Washington Vs Dubois Analysis

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Two great leaders of the black community in the late 19th and 20th century were W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. Although both advocated African American advancement, they strongly disagreed on strategies for black social, political, and economic progress. Their conflicting thoughts are important in the discussions of how to end class and racial injustice, the role of black leadership, as well as the extent of racial progress. Firstly, both Dubois and Washington came from different backgrounds. Washington was a black American born into slavery on a Virginian plantation. The experience of being born and being kept a slave most likely shaped Washington’s viewpoints of black advancement. Washington did not have the privileges that Dubois …show more content…
Dubois was born in a relatively privileged New England lifestyle, where his scholastic achievements became of great importance to him. Different from Washington, Dubois believed that academic education was more important that trade education. He claimed that receiving industrial education would keep blacks trapped in lower social and economic classes. Dubois wanted African-Americans encouraged to succeed in the arts and sciences. This where his Talented Tenth idea comes in action. He believed the elite intellectual blacks could do the most change for the community, as they would uplift the rest. According to Dubois: “The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the best of this race that they may guide the mass away from the contamination and death of the worst, in their own and other …show more content…
That is why he is considered to be more radical than Washington, as Washington believed that pushing for such advancements could cause conflict between whites and blacks, and that blacks should just accept the discrimination for the time being while engaging in manual tasks. This is why his philosophies were more popular amongst southern blacks than northern blacks. Washington also gained a large following from both northern and southern whites. Northern whites appreciated his efforts in a time when they were growing increasingly wary of the race problem, which is one that they associated with the South. Additionally, Southern whites appreciated his efforts, because they viewed them as a surrender to segregation.
At the time, the Washington/Dubois argument polarized African American leaders into two parts--the 'conservative' supporters of Washington and his 'radical' critics-- Dubois. The Dubois idea of action and protest for civil rights continued into the Civil Rights movement which began to develop in the 1950's and expanded in the 1960's. Dubois is known for enacting the NAACP. Booker T. today is associated with a more passive view to black progress. In difference, Dubois is related to a militant political progression.
In summary, both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois are important and influential figures in regards to black societal and political rights. Their drastically

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