Dbq Washington and Dubois

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Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois each had individual approaches to dealing with poverty and discrimination issues of African-Americans at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Both of their strategies greatly assisted African-Americans during this time period. Both were passionate activists who fought for their causes in vastly different ways and spoke out for what they believed in. Legally, African-Americans were “equal citizens,” but socially they were far from it. It is hard to even call African-Americans during the Reconstruction era, “citizens”. They were primarily treated as an inferior race that happened to live on the same land and breath the same air as the white people. Many African-Americans were simply fighting to stay alive, not to achieve civil rights or equality. Washington witnessed slavery and the troubles of the black man at an early age. Du Bois was not exposed to the daily problems that slaves had until his early teenage years. Du Bois and Washington’s slightly different backgrounds caused them to have different views on these issues. Washington and Du Bois both have valid strategies; Washington believing that blacks could advance themselves faster through hard work rather than by demanding for equal rights, Du Bois declaring that African Americans must speak out constantly against discrimination. During the 1870’s, the principle of segregation by race extended into every area of Southern life, from railroads to restaurants, hotels, hospitals and schools. An example would be Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), where the Supreme Court found that "separate but equal" public accommodations for African-Americans, such as trains and restaurants, did not violate the rights of African-Americans. In Booker T. Washington’s autobiography, Up From Slavery, he shares with the reader his story about how he became the man he was. He was born on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. At the earliest moments of his life, he was a...
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