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History after 1877 - Accurate Essays

History after 1877

History after 1877

1) What were the differences between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois? Were their goals similar? If so, how?

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois who was born on February 23, 1868 was a leader in intellect in the United States. He was a sociologist, civil rights activist and a historian. Booker Taliaferro Washington, born April 5, 1856 was an American political leader, author, educator and orator and a principal figure in the United States African American community. W. E. B. Du Bois was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He wanted African Americans to fight for the right to be treated equally. It was Du Bois’ belief that continuous opposition, political and academic action was needed so that the full rights of the African American people were achieved.

W.E.B. Du Bois wanted African Americans to earn an industrial education and start in the fight for their equality. Du Bois on the other hand had the belief that academic education was more important that trade education. Booker T. Washington and Du Bois however had different plans for the African American community. Washington wanted all African Americans to learn about trade. Washington was geared towards the studies involving trade enhancement since it was his gateway into the educational system. He was born a slave while his counterpart Du Bois, was born as a free man. Washington and Du Bois had the similarity of blaming the black American community for their suffering conditions. Both Booker T Washington and W.E. B. Du Bois were advocates of the civil rights movement but their views were slightly different (Moore, 2003).

Washington led the infamous Tuskegee School and the Tuskegee Machine. The Tuskegee Machine was the name given to a group of black activists and professionals who comprised of ministers, black educators, businesspersons, editors and all significant people in the society who were proposers for social and educational supremacy for the black man. He had access to top leaders in national politics, education and philanthropy and played a huge role in fundraisers. Washington was also the main consultant for issues concerning the black race and this and many more of his actions earned him honorary degrees from several universities that led in America.

Du Bois was not pleased with Washington’s methods and he called him an accommodator for the white society. This was because, Washington believed in the cooperation between the supportive members of the white community as the only way to overcome racism in the long run. This was because the black community had very low numbers and the sooner they garnered support from the whites the better the chances they had in overcoming racism for good. Eventually indeed, it was Washington’s strategy that won the fight. However, Du Bois did not believe in Washington’s policies.

Washington gave a large contribution to the legal challenges that faced the black community especially segregation. It was his belief that he could achieve more by accommodating the social realities of the oppressive time. This accommodation helped him get the support of several significant and major white philanthropists. Washington and Du Bois however collaborated in the exhibition that was staged in Paris that was focused on the black community’s positive contributions to the American society and history.







Moore, J. M. (2003). Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the struggle for racial uplift. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

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