W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington DBQ

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W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington DBQ

By | March 2014
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Although Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du bois differed in their approaches to combating racial discrimination between 1877 and 1915, both men developed unique and effective strategies designed to improve the lives of all African Americans. Booker T. Washington could be considered a complete opposition, tactic wise, to W.E.B. Du Bois. Washington preached a message of accommodation and self-help. He encouraged the black population to join schools and educate themselves in order to improve themselves (A). He received high criticism for his ideals of accommodation, many other black reformers thought about him as an Uncle Tom for not wanting to change the conditions of the blacks sooner. But Washington believed in a patient game of chess, let the others play their pieces and when the time comes the whites will see how truly valuable and capable blacks are. Later the NAACP, largely due to Du Bois, will bash on his ideas and methods for change. This is after his Atlanta Address of 1895 where he again advocated for accommodation (D). Washington advocated a "go slow" approach to avoid a harsh white backlash. The effect was that many youths in the South had to accept sacrifices of potential political power, civil rights and higher education. His belief was that African Americans should focus on their education and economy of their southern home. Washington valued the "industrial" education, as it provided critical skills for the jobs then available to the majority of African Americans at the time, as most lived in the South, which was overwhelmingly rural and agricultural. He thought these skills would lay the foundation for the creation of stability that the African-American community required in order to move forward. The address mentioned many of the things blacks had accomplished for the nation, calling for whites to look at this Negro population: educated, organized, patient, faithful, law-abiding, unresentful people. 25 year-old Washington sought to improve the...

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