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Equality For Americans: How African Americans Achieved Equality

2033 words - 8 pages

African Americans throughout the road to gain racial equality exercised many methods in order to attain such liberties. We start our exploration by viewing the most paramount methods to acquire racial equality; these methods included lobbying public officials through the court system and through peaceful public protests. We'll lastly address the violent methods used to gain racial equality but see how they were mostly unavailing.

There were diffused ideals among African American leaders on how to handle racial inequalities in society during the progressive era, but its leaders would form the pathways on which future generations would commence on in gaining racial equality. Following is a part of an essay written by African American leader and equal rights advocate W. E. B. Du Bois, included in the textbook Exploring American Histories document 19.4, challenging the lenient approach to solve racial inequalities by African American leader Booker T. Washington, “It has been claimed that the Negro can survive only through submission. Mr. Washington distinctly asks that black people give up... First, political power, Second, insistence on civil rights, Third, higher education of Negro youth--and concentrate all their energies on industrial education, the accumulation of wealth... but it is utterly impossible, under modern competitive methods, for working men and property-owners to defend their rights and exist without suffrage... He insists on thrift and self-respect, but at the same time counsels a silent submission to civic inferiority...” (Hewitt, 601). Unfortunately, Booker T. Washington had been born a slave unlike W. E. B. Du Bois which I think encouraged Mr. Washington to be more dismissive of rights, though Mr. Washington had an opposite persona on the sidelines, but W. E. B. Du Bois has perfectly founded reasoning (Hewitt, 599-602). As a first consideration, a free market system such as capitalism is driven by competitive markets so not to have a competitive edge in regards to education, or in regards to a political voice to make sure that society is conducted in a fair manner for all constituents—such as property rights and working conditions—, or in regards to civil rights to grant a self respect to carry oneself in a competitive manner leads a person to have very slim chances of being able to operate effectively in a society such as capitalism. In the years to come after writing this essay Du Bois would become involved in the creation of one of the most influential organization on racial equality in the twentieth century: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also know as NAACP (Hewitt, 602). In 1915 Du Bois would see some of the finest fruits of his labor when the NAACP, after five years of initiating court cases based on racial discrimination, won its initial victory when its lawyers convinced the Supreme Court to cross out the grandfather clause that discriminated against African American voters (Hewitt,...

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