Essay on W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington

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W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington were two very influential leaders in the black community during the late 19th century, early 20th century. However, they both had different views on improvement of social and economic standing for blacks. Booker T. Washington, an ex-slave, put into practice his educational ideas at Tuskegee, which opened in 1881. Washington stressed patience, manual training, and hard work. He believed that blacks should go to school, learn skills, and work their way up the ladder. Washington also urged blacks to accept racial discrimination for the time being, and once they worked their way up, they would gain the respect of whites and be fully accepted as citizens. W.E.B. Du Bois on the other hand, wanted a more …show more content…
That is obviously a significant increase in just 60 years. This shows that leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois, advocates for the education of Blacks, worked hard to get African-Americans an education in order to get the respect of whites (Doc. A). In The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Du Bois openly attacked Booker T. Washington and the philosophy of the Atlanta Compromise. He urged African Americans to aspire to professional careers, to fight for the restoration of their civil rights, and wherever possible, to get a college education. Calling for integrated schools with equal opportunity for all, Du Bois urged blacks to educate their “talented tenth”, a highly trained intellectual elite, to lead them. Between the years or 1890 and 1910, the percentage of African Americans over the age of 9 unable to read went down by 35 percent. This also shows a successful attempt at educating blacks during this time in order to perpetuate white oppression (Doc. B). Du Bois was not alone in promoting careers in the professions. Throughout higher education there was increased emphasis on professional training, particularly in medicine, dentistry, and law. Enrollments swelled, even as standards of admission tightened. The number of medical schools in the country rose from 75 in 1870 to 160 in 1900, and the number of medical students- including more and more women, almost
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