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Education for Blacks in the Early 20th

Century

William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Dubois was born in 1868 and died in 1963.
He was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and he hardly knew his father, who
died soon after his birth. He went to Fisk University (1885-1888), Harvard University
(1888-1896), and the University of Berlin (1892-1894). He also studied with some of the
more important social thinkers of that time. He was important because he began a
seventy - year career that joined teaching with activism and abolition conflicts. He was a
historical figure because he was a publicist for the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he edited the the monthly magazine,
the ​Crisis ​and put issues affecting African Americans before the world community.

The ideas that W.E.B. Dubois promoted that focused on improving life for blacks
in America and supporting their rights were he thought that the depression governed a
change from the NAACP’s focus on legal rights to a stress on the advancement of black
economics. He also put Africans and the problems concerning them before the world
community. Scientific racism is the study of means to backing up the belief in racism,
and W.E.B. Dubois disagreed with it, because in 1929, a couple hundred people
accumulated in Chicago’s North Hall to watch a debate based on the question, “Should
the Negro Be Encouraged to Cultural Equality?”, and he argued for the affirmative. One
of his main opponents, Theodore Lothrop Stoddard, argued against him in this debate.
Another one of his main opponents was Booker T. Washington, who preached the
theory of black reconciliation. Some of his main supporters were African Americans of
the U.S. and his fellow members of the NAACP.

The NAACP stands for The National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People and was founded on February 12, 1909. It was founded by ​Moorfield Storey,
Mary White Ovington and W.E.B. Du Bois.The NAACP was founded to fight against
scientific racism. Their purpose was “​To promote equality of rights and to eradicate
caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest
of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their
opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment
according to their ability and complete equality before law.”

April 5th, 1856 in Hale's Ford, Virginia, a man named Booker Taliaferro
Washington was born. He lived in the last generation of African Americans that were
born into slavery. He then became the leading voice of the former slaves. This man was
also an american educator, author, orator, and more importantly, an advisor to the
president of the United States. Between 1890-1915 Booker was the dominant leader in
the African American community.

As a young man, Washington worker his way through Hampton normal and
Agricultural Institute and also attended college at Wayland Seminary (now Virginia
Union University). In 1881, he was named as the first leader in the new Tuskegee
Institute in Alabama. Later, on September 18, 1895, Booker delivered the “Atlanta
Address of 1895” speech before a predominately white audience at the Cotton States
and International Exposition in Atlanta. Washington played a dominant role in black
politics. Washington also wrote 14 books about slavery, negroes and experiences from
his lifetime. “Washington’s work greatly helped blacks achieve higher education,
financial power and understanding of the U.S legal system”. -Wikipedia.

The Tuskegee University was a private black University founded by Booker T.


Washington. The University was located in Tuskegee, Alabama, in the United States.
The Tuskegee institute's purpose was to train teachers in Alabama in agricultural
pursuits. Its program provides students with vocational and academic training. Booker
T. Washington was the leader of the institute.He was a political adviser and writer. He
taught the economic success for African American leaders could prove they were
worthy of full economic and political right. He became one of the most foremost African
American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Booker T. Washington was a popular spokesperson in his time. He endorsed


segregation for blacks and whites. Intentionally, he seemed unsure about what he
spoke for to get consideration of whites. All the recognition won him fame and his
autobiography in 1901 was widely read.

The name Brown v. Board of Education was the name given to five separate
cases that had been heard by the U.S. court about segregation in schools. One of
these cases, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, began with Oliver Brown, a man
who wanted to get his daughter Linda, a third grader, into a White Topeka school seven
blocks away from their home. Instead the school denied her permission and assigned
her to a school 21 blocks away from her home. This lead to her parents filing a lawsuit
to force her into the segregated school for white children.

The Court was asked to determine if segregation in schools was constitutional at


all with the question, “Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis
of race, even though the physical facilities and other ‘tangible factors may be equal,
deprive the children...of equal educational opportunities?”

Brown’s attorney’s that the separation of schools for children based on race, was
harmful to the African-American children. Topeka’s attorney’s argued that schools for
non whites were equal in every way, and were in conformity with the Plessy standard.

The decision of the Court was unanimous (9-0), Chief Justin Warren his first and
probably most important decision, “Segregation [in public education] is a denial of equal
protection of laws.” Warren declared, “To separate [some children] from others of similar
age and qualifications solely because their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to
their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely
ever to be done.”

Segregated schools were when each school was separated by race, so there
were colored schools and white schools. These types of schools were created to
separate both races, but to still give each race an education - although, colored schools
get less financial support because whites do not want them to get as well of an
education as they do because they do not want them to take jobs away from them. The
14th amendment, adopted in 1868, addresses the equal protection and rights of former
slaves.

Brown vs. Board of Education was a 1954 landmark Supreme Court case that
brought about the integration of public schools. The decision was one of many judicial
and legislative efforts made to achieve racial equality, efforts that began with the Civil
War Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. After Brown, the nation made great strides
toward opening the doors of education to all students. With court orders and active
enforcement of federal civil rights laws, progress toward integrated schools continued
through the late 1980s. Since then, many states have been resegregating and
educational achievement and opportunity have been falling for minorities.

1. W.E.B. Du Bois. History.com. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing


Company. January 12, 2017.
2. Adam Jordan. Brown v. Board of Education Case: Summary and
Significance. January 12, 2017.
3. Wikipedia. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
En.wikepedia.org. Wikipedia. January 13, 2017.