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W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington Essay Sample

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W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington Essay Sample

Two great leaders of the black community in the late 19th and 20th century were W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. These men offer different strategies for dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination facing Black Americans. Booker T. Washington?s gradualism stance gives him wide spread appeal among both blacks and whites, although W.E.B. Du Bois has the upper hand when it comes to his philosophy in dealing with economic prosperity and education among Blacks. These men had different views on segregation, education and the general role of African Americans in American society.

Booker T. Washington, educator, reformer and the most influential black leader of his time told of a philosophy of self-help. He urged blacks to accept discrimination for the time being and concentrate on elevating themselves through hard work and material prosperity. Washington believed that African-Americans would gain respect from the white community if they had trade skills. He also believed that trade skills were key to economic security. This, he said, would win the respect of whites and lead to African Americans being fully accepted as citizens. In Washington?s ?Atlantic Compromise? in 1895, he promotes unity ?in all things essential to mutual progress.?

W.E.B. Du Bois, a black intellectual scholar and political thinker believed that academic education was more important than trade education. He thought Washington’s emphasis on industrial education actually kept African-Americans trapped in lower social economic classes. Du Bois wanted African-Americans encouraged to succeed in the arts and sciences. In addition, he argued that social change could be accomplished by developing the small group of college-educated blacks. Du Bois urged blacks to attempt to uplift themselves through educational attainments and economic advancement. I concur with Du Bois and his philosophy that in order for blacks to arise, they must be led by the ?educated ones.? I agree that the ?knowledge of the world and its relation of man? is more important than succeeding economically.

Du Bois and Washington can be compared and contrasted in many different ways with their philosophical standpoints. Du Bois and Washington seemed to take opposite sides in the educational debate. In real life, though, their educational practices were somewhat closer. Courses at Washington’s Tuskegee Institute included basic academics like mathematics and literacy skills. Meantime, Du Bois was a firm believer in excellence. He encouraged African-Americans to work hard, regardless of their careers. The greater difference between the two was their political views. Both Du Bois and Washington wanted African-Americans to have the same rights as white Americans. Du Bois encouraged African-Americans to demand equal rights. Washington, on the other hand, often ignored discrimination. He believed that it was important for blacks to develop good relationships with whites. He was afraid that blacks that demanded equal rights would create troubles between themselves and white Americans.

The transition from the ninetieth century to the twentieth century gave birth to two leaders, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. These two men both worked to achieve a common goal, but the roads on which they were each traveling to get there differ significantly. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois offer different strategies for dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination facing Black Americans.

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