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Booker T. Washington VS. WEB DuBois
In the days when segregation was not uncommon, there were two men that played a huge part in the fight for equality in the United States. Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois were great leaders, who supporterted civil rights, yet also disagreed on various issues related to reconstruction, poverty, racism, and discrimination. Both Washington and DuBois worked on reforming education as well as eliminating discrimination towards Blacks, but their strategies of achieving said change varied greatly.
The first leader that came along was Booker T. Washington. He believed that african americans would not make it any where in society if they focused on just equality.
He told blacks to target education, trade, and financial progress in order to get an economic foothold in society as well as becoming better individuals. Washington felt that blacks could not be a in a position to improve their standing in communities until they withdrew from poverty and evolved into something that could not be denied as equals.
It was understood that blacks would never be completely equal to whites and that there would always be some form of segregation and discrimination. Instead of fighting with it,Washington encouraged blacks to accept it, embrace it, and work around it. The next main leader was WEB DuBois. Contrary to Washingtons beliefs, DuBois deemed that blacks should be like whites, in the aspect of having an organized education and the same political rights. DuBois felt that blacks should not approach this indirectly like Washington, but face it head on and demand the rights that they considered to be theirs.
He took the more assertive stance that african americans should press for full equality and use agitating, passive-aggressive tactics in hopes that the whites would reluctantly comply. In the “Declaration of the Principles of the Niagara Movement” he and other Black intellectuals outlined a list of demands in which they desired to meet the needs and interests of all African Americans.
Dubois asserted that economic security was not nearly enough and blacks should become just as educated as the whites. Mainly he considered Booker T. Washington’s ideas and took them a step further, if not more. At the time, the most reasonable leader would be none other than Booker T. Washington. His understanding that blacks would never be equal and that not being his main focus, gave him the upperhand on WEB Dubois. Du Bois urged blacks to attempt to uplift themselves through educational advancement and political rights. Although his ideas had potential, Washington’s gradualism stance gives him wide spread appeal among both blacks and whites. In today’s day and age, there are people who are still racist and don’t accept blacks because of their color/culture, but todays blacks understand that and tolerate it.
In conclusion, the rivalry between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois is one well known to scholars and historians of the United States. Washington and Dubois were two great segregation leaders who offered different strategies for dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination facing Black Americans. They both brought enthralling ideas to the table and in short, Booker T. Washington believed in civil rights through evolution whereas WEB DuBois demanded more immediate black equality.
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