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Who was the most influential player of the early civil rights movement?

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Introduction

Who was the most influential player of the early civil rights movement? Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were all very influential players in the early civil rights movement. They all had extremely opposing views on how best to deal with, and win civil rights. Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica on the 17th August 1887. He left school at 14 and worked as a printer in Jamaica and became active in the trade union movement there. He was inspired by the work of Booker T. Washington and in 1916 he moved to the USA and founded the "Universal Negro Improvement Association" (UNIA) the following year. Marcus Garvey's beliefs were that all black Americans should return to Africa (their ancestral homeland) and start their own self-governing country there. Garvey campaigned about lynching, "Jim Crow laws" and the denial of the vote to African Americans. Garvey encouraged "black pride" and felt that they should be proud of their race. Garvey strongly argues that blacks would never be accepted in such a racist nation and that the only way to improve themselves was to return to Africa. ...read more.

Middle

During his 3 years at Fisk (185-1888) his knowledge of the race problem became more definite. He saw such a large amount of discrimination that he developed a determination to fight for civil rights. After graduation from Fisk, DuBois entered Harvard (via scholarship) (1885-1888). He made history as the first African American to graduate from his high school and later from Harvard with a Ph.D. He then went on to teach economics and history at Atlanta University. He believed that everyone should be equal. He campaigned for immediate integration between black and white people. He wanted segregation ended, equality for all, equal voting rights and equality in all aspects of life. On the 12th February 1909, DuBois co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). This is the largest and oldest civil rights organisation in America. The NAACP fought for equal rights for African Americans. Although DuBois did a great deal for blacks and created a hugely popular NAACP he was a hard leader to support as he always changed his mind in what he thought was right, therefore I do not think he had the most influence over the African American peoples. ...read more.

Conclusion

This he said would win the respect of whites and lead to acceptance and integration. Although I believe DuBois had the right idea about how to improve the situation and gain civil rights, I believe that Washington was most influential. He had a huge amount of support, not only from black Americans but from white Americans also. They were pleased when Washington said blacks should accept their inferior position. Washington had many friends in high places, for example, Queen Victoria, Presidents Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft. This caused him to have a large amount of influence over how things were decided and controlled. His career was a testimony for what slaves could achieve. He achieved economic improvement and opportunities. In 1890 he established the National Negro Business League, which supported black enterprises. His own struggle for education, his speeches and fame inspired other blacks. In 1895 he spoke at the Atlanta World Fair. No black speaker had ever appeared before such an important southern gathering. There he stressed the idea that equality would come through hard work. Washington was a role model, a presidential advisor and a lead spokesman for black Americans and was a huge national figure causing him to be the most influential player in the early civil rights movement. ...read more.

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