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Booker T Washington Vs Web Du Bois

1582 words - 7 pages

In the early days of America slavery was part of everyday life, the economy was basically driven by the work that the slaves put in. For over two hundred years people used slaves for farming and tending to their homes. Then in 1865, almost immediately after the Civil War ended, the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced in the confederate states ending slavery in the United States once and for all. Although slavery was abolished, there were people in Southern States who were still not comfortable with the African American population having the same rights as the white people. That’s when they put in the Jim Crow laws, which segregated the white and black people, making them “separate ...view middle of the document...

In 1872 he went on five hundred mile trek to Virginia so he could enroll in the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. At this school he was taught the importance of hard work, the main theme of his philosophy of life and his teachings (Norton 447).
Booker T. Washington had a pacifist mindset when it came to getting equal rights for African Americans. The first showing of this was at the Atlanta Exposition of 1895 where Booker gave a speech that became known as the Atlanta Compromise. This compromise stated that the African American people should forgo their pursuit of equal rights and in exchange they would take for the menial jobs, be provided with an education, and be given due process with the law. This meant no right to vote or run for office and be under the rule of the white leaders. At the time this speech was received well by both white and black citizens alike. The white people agreed with Booker’s ideas because they would keep the governmental power they feared they were going to lose. The black people agreed with Booker’s ideas because they believed it would end the massive amount of lynching going on in the southern states.
From his days at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Booker T. Washington didn’t believe that African Americans should be treated as a group but rather be rewarded for individual achievement stemming from hard work. His writings state “success should be measured not so much by the position a person has reached as by the obstacles overcome while trying succeed” (Norton 448). He thought that if the African people wanted to rise up in this country and become contributing members of society than they should prove that they are capable of it. This can only be achieved by the efforts of each singular person. It was Booker’s belief that when the white people saw the efforts that the African Americans put forth than the white Americans would appreciate it and reward them appropriately.
While Booker T. Washington was born a slave, the childhood of W. E. B. Du Bois can be called a happy one. Born a few years after the end of the Civil War, he grew up in a tolerant and integrated community in Massachusetts. Though his upbringing wasn’t marred by hate and prejudice, he learned early on in life that his skin color made him different than the other school children. Du Bois was a smart person, acquiring two bachelor degrees plus a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard in a span of eight years. Even though he was a very accomplished student he could not get an opportunity at a major research university, so he had to settle and teach at a small black college in Ohio. After a while he was able to move to Atlanta University where he spent thirteen years studying African American life with a focus on the apparent “Negro problem” (Norton 531). De Bois’s entire care was spent tirelessly fighting for the civil and political rights of his fellow African Americans.
W. E. B. Du Bois had a...

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