The differnt views of civil rights between DuBois and Washington

Essay by dazsik17High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2004

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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...