Civil Rights Near the Turn of the Century

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Compare and contrast the views of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois on the issue of how best to help African-Americans achieve equality in the late 1800s.

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To clarify a comment made by a previous educator, Black Americans already had a constitutional right to vote by the late-1800s, around the time that Booker T. Washington made his address at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895. However, southern states employed various schemes, including intimidation, to prevent black people from exercising their right to vote.

In addition to Washington believing that black people should seek practical employment in manufacturing and architecture, he saw no use in a liberal arts education; whereas, DuBois thought that it was fundamental to racial uplift. However, while Washington did not think it necessary for black people to seek equality directly with whites, DuBois did not exactly believe that all black people were equal. Instead, he encouraged the notion of a Talented Tenth which would guide the rest of the race upward. Washington, on the other hand, thought that all black people should seek similar pursuits in trades and did not want to rock the boat...

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