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Washington and W.E.B. Dubois

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Submitted By tbmoncrief
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One of the greatest intellectual battles U.S. history was the legendary disagreement between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. This intellectual debate sparked the interest of the Northerners as well as the racist whites that occupied the south. This debate was simply about how the blacks, who just gained freedom from slavery, should exist in America with the white majority. Even though Washington and DuBois stood on opposite sides of the fence they both agreed on one thing, that it was a time for a change in the treatment of African Americans.
Booker T. Washington warned blacks that in order to earn the respect and equality from the white population, we must be prepared to start at the bottom. He meant starting at the bottom in jobs such as elementary teachers instead of college professors and manual laborers instead of CEO’s so we could earn the respect of whites. Washington knew that making strong demands wouldn’t get the black race anywhere, so becoming friends and earning the respect of whites seemed like a better option to him because it seemed to have better results. On the other hand, Washington recognized existing equally with whites wouldn’t be a simple task. Washington was often looked at as an “Uncle Tom” because of the things he did, such as advising blacks to remain in the South and to avoid politics and protest in favor of economic self-help and industrial education.
W.E.B. DuBois was more popular among blacks compared to those views of Booker T. Washington. DuBois believed that America should give blacks what they deserved and that they shouldn’t plead and beg for a better position in society. DuBois was simply tired of the way blacks were treated and oppressed even though he was part of the middle class and his father was white. DuBois wasn’t excited about simply putting the past behind him; in fact, he suggested that it was...

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