Greatness-Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois

2413 Words Apr 26th, 2008 10 Pages
“Great people often receive violent opposition from violent minds” Albert Einstein

This quote typifies the conditions in which both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois were challenged with. Not only were they two exemplary examples of African American greatness, but they proved themselves to be two of the greatest leaders of the early twentieth century regardless of race. However, as Aristotle once said “people fear what they don’t understand, and hate what they can’t conquer” thus steps were taken to dismantle their “movements” at all costs. It was because of this the two were commonly pitted against each other in media outlets to create a rift in their collective following. Not that there was any truth to their “rivalry”,
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He was seen as a sell out to those who no longer had patience for diligence and slowly earning your way to prominence, but sought immediacy in their ascent. The main reason for the lack of patience with Washington’s methodology was the immediacy with which blacks received their freedom. Because blacks had been slaves one day and free the next, it seemed as though the overall sentiment was that as slavery ended poverty should end as well. However, this was unrealistic and Washington had the foresight to see that. He knew that passionate speeches couldn’t put food on tables and vehement rallies couldn’t give people the skills needed to work jobs. The fact that we still mention his name shows that there were individuals who believed in his message, but who knows how greatly our condition as a race could have been ameliorated had we just gathered the strength to ignore the critics and accept the word for what it was worth. Blacks were not the only faction to criticize Booker T. Washington’s message. Whites saw Washington as a threat and thus he needed to be silenced as well. Although he did not preach militancy or rebellion, he did preach self-esteem and diligence
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