W.E.B. Du Bois vs. Booker T. Washington

Topics: African American, Black people, Negro Pages: 4 (1358 words) Published: April 11, 2006
A Clash of Ideologies: W.E.B. Du Bois vs. Booker T. Washington

During the turn of the century, between the years 1895 and 1915 there were many theories of how African Americans were going to achieve first-class citizenship. At this time first-class citizenship was determined by at least three aspects: political power, civil rights, and the higher education of Negro youth. Two prominent black leaders arose in order to accomplish this feat. They had two different ideas for one goal. These two black leaders during this time were Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Booker T. Washington was considered at this time to be the spokesman of the black race, however, W.E.B. Du Bois proposed a plan that set him right under, if not with, Mr. Washington. While Booker T. Washington believed in industrial and agricultural labor; I adamantly agree with W.E.B. Du Bois's strategy of the pursuit of intellect through higher education in order to gain first-class citizenship for the African American race.

Both, Du Bois and Washington dedicated their lives to find a way to gain rights for the American Negro. Each of these intellectual individuals dedicated their lives to this one goal. There was not much more in common with the two, other than this.

Booker Taliaferro Washington, born a son of a slave devised a compromise between the Caucasian and African American race. Washington believed if we focus our attention to striving economically we will eventually be given the rights we were owed. To do this he encouraged attending trade schools like the ones which he worked with. These schools include Hampton Institute and the school he founded himself, Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. Then he proposed working either industrial or agriculturally. At his famous Atlanta Exposition Address in Atlanta he declared, "Our greatest danger is that, in the great leap from slavery to freedom, we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions...
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