Booker T. Vs. W.E.B. DuBois
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were both prominent figures in the African American Community following radical reconstruction. Although they were both very powerful members of the African American community, they held polar opposite views. Booker T. believed that if Blacks formed a strong work force and became essential to the Southern economy, that whites would have no choice but to give equal rights and equal respect to them. W.E.B. DuBois on the other hand believed that Blacks should fight for voting rights and from there make changes via politics.
Another way these two varied is in the way they hoped to promote change. While Booker T. hoped to create change by African Americans assimilating into white society, and becoming a vital part of their world, DuBois wanted Blacks to virtually push their way into society. DuBois, demanded that black be given civil liberties, the right to vote, and education to all Blacks. Instead of demanding, Booker T. believed if Blacks helped themselves as much as possible they will soon be recognized, accepted, and helped by whites.
While these two seem like polar opposites this was not always the case. Prior to 1901 DuBois was a supporter of Booker T. Washington’s ideals. During this time they both believed that Blacks were responsible for the bad conditions they were living under. They both believed in Black self-help, and moral development. They both believed that with economic growth from the black community voting rights would come. They both also urged blacks to support black businesses and to receive industrial training. Around 1903 is when DuBois changes his stance. He started to view Washington as a dictator unwilling to hear advice and criticism of his Tuskegee Institutes. Although he respected Washington he believed that he was misguided. After witnessing many civil injustices DuBois felt that Washington’s methods were not working, and in time became very...
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