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Ida B. Wells, Booker T, Washington, And W.E.B Dubois

1613 words - 6 pages

Beginning in the 1890’s Jim Crow laws or also known as the color-line was put into effect in the Southern states. These laws restricted the rights of blacks and segregation from the white population. These laws were put into effect as partially a result of the reaction of the whites to blacks not submitting to segregation of railroads, streetcars, and other public facilities. African Americans Ids B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B Dubois had differing opinions on the color-line. Wells and Dubois felt the color-line created prejudice toward blacks and that the black population could not become equal with the whites under such conditions. On the other hand, Booker T. Washington thought the laws were a good compromise between the parties at the time.
Booker T. Washington was an African American leader who established an African-American college in 1181. Then in 1895 delivered the Atlanta Compromise Speech to an audience of mainly Southerners, but some Northerners were present. In his speech he made a few points. He said, “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” Washington believed that the African American race needed to learn first that manual labor was just as important as the work of intellects. He thought that until they learned this they were not worthy of becoming intellects themselves. The color line is thus important in teaching them this lesson. He also said, “It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges.” His opinion was that one day blacks would deserve to have equal rights with the whites, but right now in 1895 the blacks needed to be taught how to use the privileges. Therefore, Washington believed the blacks were not ready for the privileges that the whites had, but one day they would. Dubois said, “Mr. Washington distinctly asks that black people give up, at least for the present, three things, --First, political power, second, insistence on civil rights, third, higher education of Negro youth, and concentrate all their energies on industrial education, and accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South.” Washington believed that the blacks could not move forward without giving up political power, civil rights, and higher education. He thought they had to give up those ideas for now and focus on wealth, industrial education and be friendly with the south. He thought once these objects were accomplished then the blacks could obtain the freedom and rights they wanted. Therefore, he felt that for now the color-line was ok because blacks needed to first earn their rights before they were handed over to them.
William Edward Burghardt Dubois was the first African-American to earn a doctorate and lived Atlanta Georgia. He was civil rights activist and historian. In 1903 he wrote The Souls of Black Folk where he disagreed with Washington...

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