Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois were two famous African American leaders during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were both activists and wanted blacks to have an education; they also wanted to end discrimination towards blacks. These leaders both wrote great speeches which clearly specified what they thought was right for African Americans. Even though Washington and Dubois focused on the same social, political and economic issues, they strongly disagreed on strategies of achieving their goal of equality.
The first African American leader that changed America forever was Booker T. Washington. Booker T. was one of America’s greatest African American leaders who believed that blacks deserved to be equal. Booker T. mainly focused on education, he wanted blacks to concentrate on their education and not equality. He believed that if blacks mainly focused on getting equality, than blacks are wasting their time because racism and hatred will always be a part of everyday life from now and even in the future for all different kinds of races, cultures and religious beliefs.
Booker T. wanted blacks to have something called “Industrial Education”, and this certain type of education provided the skills needed for jobs that were available to the majority of African Americans. Since he was mainly focusing on blacks in the south, he wanted blacks to master and be advanced at agriculture and farming skills. Booker T. stated that overtime, whites will see that blacks have responsibility and commitment of being an American citizen. This will earn respect and equality from whites and accepted as citizens of the United States of America.
Booker T. Washington was recognized as being a great speaker. He gave many motivational speeches to black people saying not to let whites control them because as American citizens you are free to do whatever you want. He told blacks to think positive and stop hiding from people that are trying to put you down in society and defend yourself on what you think is right. He told white people that you are underestimating blacks for what they could accomplish in society; you are being disrespectful to blacks just because of their skin color.
The second African American leader that changed America forever was W.E.B Dubois. He focused on the exact opposite things that of Booker T. Washington. Dubois was also mainly focused on education as Booker T. Washington was, but he believed that blacks should be book smart and be as well educated as a white person, this was called the gradualist political strategy. Dubois realized that Booker T. Washington was accommodating white interests in his speech called the Atlanta Compromise, this made many people shocked on how Washington was basically saying that you can treat blacks as unequal’s and discriminate us as long as we get a decent education. Dubois and his supporters responded to this speech by establishing the Niagara Movement.
The Niagara Movement was a group of African-American civil rights activists including W.E.B Dubois; they wrote a speech that demanded for equality and to cease discrimination. The speech claims that as American citizens, we have rights and by not giving these rights to us, you have made no accomplishment on what you founded this land for.
Dubois does not believe in violence but believes that sacrifices had to be made in order to get African Americans to be seen as equals. He labels his speech in numbers from one through five and in each request; he explained each of his demands in a very aggressive tone. He sought for an immediate change and will not be satisfied by the little changes that will be made over time.
Both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois both had great arguments and philosophies for trying to get African Americans to have futures of being seen as equals, but I felt like Booker T. Washington made more sense at the time. Booker T. understood that blacks would never be seen as equals and he accepted it. Booker T. preached that being equal is not all that important but as time goes by, we will get accepted in to this nation as equals. He said this to blacks because he didn’t want blacks lose faith on ever being seen as equals but instead, blacks started focusing on themselves and lived their daily lives without anyone putting the down in society. There are still many people that are racist but now they have learned to accept it and carry on with their lives. Booker T. Washington’s theory will always be a part of our nation and other countries all around the world.
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois were two famous African American leaders during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were both believed that blacks deserved equal rights as being an American citizen. These leaders both wrote great speeches which clearly specified what they thought was right for African Americans.