Color Line

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Throughout history there have been various periods, some brief and some extended, that had they not occurred would have changed the course of history and affected how we live today. During each period of history, there are those few great leaders who charted our history and were crucial to the success of our country as a whole. The civil rights movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was an important time in American history. Within the civil rights movement three of the most prominent African American men were prompted to attempt to solve the problem of racial inequality. Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. DuBois, all approached the problem of racial inequality differently. Although each one approached the fight for civil rights differently they each had a great and lasting impact on the progression of racial equality. Booker T. Washington was a conservative who approached the fight for civil rights through the philosophy of self-help and racial solidarity. Washington urged African Americans to accept discrimination for the time being and concentrate on elevating themselves through hard work and material prosperity. “He urged blacks not to try to combat segregation: ‘In all the things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress (Foner, 700).’” Washington believed that if African Americans were educated to skilled, industrial, or agricultural workers they would prosper. “Washington advised his people to seek the assistance of white employers who, in a land racked by labor turmoil would prefer a docile, dependable black labor force to unionized whites (Foner, 700).” He believed that the African Americans should work for themselves and wanted job education to provide them the knowledge to successfully do their jobs. This idea to him was the most logical approach for African Americans to escape poverty and succeed in life. Washington wanted to win the respect of...
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