Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois were two African American leaders who took different approaches to discrimination and segregation experienced by African Americans. Washington took what he considered to be a more practical approach to these problems. He emphasized accommodation and accepting discrimination and segregation for the time being. He advised African Americans to learn skilled trades to earn more money and improve their lives. This would eventually lead to African Americans being fully integrated and accepted as citizens. Du Bois took another approach. He urged African Americans to actively fight discrimination rather than to patiently submit to it. He advocated political action and was one of the founders of the NAACP. He demanded equal economic opportunity and the end to racial segregation. He felt African Americans should strive for more than just working in the trades and urged equal educational opportunities for African Americans.
- Washington was a well-known black educator. He was a black American, born into slavery, who believed that racism would end once blacks acquired useful labor skills and proved their economic value to society, was head of the Tuskegee Institute in 1881. He urged industrial education for African-Americans so that they would gain respect from the whites. Washington often ignored discrimination. He was afraid that blacks who demanded equal rights would create ill will between themselves and white Americans. He wrote the book "Up from Slavery"
- Du Bois believed that academic education was more important that trade education. He said that receiving industrial education would keep African-Americans trapped in lower social and economic classes. Du Bois wanted African-Americans encouraged to succeed in the arts and sciences. Du Bois encouraged African-Americans to demand equal rights. Helped found the 1905 Niagara Movement for equal rights, helped create NAACP in 1910