The Differnt Views Of Civil Rights Between Du Bois And Washington

1438 words - 6 pages

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were the two most influential leaders of the African American community in the late 19th and early 20th century. However, these two scholars had different strategies on moving towards African American equality. Booker T. Washington believed that in order for blacks to obtain racial equality, they should concentrate on working their way up through hard work and material prosperity. Thus he urged African Americans to accept being "separate but equal" and temporarily accept white discrimination in order to gain economic success. On the other hand, DuBois absolutely opposed Washington's ideas. DuBois believed that black inferiority should never be accepted and that blacks should fight for their rights as human beings. He felt that if blacks were to give up the fight then true equality would be lost forever. While DuBois and Washington's early life and environment in which they grew up had very different impacts on their ideas, they both wanted to achieve racial equality in some form. DuBois grew up a radical while Washington turned out to be a conservative. Both DuBois and Washington sought to advance civil rights for African Americans but due to the impact of their childhood, believed in different ways on how to achieve their goal. [1] Booker Taliafero Washington was born to a black slave mother and white father on April 5, 1856 in Franklin County, Virginia. In Washington's book, Up From Slavery, he writes about his childhood growing up with a mulatto mother and a father he never knew. His mother, Jane, who worked only as a cook for a small planter, had a lifelong inspiration on her son. She taught Booker continuous lessons on courage, perseverance, resourcefulness, and positive concepts, which influenced many of his later philosophies and attitudes about women and equality. [1] Washington spent nine years in slavery until the Emancipation Proclamation was passed. In that time he grew to learn about the political, physical, economic, and moral issues of the Civil War. Those nine years of his youth had a crucial impact on his development and future ideas to help his people. Having a first hand struggle with freedom, Washington wanted social change. After the Emancipation, he and his mother moved to West Virginia where Booker struggled to have a normal life. He attended a school when he was young, but only as a book carrier for a teacher, and he also held a full time job in the mines. He concentrated on his studies and as he grew older his faith and racial pride impacted his unique leadership among the black community. His powerful words and strong speech paved the way to a teaching position at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, where he previously attended as a student. The institute stressed ways to teach ex slaves practical skills to be able to make a living in society. Just two years later Washington founded Tuskegee Institute for young black men. Here Washington emphasized vocational...

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