Is W.E.B Du Bois refuting Booker T. Washington?

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W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington were two African-American leaders around 1900. Both men had different viewpoints about how African-Americans should achieve equality.

Booker T. Washington believed African-Americans should focus on vocational training and getting jobs. He believed that once African-Americans got an education and became more financially secure, then they could focus on getting political rights and becoming equal politically. This position is known as the Atlanta Compromise.

W.E.B. Du Bois disagreed with Booker T. Washington’s approach. He felt African-Americans should get all of their rights at the same time. He felt it was unreasonable for African-Americans to have to wait to get any of their rights. He wanted African-Americans to get all of their rights now.

It is not fair to say that W.E.B. Du Bois refuted or disproved Booker T. Washington’s beliefs. W.E.B. Du Bois disagreed with Booker T. Washington’s philosophy and beliefs. However, he was not trying to prove him wrong.

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