The Appropriateness of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois' Strategies for Dealing with Problems Faced by African Americans

Powerful Essays
Essential Question:
Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois offered different strategies for dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination faced by Black Americans at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Assess the appropriateness of each of these strategies in the historical context in which each was developed.
After the period where big businesses operated the country to benefit themselves, the middle class activists began to rise against these unjust actions. The new era was known to be the Progressive Era. Not only were progressives fighting for restoration in social equality, others like muckrakers were revealing the inadequate conditions in factories. Due to these events, African Americans were influenced and they began to seek for their civil rights and equality in a society dominated by the white population. The South, a major area that restricted the rights Africans possessed, began to increase the number of Jim Crow Laws. To deal with this repression, many African Americans including Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, battled against discrimination and fought for civil rights to make their race equal in social status. Although both men were driven during their career for the same results which was to permit African Americans to have full citizenship, their approaches in getting them varied. While W. E. B. Du Bois utilized a philosophy that involved combative tactics to receive equal social and political rights, Booker T. Washington thought Africans needed to work vigorously for economic equality before demanding citizenship. An example of W.E.B. Du Bois more militant ways included the Niagara Movement that occurred on the Canadian side of the Niagara Fall...

... middle of paper ...

...ts, history noticed that Washington saw more progress than Du Bois. The reason for this was Washington followed a moral of hard work that most people understood, whether they were African American or white. By appealing and following through with his beliefs he received beneficial help from whites to support his development of the Tuskegee Institute and recognition that Africans deserved civil rights. Du Bois’ The Crisis, “Niagara Movement of Declaration of Principles,” and The Souls of Black Folk were known by many, but not in the way he hoped. Many turned against his views since they were too radical and demanding resulting in Du Bois’ attacks towards Washington since he lost faith in his own works. For these reasons, Washington’s tactics to obtain civil rights for African Americans was extremely suitable for the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Get Access