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Compare the position of Booker T Washington and W.E.B Dubios in promotion the Position of African Americans

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Compare the position of Booker T Washington and W.E.B Dubios in promotion the Position of African Americans During the period of 1877-1945 Black Americans used a number of methods in order to achieve their civil, political and social position within the US society. For the majority of African Americans life involved poor living and working conditions in the Old South alongside facing the problem of legalized segregation and possible violence from the white community if they attempted to challenge this. In these conditions, leading black Americans offered ways of dealing with the situation, such as former slave Booker T Washington, whose own views were challenged by a north-educated man known as W.E.B Du Bois. This essay compares their position in society and how they used their position in promoting civil rights. Booker T Washington represented the aspirations and hopes of southern blacks who fought for freedom because of the northern civil war victory. He has been widely regarded as the leading voice in the African Community up to his death in 1915 and was the first black to ever graduate from Harvard University and dine at the white house with the president. ...read more.


He even gained international status, for in 1896 he had tea in Buckingham place with Queen Victoria. Nevertheless, despite Washington's attempts in promoting the economic position of African Americans, he lived in an era of increasing persecution and discrimination of African Americans. Jim Crow Laws were passed across the South, segregation was legal and thousands of blacks were lynched. The Brownsville affair of 1906 meant that despite Booker T's status, he could not prevent the black regiment from being court-martiallised. Although Booker T privately financed cases to help bring down segregation, he did not want to damage his relationship with white America by adopting a radical stance. It would also have caused a white back lash and thus jeopardise the safety of many blacks in the south. One of the men who directly challenged Washington and his views was W.E.B Du Bois, who claimed that Washington turned a blind eye to African American civil and political rights. Initially Du Bois supported Booker T's efforts to raise the economic position of African Americans, and regarded Booker T's 'Atlanta Compromise' speech of 1895 as a 'phenomenal success, he later went on to criticise Booker T's as being narrow and pessimistic. ...read more.


Washington failed to speak out against racism for fear that it could damage his relationship with the many white supporters he had gained. Furthermore, Du Bois criticism of Washington at a time where African Americans should've united in the face of prejudice and discrimination hindered the progression of African Americans in this period. Nevertheless, while not trying to undermining Washington, it could be said that Du Bois had the most fundamental role in the promotion of African American civil rights- the creation of the NAACP. The NAACP also played a vital role in the coming years in the campaign for civil rights, such as their ground breaking victory in the Moore v. Dempsey case 1923, and their successful campaign against segregation of schools in the Brown vs. Education board of Topeka. However, it would be unfair to claim the work of Du Bois or Washington a total success in promoting the position of African Americans, for their efforts did not bring about any legal changes to the constitution nor did they bring about a mass movement in the campaign for civil rights. ...read more.

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