The Appropriateness Of Booker T. Washington And W. E. B. Du Bois' Strategies For Dealing With Problems Faced By African Americans

2688 words - 11 pages

Essential Question:
Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois offered different strategies for dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination faced by Black Americans at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Assess the appropriateness of each of these strategies in the historical context in which each was developed.
After the period where big businesses operated the country to benefit themselves, the middle class activists began to rise against these unjust actions. The new era was known to be the Progressive Era. Not only were progressives fighting for restoration in social equality, others like muckrakers were revealing the inadequate conditions in factories. Due to these events, African Americans were influenced and they began to seek for their civil rights and equality in a society dominated by the white population. The South, a major area that restricted the rights Africans possessed, began to increase the number of Jim Crow Laws. To deal with this repression, many African Americans including Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, battled against discrimination and fought for civil rights to make their race equal in social status. Although both men were driven during their career for the same results which was to permit African Americans to have full citizenship, their approaches in getting them varied. While W. E. B. Du Bois utilized a philosophy that involved combative tactics to receive equal social and political rights, Booker T. Washington thought Africans needed to work vigorously for economic equality before demanding citizenship. An example of W.E.B. Du Bois more militant ways included the Niagara Movement that occurred on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. Others examples consist of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and his book, The Souls of Black Folk. Booker T. Washington created the Tuskegee Institute, which was a school that had some financial support from significant white leaders of that time. Another work that represented Washington’s principles was included his speech called the “Atlanta Compromise” held on September 8th, 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia. Because of these actions and different techniques, society divided into those who advocated Du Bois and those who advocated Washington. However, Du Bois gained less support than Booker T. Washington because Washington’s viewpoint was promoted by much of the white population. Therefore consequence of this support was that Washington’s approaches to gain full citizenship was more suitable than Du Bois’ policies.
The Progressive Era was a term used to describe a time period that had numerous reforms to correct the problems of the country. The origins of this time period was created from the lower class aiming to, “eliminate corruption in government, regulate business practices, address health hazards, and improve working conditions.” Not only did the lower class...

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