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Neida Mbuia Joao Period 7 9-13-12 Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois Essay Booker T. Washington and W.E.B.

Dubois had very different views on how African Americans could attain equality. Booker T. Washington believed that equality resulted from economic stability which was the aftereffect of suitable education. W.E.B. Dubois believed that true equality came from being equal in the eyes of the law. Washington believed the biggest impediment to equality was not having access to proper education and, therefore, not having access to job opportunities. Dubois believed that the biggest inhibition to equality was social inequality. The argument made by Dubois is the stronger argument. Social and political equality are necessary before economic equality can be achieved. This is because people tend to have more respect for those with money. W.E.B.s belief that equality can be reached only with social and political equality is solider, than Booker T. Washington belief that economic stability and education were the necessary criteria for equality. Booker T. Washington believed that the pathway to equality was rooted in educational and economic advancement. He believed that it was most important for one to learn how to work with ones hands and ones mind. In his 1895 autobiography, he called for his people to cast [down their buckets] in agriculture, in mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. Mostly, Washington wanted blacks to return to the same kind of work that they had been doing during slavery times, except this time, they would be their own masters (WellsBarnett 1904). Booker T. Washington also believed in segregation. He stated, In all things that are purely social, we can be a separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress (Washington 1895). Washington seemed to believe that it was only necessary for people to be socially equal in matters that pertained to economic advancement.

W.E.B. Dubois believed that both social and political equality were necessary for proper advancement and racial equality for the blacks. In his autobiography, published in 1970, Dubois declares, First. We would vote. With the right to vote goes everything: freedom, manhood the chance to rise. (Dubois 1970). Dubois went on to state the rest of his criteria for equality: an end to segregation, the right to be with and around whomever you please, class equality, better enforcement of the fourteenth amendment, and education. W.E.B. Dubois thought the greatest impediment to equality was, well, inequality. He thought that without equality in the eyes of the laws, blacks could never truly have the same opportunities as white had. The stronger argument was made by W.E.B. Dubois. While Booker T. Washingtons point was valid in his time, it failed to accommodate for the change of perspective that was bound to happen. Washington wanted blacks to stick with what they knew (farm work, and a segregationist society), as it was the safer route (Frontline: Booker T. and W.E.B.) This method was, however, not the best way. W.E.B. Dubois plan of action would give blacks not only social opportunities, but also a voice in the world. His plan was effectively enacted in the 1960s at the close of the civil right movement. It has resulted in a black middle class that is the largest that it has ever been. It has also resulted in blacks finally having a (legally backed up) voice in elections. W.E.B. dubious and Booker T. Washington had starkly different views on how true racial equality could be achieved. Dubois believed that it was through sociopolitical means. He saws the great possible advancement to racial equality as the right to vote and have an uninhibited voice in society. Washington thought equality could only be reached when blacks could take of themselves financially. Dubois argument was the stronger one because he accommodated the ever changing thought process of Americans. He fought against the status quo. His plan, has

Neida Mbuia Joao Period 7 9-13-12 Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois Essay garnered result such a strong black middle class. Booker T. Washington belief that economic stability is paramount is weaker than and W.E.B. Dubois that social and political equality are necessary.

Works Cited Booker T. & W.E.B. Two Nations of Black America. PBS, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2012. <>. DuBois, W.E.B. Autobiography. New YOrk: International Publishing, 1970. Print. Vital Signs. The Two Nations of Black America. PBS, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2012. <>. Washington, Booker T. Up From Slavery, An Autobiography. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1902. Print. Wells-Barnett, Ida B. Booker T. Washington and His Critics. World TOday (1904): n. pag. Print.