Contrasting the Proposals of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois

In: Historical Events

Submitted By endorphinboy
Words 751
Pages 4
History Essay
Contrasting the Proposals of
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois
United States History 1828 - 1914
Instructor Stewart King
Clackamas Community College
February 7, 2012

Accommodation vs. Integration

In March of 1895, Booker T. Washington delivered his now famous Atlanta Compromise Speech. In brief, Washington proposed that blacks accept segregation and focus on getting jobs rather than demanding equality. He also proposed that blacks concentrate on learning trades and how to work with their hands – not necessarily in becoming book smart. Perhaps even more central to his message, Washington argued that if blacks focused on equality they would never make it anywhere in society. In short, Washington’s policy was one of accommodation and not rocking the boat. (Washington) Washington was very clear about what he felt black intentions should be, stating that blacks should only be seeking opportunity – not for the right to integrate with white society. He wanted white society to see the good in all black people, and not as a threat to their way of life. Eight years later, W.E.B. offered a critique of Washington’s proposal. While DuBois respected Washington as a black leader, he felt that his policy of accommodation was holding back the black race. Contrary to Washington, DuBois felt that "the right to vote," "civic equality," and "the education of youth according to ability" were essential for African American progress. (DuBois) DuBois felt if blacks wanted change, they would have to demand it. DuBois believed that if blacks were going to get anywhere in life, they would have to become just like whites: they would have to become book smart, organize their own schools, and pursue higher education. Whereas Washington asked for opportunity without equality, DuBois felt that blacks should demand both. I…...

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