English Katherine Oneil
22 July 2012
CRITICAL EVALUATION ESSAY
In W.E.B. Du Bois’ “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others,” Du Bois criticized Washington’s policy of racial accommodation and gradualism. Du Bois rejected the latter’s willingness to avoid messing with the racial issues and pushed for his views on political power, the continuance of the civil rights fight, and higher education for all the Negro youth. Washington emphasized that education should be attained in order to get real jobs and played down on seeking equality from the Whites. He simply accepted that it was fine to get help from the Whites and agrees to the condition of the Negroes’ place on earth. However, Du Bois thinks otherwise as he expressed on gradual political strategy for the Negroes. W.E.B. Du Bois’ argument in this essay that Negro possesses two identities is true in today’s society because indeed there are Blacks who demonstrate the existence of such fallacy.
Du Bois’s concept of the Negro people’s double consciousness means that they have the sense of self-awareness that is a product of how others see them. Du Bois sees the world where the Negros in America would want to uphold their Black heritage and culture because they believe that their presence brings positivism that would ultimately bring them good. He claims that the African American lives in a steady “twoness – an American and a Negro” (Dubois, 3).
He adds that the Negro dwells behind a veil where he can see himself from within and without it. The Negro is cognizant of how America perceives him but he cannot reveal his real self. I agree with Du Bois’ claim as he was living in the time when the Blacks were considered to be second class citizens.