Political Activism and Education|
During reconstruction, many people acted as strong forces to change the lack of equality in the South. There were problems with education and blacks were shunned from any involvement with politics, so any changes made by politicians never benefit the blacks. Blacks wore looks of depression and inferiority throughout the South and were given no means to, even for a second, think that they were a successful group of people as whites were. Blacks were only given industrial education where they could learn solely how to “work with their hands”. In other words, this education taught them how to be successful slaves. It taught them the importance of hard work, how to adjust to their roles, and these schools represented a falsehood that blacks were subordinate and always will be. When concerning political activism, Booker T. Washington believed that African Americans should stay out of politics while ultimately focusing on learning to be productive farmers for the South, by getting an industrial education, making his approach more moderate. However, Dubois and Ida B. Wells took the approach that blacks should actually use political activism to fight for freedom, and obtain a classical education to gain economic strength, making their approach more radical. Although Ida B. wells used justice to bring about the issues of the unequal treatments of blacks and used this as a doorway to stand up for her rights as a black women. Booker T. Washington was born a slave in the South so he was a part of the nucleus of what occurred to be inequality there. He studied at an industrial school named Hampton and was very successful there. Washington took an approach that was very ironic and not expected, when it comes to the discussion of education and political activism. He took the approach of an accommodator. Instead of encouraging blacks to raise up and succeed as a race, he petitioned for blacks to adjust to their roles which were already given by the whites, which was to be servants. He felt that industrial education would help blacks to be successful farmers and good servants to the white servants. He used the phrase “cast down your buckets where you are” which he wrote in his speech called the “Atlanta Exposition Address.” This meant that black people, in the state that they are, as slaves, should cast down there buckets in mechanics, agriculture, and in the domestic service unto the southern whites to maintain cordiality. This is how Washington wanted to discover peace in the south. He also wanted the whites to “cast down their buckets” to the people who had been there for generations after generations serving and giving them what they needed. Washington took another step and suggested that blacks have no part in politics because they were unfit and undeveloped. He pointed out that whites were 3,000 years ahead of blacks so they obviously know more than they do. He thought that it would do blacks better to stay out of politics and focus on executing manual labor more. Washington said what whites wanted to hear. His method was more geared to peace and friendliness to maintain a civil lifestyle with the southern whites. Therefore, Washington addresses political activism and education in a more moderate way. He did not cause uproar, or demand drastic change in these two areas. Dubois on the other hand took a more radical approach concerning education and political activism. This could be caused by the fact that Dubois grew up free in the north with a classical education with many degrees. He felt that it was important to have a classical education because that’s the education that whites were able to have and if blacks wanted to come up from inferiority, they needed to get the same education as whites. He seen the lowliness of blacks in the South and immediately wanted to help lift up his race. He felt that Washington’s philosophy...