Ida. B. Wells:

She was a famous fearless anti-lynching crusader as well as a defender of women rights. Born in 1862, Ida is considered to be one of the fairly known uncompromising leaders that attained countrywide attention on matters regarding lynching. She engaged in intensive publication of newspapers tackling Southern lynching. Wells was one of the most prolific founding members of National Afro-American Council, where she served as a secretary, as well as a founding member of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Dubois Concept of Double Consciousness: a concept developed by W. E. Du Bois to expound on an individual with a dividend identity. The concept explores the psycho-social divisions existing in the entire American society, and, consequently, provides a complete understanding of the divisions at hand. It argues that since African-American have continuously suffered in white dominated society; it had suppressed and devalued their existence, hence, making it difficult to unify their Black identity with American sole identity.

The New Negro: defines a moment in the course of Harlem Renaissance indicating a more aggressive encouragement of dignity and repudiation to engage in submitting quietly to policies and regulations set forth by Jim Crow's racial segregation. By evoking The New Negro spirit, the NAACP persistently called for the specific passage of a special federal law forbidding lynching.

The Black Migration: is the mass movement of approximately 5 million Southern Blacks to the urban Northern America in the period between 1915 and 1960. The core objective of the migration was to search for immediate prosperity and freedom.

Tuskegee Institute: a school established in Alabama by Booker T Washington upon request of the local white people within the area.

Democratic Party & KKK: Ku Klux Klan denotes an organization formed by a group of Confederate Army experts in Pulaski, Tennessee in the period between 1865 and1866. It later transformed into an organization in service of the contemporary Democratic Party as well as White Supremacy. Ku Klux Klan aimed at demolishing Congressional Reconstruction efforts by killing African-Americans and some whites.

The Talented Tenth: a phrase coined by W. E. B. Du Bois in an article, published in 1903, to demand and emphasize on the need for higher education for all Blacks. He emphasizes on a given system of common and industrial school mode of training for best teachers in order to attain classical education. Du Bois argued that industrial training effectively developed, due to a fact that it partially failed in creating men of leadership.

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General Samuel C. Armstrong: he was the principal of Hampton Institute, through whom Booker T Washington acquired knowledge of agricultural and industrial training in education of African-Americans.

The Atlanta Compromise: is a covenantmade between Booker T Washington, who was the President of Tuskegee Institute at that time, some of the notable Southern White leaders, and African-Americans. It called for submission of Southern blacks to white political endeavors in order to provide blacks with basic level of education due process in justice. W. E. B. Du Bois strongly opposed the agreement.

14th & 15th Amendments: the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution demanded that all people born or naturalized in America are US Citizens, including the African-American community, while the15th Amendment of the US Constitution forbid each of the federal government from rebuffing a citizen the right to vote, based on their color, race, or any other previous conditions used to discriminate them.

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Booker T. and W. E. Du Bois are the two most known African-Americans that fought tirelessly for the rights and freedom of African-Americans in the Southern United States of America. The two engaged in numerous activities aimed at liberating the blacks from oppression, lynching and lack of basic education. They had different viewpoints in the way the black community would engage with their white counterparts. This paper examines the reconstruction processes, views on education, economy, political rights and leadership rights as emphasized by Booker T., it also examines the similarities and differences exhibited by W. E. Du Bois on the same issues, while considering the role class and background played in establishing the difference of opinions.

Booker T Washingtons Views on Reconstruction

The reconstruction period took place between 1867 and 1878. Booker T Washington spent most of his time as a student in Hampton Institute, and as a teacher in West Virginia (Daniels 225). Hampton Institute, which was developed and pioneered by Rev Henderson of Baptist church, provided immense technical skills for black people in the South. During this period, the black people were in constant search of two fundamental aspects, the Greek and Latin knowledge, as well as the desire to occupy public offices (Daniels 225). The Reconstruction Era allowed black people of all ages and conditions to overflow schools in the course of daytime and also, in the night. The perception of attaining an education to the blacks invoked praise and encouragement.

Booker Washingtons fundamental message of the reconstruction period emphasized on black self-reliance. It aimed at positioning them fairly in order to prevent them from succumbing to the ever-changing economic, political and social situations caused by the stringent reorganization of the South (Daniels 225). To some extent, the reorganization of the South took place because of lynching. At that time, efforts made by the great anti-lynching crusader like Ida B Wells faced lots of challenges, as white supremacy ruled and did not accept criticisms positively.

The reconstruction period basically introduced different aspects of culture values, social structures as well as psychological course of action into the Southern side of the United States of America. The collective effects of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the United States of America constitution, Civil Rights Movements and agencies like NAACP initiated new norms calling for political freedom, the right to engage in voting, and also, being elected to hold major public positions for all ex-slaves (Daniels 225-226). While the reconstruction period initiated, to a greater extent, the political freedom for African-American community, Booker Washington argues that it did not address the aspect of economic freedom. The social reconstruction, mostly depicted by the girls, whose mothers worked in laundry to be able to pay for their education, failed to grow out of the folkways as well as out of the traditions of the South. In fact, it developed from political forces like the Democratic Party and the KKK, Radical Republicans and federal troops, which did not originate from the South (Daniels 225-226).

Washington argues that even though the freedmen achieved new orientations that emphasized on the significance of the family, church and education, there were other achievements that weakened any semblance of black social institutions (Daniels 225-226). Washington recognizes the following orientations as immensely interfering with African-American institutions. First, he identifies orientations that call for outward aspects over substance and character. He gives an example of black folks that had successfully gained employment with the government but spent most of the money on baggy to drive on Sunday in order to convince others that they were worth thousands (Daniels 227). Others, who earned more than US$70 per month from the Government, were living on debt as result of their showing off to their fellows who were unemployed at the time (Daniels 227). Secondly, Washington identifies orientations calling for political and voting rights, which overlooks importance of engaging in honorable labor and economics. Thirdly, he identifies orientations in education and work, which separated ones minds and heart from the hands as opposed to having them complement one another. For instance, he observed that blacks, who possessed little knowledge, believed that they would not engage in manual labor (Daniels 227). Fourth, he also identified the hypocrisy, arising from black, with the knowledge of foreign languages. At one point, Washington fails to understand the rationale behind the educated few blacks, who resorted to preaching as a way of surviving. Others, who were taught in schools, were unaware of facts from fallacies of the world.

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Booker Washington calls for all African-American people to engage in developing their immediate social and human capital. Through the Atlanta Compromise, Washington urges the southern whites to let down their buckets where they were in a bid to secure jobs for black people as opposed to seeking it from immigrants with strange tongue and habits (Daniels 227).

Education Perspectives

Washingtons educational convictions derive from a significant number of sources. From General Samuel C Armstrong, Washington acquired immense level of knowledge and wisdom regarding agricultural and industrial training, the value of character-building over education, the philosophy of economic advancement as well as the significance of interracial integration with the southern Whites (Daniels 226-227). He was able to lobby for support for Tuskegee Institute from all people in order to reproduce his educational doctrines within the entire American and black communities.

His educational conviction called for practical and materialist values accrued from dignified labor and its immediate action orientation in such areas as businesses and land ownership (Daniels 226-227). Through his educational ideas, the notion of colored middle class amongst ex-slaves was uplifted. In the last decade or so, the new Negroes involved themselves in the activities of building their own fortunes through thrift, through industry and business success, which they were denied in other directions (Daniels 226-227).

Washington's educational convictions called for values of industry and dignified form of labor as a way of uplifting character, intelligence as well as economic prowess. Through this conviction, Washington tried to integrate moral and cognitive techniques into a social setting, which helped to connect institutions of higher education with the surrounding communities (Daniels 226-227).

Washington called for African-American to devote their energy to an education system that focused on both scientific and industrial aspects. Education without science did not have any substantial meaning since it contributed less to the utilitarian value (Daniels 226-227).

Economic and Political Rights

Washingtons economic prowess derives its foundation from aspects of entrepreneurship, landownership and wealth. He urged Africa-Americans to seek economic self-sufficiency as a way of developing fundamental social amenities (Daniels 227). The development of the African-American economic sufficiency also had a significant impact on individual character and social responsibility. In order to attain economic prowess for blacks, Washington called for adoption of soft pedal civil rights and social equality until they were fairly positioned to attain economic objectives as a basis of survival (Daniels 227).

Washington emphasizes adoption of both theory and practical basis as a way for committing to capitalism, an economic system for African-Americans to engage in it. He stated that only through this economic system African-Americans will express their utility through participation in dignified labor, entrepreneurship and land ownership (Daniels 227).

Leadership Perceptive

Washington made efforts to progress a workable alliance with the northern and southern white capitalists and political leaders. The alliance rallied support for Tuskegee Institute to benefit from these capitalist leaders, who considered that they had control over a huge sector of the American industry (Daniels 227). Washington perceived the liberal-labor coalitions for Whites, Blacks and even Hispanic workers as being problematic. These economic alliances enjoyed a platform to transform into political alliances across all the party division of the time. Washington worked closely with Republican leaders but also had affairs with Democrats at some point (Daniels 227).

Du Bois Perceptive On Education, Economic and Political Rights & Leadership

Education Views

Du Bois emphasized on the need for prioritizing the Talented Tenth. He argued that developing a system of common and industrial school training would only work effectively in case if the very best teachers received higher training (Goffe 82-83). The new Negro could advance their education achievements only with the help from their own exceptional men.

Du Bois strived to ensure that a balance existed between liberal and practical education for all blacks. The efforts enabled the provision of balance education for higher institutions in the South, in comparison to education provided to ex-slaves and their families (Goffe 82-83). He foresaw existence of a double consciousness for African-Americans, and, consequently, advocated for the preparation of the existing youth for work as crucial feature for the masses at hand. He also provided extensive leadership to the NAACP, which enhanced efforts to the Supreme Courts ruling against the segregation of schools (Dennis 166). The ruling provided a platform for vocational educators to incorporate distinctive program and youth organizations. As a result, the programs expedited attainment of a diverse workforce with occupational and social skills useful in executing tasks. Du Bois perceived the need to integrate concerns of Negro colleges with concerns of students and their immediate linkage to their economic environment. He advocated for higher institutions to formulate over-arching education schedules that would instill intellectual capacity to African-American learners as a basis for tackling modern challenges in the world (Goffe 83).

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Du Bois emphasized on development of both, social and educational skills. In this own manner, he tried to guarantee that a stringent measure was put forward to foster unity between fairly educated and financially stable blacks with their less educated and poorer colleagues in the South (Goffe 83). It was meant to protect any possible bifurcations that could result from educational and financial differences amongst them.

Economic and Political Rights Perspective

Du Bois proposed a different model of alleviating poverty and racial discrimination. The approach embraced Karl Marxs ideas and philosophy of communism (Goffe 84). He encouraged people to produce commodities mostly for use, rather than for profit making. He also emphasized on people working for industrial firms in order to improve the overall economic conditions of the United States of America.

Leadership Perspective

Du Bois called for the linkage of economic equality to democracy. He states that the kind of intolerance, displayed in cultural and ethnic diversity, leadership of governance, and economics by a selected elite few, facilitated poor leadership mechanisms (Goffe 83).


Both, Washington and Du Bois, made significant efforts to develop a strong alliance of Pan-Africans with all black leadership as a basis for resolving issues related to color and class. Subsequently, they both agreed on the need of higher education to advance the self-sufficiency of all blacks.


Du Bois ideas and teachings to the blacks promoted the aspect of revolt and radicalization in order to attain self-sufficiency and economical prowess. On the other hand, Washington called for prioritizing education for blacks at the expense of mere pay as well as political rights and freedom.

It can be ascertained that these two black leaders showcased varied ideas regarding education, leadership and economy due to their different backgrounds. Du Bois was born in a prosperous family in Massachusetts. He received good education at both, elementary and high school. He emanated from a town, where the contrast of wealthy families and poor ones did not affect social relations. Du Bois went through the university training, where he leaned foreign languages and later graduated with Ph.D. On the other hand, Booker Washington originated from an ex-slaves family. Hence, he had little chances of attending elementary and high school. He secured training in Hampton Institute, where he received agricultural and industrial based training from Armstrong. The differences in the above upbringing depict their different levels of perceiving and understanding situations affecting African-Americans at the time.


From the discussion above, it can be seen that both Du Bois and Washington made efforts to protect the interests of the blacks. However, they both showcased different ideas and methods, which they perceived crucial in bringing about education, economic and leadership changes to the community. The differences in their ideas emanates from their family backgrounds. Du Bois originated from a prosperous middle class family and attended school until he achieved a Ph. D level. On the contrary, Washington came from an ex-slave family background and attended Hampton Institute, where he acquired industrial and agricultural knowledge.

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