Differences and Similarities between W.E.B Dubois and Booker T. Washington

April 28, 2022 by Essay Writer

There is no doubt that the African American culture is filled with articulate and intellectual writers. After the conclusion of Civil War, African Americans experienced great prejudice and were subjected to inequality. During this period, two figures fought for the injustice of their culture and became the distinguished leaders of two different philosophical groups. For two decades, Washington established a dominant tone of gradualism and accommodationism among black, only to find in the latter half of this period that the leadership was passing to more militant leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois. Negro leadership divided between these two tactics for racial equality, which may be termed the economic strategy and the political strategy. Although their methods may have been different, both of the astonishing men had relatively the same goal in the elevation of the black community.

Born into slavery, Booker T. Washington was born in Franklin County, Virginia in the mid-1850s with a black mother and white father where he spent his childhood in slavery. Following the emancipation proclomation, Washington felt that equalized education was the best way to prove his living standards. Washington, an educator, reformer and the most influential black leader of his time proclaimed a philosophy of self-help, racial solidarity and accommodation. For the time being, he urged blacks to recognize the white majority’s discrimination and injustice and focused solely on raising themselves through hard work and material wealth. He believed in training in the abilities of crafts, industry and farming, and cultivating the virtues of patience, entrepreneurship, and thrift.

W.E.B. DuBois, a stellar black intellectual, scholar and political thinker suggested Washington’s strategy would only prolong white oppression. DuBois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1868. Being from the North, DuBois had little to no experience with the discrimination and brutal conditions of southern prejudice and slavery. Throughout his essay, he discussed the life and problems that blacks faced in America and how it was not an easy journey. Unlike Washington, DuBois felt that it was the utmost important for African Americans to be treated equally with whites when it came to education. He felt that blacks should educate themselves freeheartedly tradition, just as whites.

Although Washington and DuBois disagreed with each other’s views, they both agreed on one thing, that although slavery has ended, African Americans should be treated equally to the white majority and for African Americans to be treated better. Neither of the intellectual scholars were wrong but Washington’s view was a little more realistic for that time period. Each African American leader of that time had peculiar points of views on the lives and conditions of African Americans in that time and what needed to be done about it.


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