Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King

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  • Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr., African American, Jim Crow laws
  • Pages : 2 (620 words )
  • Download(s) : 3027
  • Published : December 15, 2005
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For African Americans, Jim Crow laws encompassed and affected every part of American life. The racial slur synonymous with negro and the laws used to discriminate against them. Two of the most recognizable figures advocating against of Jim Crow were Booker T. Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Though they lived through different times, they both shared the same goal of bettering circumstances of the African Americans people. While sharing a same common goal, Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. had different approaches to confronting the color line, each approach with its positive and negative attributes. Booker T. Washington's beliefs surrounding the improvement of African Americans are shown in his "Atlanta Compromise." According to Washington, the way to advance the standing of African Americans was for them to make themselves indispensable to their community. Once they had established themselves as a race, their importance would be realized and they would consequently gain more rights. He pushed African Americans to move towards economic success by telling them to "cast down their buckets" and use their skills such as "agriculture, mechanics, commerce, and domestic services", to make a living. They were to support each other and work hard to ensure each others success. By working together as a race they could gain equality. By emphasizing group solidarity he hoped that African Americans would help each other and learn from each other; both according to Washington were necessities if they were to continue the upward climb to equality. On the other hand, Dr. Martin Luther King believed that equality was going to come only by resistance. He was a firm believer that all humans were made equally in the image and likeness of God and he worked towards equality based on this belief. King did not think assimilation into the working world was enough to gain equal rights and instead proclaimed the belief that nonviolent means had to be taken to...
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