The Difference Between Booker T. Washington And W. E. B. Dubois

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Following the Civil War, while black Americans were freed from slavery, attitudes towards blacks hardly changed. Blacks were still heavily discriminated against and thanks to the Jim Crow laws, were segregated from white Americans until the mid-20th century. Of course, blacks in America now enjoy all the same rights and freedoms as whites, and while racial discrimination still exists today, it is not nearly as severe as the discrimination that existed before. Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois were two educated black Americans who wrote in the early 1900s on the topic of racial discrimination and what blacks ought to do about their situation. In Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery, he argues that blacks should put aside the immediate demand for civil rights, and instead should focus on getting a good education and working hard to make a living. Dubois, in The Souls of the Black Folk, disagrees with Washington, and argues for equal rights. Washington’s proposals are more appropriate for his time, while …show more content…
Dubois criticized Washington for neglecting the issue of civil rights, and argued that it had to be addressed immediately. Dubois said that since Washington introduced his policies, black disfranchisement, the legal status of blacks as inferior citizens, and the withdrawal of aid from institutions for higher education of blacks were expedited. Washington’s policies were paradoxical, and without rights and access to higher education, it was almost impossible for blacks to fulfill their potential. Dubois claims that the black American’s situation is caused by racial prejudice, and that while Washington is right in saying that blacks should strive to better themselves, they can only do so when supplemented by policies and institutions that support their development. As such, equal rights were imperative to the improvement of the black