The Issues Between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois

The problem of Negro leadership during the twenty years between 1895 and 1915 will be covered in this unit of Afro-American History. The issues raised by the celebrated debate between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois will be its central theme. For two decades Washington established a dominant tone of gradualism and accommodationism among blacks, 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.

During the four decades following reconstruction, the position of the Negro in America steadily deteriorated. The hopes and aspirations of the freedmen for full citizenship rights were shattered after the ...

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human rights and reduced to a status of quasi-slavery or “second-class” citizenship. Strict legal segregation of public facilities in the southern states was strengthened in 1896 by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case. Racists, northern and southern, proclaimed that the Negro was subhuman, barbaric, immoral, and innately inferior, physically and intellectually, to whites—totally incapable of functioning as an equal in white civilization.

Between the Compromise of 1877 and the Compromise of 1895, the problem facing Negro leadership was clear: how to obtain first-class citizenship for the Negro American. How to reach this goal caused considerable debate among Negro leaders. Some advocated physical violence to force concessions from the whites. A few urged Negroes to return to Africa. The majority, however, suggested that Negroes use peaceful, democratic means to change undesirable conditions. Some black leaders encouraged Negroes to become skilled workers, ...

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a program of agricultural and industrial training and Christian piety for Negroes acceptable to southern whites. Washington learned the doctrine of economic advancement combined with acceptance of disfranchisement and conciliation with the white South from Armstrong. Washington taught at Hampton until 1881, when he was chosen to head a new school at Tuskegee. His rise to national prominence came in 1895 with a brief speech which outlined his social philosophy and racial strategy. Washington was invited to speak before an integrated audience at the opening of the Cotton States and International Exposition held in Atlanta in September, 1895. He was the first Negro ever to address such ...

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The Issues Between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois. (2011, April 20). Retrieved December 5, 2020, from
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"The Issues Between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois." April 20, 2011. Accessed December 5, 2020.
"The Issues Between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois." April 20, 2011. Accessed December 5, 2020.
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Added: 4/20/2011 01:09:31 PM
Submitted By: Glen
Category: African Studies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2402
Pages: 9

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