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Booker T Washington

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Booker T. Washington

In his day and age I believe that Booker T. Washington had the better approach to helping African Americans succeed in the United States. Washington believed that African Americans could win white acceptance eventually by succeeding economically. He did not believe in pointing at the constitution and demanding that everyone accept them as equals, but in earning the respect and acceptance of white people

In the later 1800's and early 1900's there was still widespread prejudice against African Americans and white people feared what educated black people might do. W.E.B. Du Bois wanted the most intelligent African Americans to lead their people forward in pursuit of civil rights, acceptance, and social and political equality. This approach to gaining equality would not work during that time. Actions like Du Bois insisted upon would have caused uprisings and potential violence. However, Washington's ideas appealed to both African Americans and white people.

Washington told the African American population to set aside their desire for political and social acceptance and build up their economic security. He believed that a man of any race could find as much dignity and respect in tilling a field, or learning skill, as there was in writing a poem. Du Bois was reaching for something that was out of his reach at the time. There was still an underlying feeling that black people had taken white peoples land and jobs from them after the civil war. This was not an easy feeling to get rid of and standing up and demanding equality was not the right thing to do at the time.

In conclusion, I believe that Booker T. Washington's ideas were the best for helping African Americans seek acceptance and equality in society. There was much prejudice and fear throughout the country and black people demanding political and social equality would not help them reach their goals. Washington's ideas appealed to both white people and African Americans and he predicted that by building economic security black people could win white acceptance.

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