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Opinions on Booker T. Washington  vs W.E.B. DuBois.  Opinions on Booker T....

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taylorruth | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted December 10, 2010 at 4:25 PM via web

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Opinions on Booker T. Washington  vs W.E.B. DuBois.  

Opinions on Booker T. Washington  vs W.E.B. DuBois.

 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 10, 2010 at 4:35 PM (Answer #2)

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This is a very hard question because we look back on these men through our own eyes today.  When we do that, Washington looks like a very small man.  It seems terrible that he would tell black people to just be patient and wait for the white people to give them rights when the whites were ready.  In that light, DuBois looks much better because he was in favor of pushing for rights whether whites were ready to give them or not.

However, you have to understand that Washington was not here in 21st century America.  When Washington gave his famous Atlanta speech in 1895, blacks were in a much weaker position than they are now.  It might have made sense for DuBois in the North to push for rights, but it seems unlikely that such a tactic would have done much good down in the South where Washington was.

Overall, then, it is hard to criticize Washington for his point of view given the time and place in which he lived.

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geosc | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted December 10, 2010 at 8:13 PM (Answer #3)

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I read B.T. Washington's Up From Slavery.  I could not and did not come away from that thinking he was a very small man.

Up From Slavery is an easy book to read; Washington was a good wordsmith.  I recommend it highly.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 14, 2010 at 3:48 AM (Answer #4)

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I think #2 is correct in identifying the different context that both of these heroes of the past operated in. I personally think that Washington's policy was correct for his time and place, but that his context would not have allowed the kind of open agitation that the context of DuBois allowed. Both of these important figures, then, can be said to have agitated for the same cause, but in different ways, governed by their historical context.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 14, 2010 at 9:05 AM (Answer #5)

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Ideologically I tend to agree more with W.E.B. DuBois, and I understand his desire for more immediate equality, his claim to his own humanity and his refusal to accept less, all while organizing the Niagara Movement and the NAACP as positive, constructive elements of change.

Washington was more practical, and perhaps able to achieve more because he recognized the need to be.  However, we'll never know how successful at civil rights he may have been, or how much trail he could have blazed for the future movements if he and DuBois had been on the same page.  I do think it was pretty arrogant of him to speak on behalf of all blacks in America at the Atlanta Conference, essentially agreeing to segregation and second class status.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM (Answer #6)

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I think the combination of the two philosophies worked well for the advancement of blacks at that point in history. As far as a comparison of the two men, I would say that they both were great leaders in the advancement of blacks.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM (Answer #7)

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I think the combination of the two philosophies worked well for the advancement of blacks at that point in history. As far as a comparison of the two men, I would say that they both were great leaders in the advancement of blacks.

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