Web Dubois Vs. Booker T. Washington Essay

695 WordsNov 10, 20113 Pages
Mike Wayman January 18, 2011 Mr. Milstead W.E.B. Dubois vs. Booker T. Washington Dubois and Washington were two of the very first civil rights leaders in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They both had very different backgrounds, which led to very different views on how the blacks of America could overcome poverty and discrimination. Both of these men’s strategies were good ideas, but some ideas don’t work in context, which is the problem these leaders were facing. In the end, one plan is always going to be better when put into action, and in this case I believe that W.E.B. Dubois had the better plan. Both of these men set out to fix poverty and discrimination against blacks in America, but their strategies were radically different. Booker T. Washington felt that the only way to become equals in an unequal society is for blacks to work hard and become something. His idea was that if enough blacks were to become doctors, lawyers, businessman, and become successful in general that they could not be considered anything other than equal. “…Ready to lay down our lives, if need be, in defense of yours, interlacing our industrial, commercial, civil, and religious life with yours in a way that shall make the interests of both races be… essential to mutual progress.” This quote, taken from Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise Address, is a perfect example of how Washington went about this. He was willing to wait, and with the hard work of many generations, reach equality sometime during the future. This was the exact opposite of W.E.B. Dubois. Unlike Washington, Dubois was not willing to wait for equality. His tactic was to use political agitation to gain rights that were already supposed to have. Dubois believed that social and economic equality came through political equality. “They do not expect that the free fight to vote, to

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