W.E.B Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, Two Different Approches to Early the Civil Rights Movement

729 Words Nov 29th, 2005 3 Pages
In the early history of the civil rights movement two men, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, offered solutions to the cold discrimination of blacks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Washington taking the more incremental progressive approach was detested by Du Bois who took the radical approach of immediate and total equality both politically and economically. And although both views were needed for progress Washington's "don't rock the boat" approach seemed to be the most appropriate for the time. In 1890 the percentage of 5-19 year olds enrolled in school for whites was approximately 60% while the percent of blacks was roughly half that, which was a vast improvement over just thirty years before when black …show more content…
He stated accommodatingly to white southerners in his famous Atlanta Compromise speech "In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress". In this speech he laid waste to fears of the "threat" of black workers by basically reminiscing on how loyal the blacks have been and so they would continue to be. It's interesting to note that the year Washington gave this speech (1895) the number of blacks lynched dropped from 170 the previous year to just above 120. Du bois on the other hand, was never connected to slavery at all. Instead he grew up a free man in Massachusetts and became the first man of his race to graduate from Harvard with a Ph.D. "The honor, I assure you, was Harvard's" he said. Du bois was a mixture of African, French, Dutch and Indian blood. He would later remark "thank god, no Anglo-Saxon". He demanded immediate and complete equality for blacks both socially and economically and founded the NAACP. Rejecting the subtle and separatist changes of Washington he demanded the "talented tenth" be given immediate and complete access to mainstream American life and supported "The Niagara Movement". A historian specializing in the history of blacks and

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