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Friday, 23 May 2014 12:31

Eng Literature Featured

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Eng Literature

 Booker t. Washington and W Du Bois

The philosophical difference between Du Bois and Washington Booker has deep historical backgrounds. They are individuals in the same side in fighting for the progress, uplifting, and purpose of uplifting the black race. However, these two Black intellectuals had radically divergent views on the means of assisting the African Americans from the bondage of living subhuman conditions. They were both aware of the importance of technological advancement in enhancing African Americans. Their work The Souls of Black Folks by Du Bois (1903) and Up from Slavery by Washington (1901) are considered as he classical commentaries based on the authors efforts in addressing the problem on ‘Negro” in America.There were other Black Americans making efforts of mitigating illiteracy, poverty, high rates of mortality, racial discrimination and other forms of desolate conditions plaguing the African Americans at the turn of the century.

However, both Du Bois and Washington had their unique influential appeal in some constituencies. They paid close attention to the various American intelligence segments originating from the European ethnic background. For Washington, he acknowledged the power structure of the white as the main platform in promoting their message. He viewed that solution for the Black race problem was to become superior laborers and be reliable. This way they would make themselves contributors of the country’s economy for their own good. The black people were, therefore, to be educated with the best education that is of economic benefit. Washington proposed that industrial education was the best education that would help the social improvement of Black people (Spivey, 1978).

 Du Bois agreed with Washington that the Black race progress has to occur, but he believed that this progress can best be attained through the trickled down means. His primary focus was on how the professional class skills can be of help to the Black people so as to achieve the desired goal. H saw the issue of class as the defining factor of the black Americans and White European.Their different views originate from their influence in their earlier years before 19000s towards the White elite. This influence was much stronger on Washington than Du Bois. Washington advocated for hand-on external means while Du Bois advocated for a paternalistic means of the Black race advancement. From their views, we wonder if the integration of these two approaches would be the best means of improving the black race condition. Their philosophies are still being applied and urged in today’s technological arena.


Du Bois, W (1903) The souls of Black folks. Chicago: McClurg

Spivey, D (1978) Schooling for the new slavery: Black industrial education, 1868-1915.

Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Washington, B (1901) Up from slavery. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company

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