Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Dubois

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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 I believe that Washington said “That in all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet as one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress” (Broesamle & Arthur, 52). Washington was often looked at...
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