Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois had different views on how the black race should be treated in society, how to achieve economic prosperity, how education should be structured for blacks, and how the government should handle issues of civil rights during Reconstruction Era America (1865-1914). Booker T. Washington believed that whites needed to help blacks by giving them opportunities for economic growth through modernization of their agriculture practices instead of seeking political power because it would not work out well for African Americans at that time period in history; this is just one example how his views differed from those held by Du Bois who famously said “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.”
In contrast to the current peaceful coexistence condition of all American individuals socially, economically, and politically, past whites separated Africans from other races. As a result of white supremacy, Negros had no say in anything that concerned their lives; as a consequence, this community’s suffering at the hands on the whites was predetermined.
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The Emergence of the Negro Leaders Booker T. Washington and W.E of Borneo The striving for freedom from segregation, indiscriminate killings, deprivation of fundamental rights, and mob violence was impeded because whites regarded Negros as subhumans. Because of the worsening situation, Negros sought methods to free themselves from such severe pain, which led to the emergence of two prominent Negro leaders: Booker T and W.E.B Dubois (Gibson Para 1-3).
Despite the fact that both leaders shared an identical purpose and agreed on the notion of rescuing Black Americans from segregation and terrible suffering, there was a distinction between w.e.b dubois’ and booker t washington’s approach to the issue.
How Did the Views of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois Differ?
Booker T Washington was born a slave in 1856 and became an advocate for Black Progress, according to his biography. He thought that the gradualist economic strategy was the only way to guarantee blacks their freedom, which Dubois dismissed. According to him, regardless of the economic benefits and education that Negros received as a result of its subjugation under whites, there was no way for them to gain freedom, thus his gradualist political approach. The message of Dubois’s ideas was that African-Americans had to demand and fight for their freedom. There is no way their white masters could allow their slaves to go (Gibson para 1-6).
The belief that Booker T had worked with and remained loyal to the whites for a long time permitted him to think that, by stifling their protests for freedom, social equality, and basic rights, the white southerners might provide Black Americans industrial-agricultural training and employment possibilities.
Booker T. Washington recognized early on that African-Americans were never going to receive equal civil rights without first establishing economic independence and respectability, which would enable them to win the acceptance of white Americans. To Booker T Washington, attaining economic self-reliance and respectability was more important than fighting for civil rights through aggressive means, since he had no assurance that they would be successful (Henry 1).
Difference Between Washington’s and Dubois’ Beliefs
Booker T’s approach, on the other hand, focused more on blacks accepting and accommodating white cruelty and dominance because this was the only way to establish a mutually beneficial interdependence relationship between African-Americans and whites. Despite Booker’s acknowledgment that such a connection could not erase social divides between these two American groups, it might guarantee both groups’ economic development as well as black liberation from hardship (Smock 7-19).
While W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T Washington shared similar sentiments about the suffering of blacks and the need for economic independence, they differed significantly in their views on submission. Dubois opposed the issue because to his lack of success; instead, he encouraged Blacks to create social liberties organizations in order to fight for their rights. According to Dubois’, although education was vital in freeing the slaves, there was a demand for political activism and continuous agitation since it was the only method of forcing the whites to cede some control.
Dubois further emphasized the need for Blacks to study liberal arts in colleges, rather than only industrial-agricultural studies, to improve their social standing. As a result, although Dubois agreed with some of Bookers’ ideas, he thought that his approach never provided a practical solution to the Race issue (Dawkins 1).
Booker T Washington vs W.E.B. Dubois: Essay Conclusion
In conclusion, when you compare and contrast their accomplishments and influence on society, it is apparent that these two famous African-American leaders had one goal in mind: to assist blacks in gaining their freedom and civil rights. Booker was a proponent of submitting to white supremacism, whereas Dubois opposed this with his political strategy.
Two prominent African American leaders, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, emerged in the early history of the civil rights movement to accomplish one goal: for all African Americans, quality education. Many ideas on how to give first-class citizenship to Africans existed during the turn of the century between 1895 and 1915.
The African American community was split in two over who to back, with two distinct methods for attaining this objective. While Booker T. Washington believed that black people should work in factories and fields, W. E. B. Du Bois proposed a plan of academic achievement in order to acquire second-class rights for blacks.
Booker T. Washington was a slave who went on to become one of the most prominent African Americans in history. During his lifetime, many believed that he was the voice for black people. Washington felt that if African Americans concentrated on developing economically, they would eventually be given the rights they were entitled to.
“Our greatest risk is that, in our bold stride from slavery to freedom, we might forget that we must live by our hands and neglect the knowledge that we will thrive in proportion as we teach ourselves to respect and appreciate manual labor,” he added. (Humanities Washington)
The idea that the black race should be enslaved was not new. Washington’s proposal was one that the dark-skinned people had heard before. Because to their lesser intellect, southerners and northern whites accepted his plan because it acknowledged the inferiority of African people. Du Bois urged that if the top ten percent of African Americans were educated and trained, they could assist propel the other ninety percent who were unable to attend school (The Talented Tenth).
Both Du Bois and Washington dedicated their lives to achieving rights for African Americans. Each of these intellectual men concentrated his efforts on this one objective. W.E.B Du Bois, on the other hand, appeared to be more logical in his proposal for the advancement of African Americans. He aimed directly at success, which was well deserved by blacks and which they were unwilling to accept as inferiority ( The Talented Tenth).
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, racial prejudice was highly prevalent in the South and even widely accepted. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were two of the most well-known “pioneers in the search for African-American equality in America” (Washington, DuBois, and the Black Future).
Washington was “born a slave” who strongly believed in the notion of “separate but equal,” which meant that “we can be as [distant] as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” DuBois was a victim of many “racial difficulties before his years as a student.”
The supervisor of the construction department, for example, reported to have believed that the “higher-ups” were “looking out for themselves instead of us.” According to Washington, he appeared to believe in “supporting segregation and the disenfranchisement of Blacks.” Despite his involvement in politics, he did what he thought was best for the helpless Americans (Seaton 55). The white stereotype endures among blacks and how they are expected to be aware of it, according to Washington.
DuBois states in “The Souls of Black Folk,” “The distinct condition of civil inferiority for Negroes under Washington’s policy” (1331). The purpose of Washington’s Atlanta address was to demonstrate whites that Blacks were progressing and to relieve the tension that was growing throughout the country, according on Seaton (55). It’s possible that Washington was engaging in public advocacy for white supremacists’ ideas instead of the black community.
On the one hand, W. E. B. DuBois desired to “integrate the African-American people into modern American affairs and enable them to create their own lives while also gaining inclusion in American society” (Seaton 56). He wanted minorities to be a part of “the social body of America,” whereas George Washington didn’t seek for segregation but rather just for methods to reduce tensions with white supremacists.
“It should come as little surprise that Washington’s long-standing conflict culminated in a fight between him and DuBois” (Gibson III 66). To say the least, both men were active in the upbringing of African-Americans, but their differences in conveying out a solution caused them to separate. Washington wanted the education system to enforce industrial lessons that began with lower economic power, whereas DuBois had more abstract notions of equality and voting rights for black people.
Washington was cautious in his approach to incorporating black Americans into society, desiring that they would learn to accept them rather than fight for social power like DuBois. Despite Washington’s effort to appeal to White people, he has been active in politics and spoken about the disenfranchisement of African-Americans.
With his plan for mediation, DuBois distinguished himself from Washington’s idea. His concept of dealing with the superior won him more exposure as to DuBois’ strategy of protest. As a consequence, because it branched off into what we now know as the civil rights movement, DuBois’ notion became more prominent. Historically, Washington and DuBois have made a name for themselves by their efforts on behalf of African-Americans’ goodwill, and that will always be true in these two notorious individuals.
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois were both prominent African American figures in the early part of the twentieth century. Both men were well-educated and committed their lives to improving the status of black people in a post-Civil War America. Despite having similar aspirations for black equality, Washington and DuBois had significantly different views on how to achieve it.
Booker T. Washington thought that African Americans could attain equality by first acknowledging the necessity of subordination to whites. (The Reader’s Companion to American History, Eric Foner & John A. Garraty) However, W.E.B. DuBois believed otherwise.
W.E.B. DuBois opposed Booker T. Washington’s ideas, and he thought Washington’s views on segregation were incorrect and gave away fundamental rights for all African Americans. DuBois disagreed with Booker T. Washington’s thinking that accepting separation was the best thing for African-Americans, believing it was not right, and that giving up any social or political equality, even if there was economic success to be had, would be short-term in nature.
DuBois felt that true change for African Americans would come through political activism and struggle. This is another example of a significant shift in thinking between Washington and DuBois on the concept of racial equality. “…freely attended school with whites and was enthusiastically supported in his academic studies by his white teachers,” (W.E.B.DuBois, The Biography) says DuBois, who was born in Massachusetts and freely attended school with whites before being openly opposed to segregationist policies such as Boston’s Jim Crow laws’ segregation of restaurants, hotels, theaters).
DuBois grew up in a society that was very different from Washington, who had struggled to get an education under a social system that hadn’t been altered much by the 14th amendment. DuBois grew up in the north, where social attitudes were quite distinct. It was only after he went to college in Tennessee in 1885 that DuBois first encountered Jim Crow laws. At this time, DuBois realized that all black boys required education just as white boys did.
Both George Washington and W.E.B DuBois dedicated their lives to making the world a better place. Washington thought that by operating within the system rather than confronting it, he could make progress.
One of the most illustrious intellectual conflicts in American history occurred when Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois came to blows about race relations in America. This intellectual debate piqued the interest of both Northerners and racists who resided in the south, as it concerned how freed blacks should live in America alongside a white majority.
Despite their opposing viewpoints, Washington and DuBois were in agreement that it was a good moment to improve the treatment of African Americans. I chose his theme for this paper because I strongly agree with both of these men’s ideas, but there are aspects about them that I disagree with.
Washington was commonly known as an “Uncle Tom” because of the things he did, such as encourage blacks to remain in the South and avoid politics and protest in favor of economic self-help and industrial education. He ultimately became a significant political boss, friend of white businesspeople like Andrew Carnegie, and presidential advisor.
Washington accepted racial segregation and voting discrimination openly, but covertly funded and directed many legal actions opposing such restrictions of civil rights. To Washington, his views were self-evident and clear: if white people respected him, they would assist blacks or be forced to deal with their crime against humanity in the end. It’s easy for me to understand why several whites sided with Washington and many blacks opposed him.
I agree with Washington, who advised blacks not to demand their rights because resistance would be met and nothing would be accomplished that was truly necessary to bring African Americans up to the level of equality. Instead, I disagree with Washington’s method of thinking that black people should just ignore how whites treated us with violence before turning around and attempting to earn their respect. During this period, African Americans wasn’t interested in hearing it because just three years earlier, 156 blacks had been lynched in a single year.
Booker T. Washington was raised as a slave and worked as a janitor to fund his education. W.E.B. Du Bois, on the other hand, was born in the North and faced almost no prejudice, and had an easier time getting into College than Du Bois did. They were well-educated individuals with only minor variations in their backgrounds. Both were on the path to enhancing African Americans’ social and political standing in America. However, they used different tactics to get what they wanted .
Regardless, they were able to help end prejudice while also obtaining equal status in education, labor, land acquisition, and so on. If it had just been Du Bois fighting for equality, he would have won the fight sooner. On the contrary, Du Bois simply presented one perspective on how African Americans were being treated; Washington was more friendly.
This may be because he is afraid of being lynched or making African Americans’ situation worse. Washington appeared more methodical—he was thinking about giving African Americans complete rights under the 14th and 15th amendments.
However, Washington was also concerned about the repercussions of his comments and whether they would inflame the whites more than they would assuage their situation. Washington and Du Bois wanted to improve the social and political standing of African Americans, but owing to their different upbringings, beliefs, and opinions, they pursued distinct strategies to do so.