Essay on W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington

Essay on W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington

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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. ...


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...whites will “see the light” (Doc. F). While women and African Americans worked in growing numbers, much of the huge increase in the labor force in these years came from outside the country, particularly from Europe and Mexico. Between 1901 and 1920, the extraordinarily high total of 14.5 million immigrants entered the country, more than in any previous twenty-year period.
In summation, the different strategies for dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination faced by Black Americans were to get a good education, advance in economic/industrial skills, and have their voices heard in the white community.

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