important piece in my family’s legacy. My grandmother was one of the first African American women to have a school named after her, and the majority of my uncles, aunts, and cousins all work within the education field. Naturally, I decided to write about two influential educators that have greatly impacted my life.