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WEB Du Bois vs Booker T Washington African-Americans in the 18th and 19th century lived in a period of tension African Americans faced greater challenges--legal economic social and political--than any other group challenging their own oppressed status and seeking reform No longer slaves they were still not treated upon as equals by whites However movements as well as several African-American leaders rose to power during this period They sought to bring the race to new heights Two of these leaders were WEB Du Bois and Booker T Washington who shared different views and solution to the race problem Their backgrounds strongly influenced the way they attacked the Negro Problem William Edward Burghardt Du Bois 1868-1963 was born in Great Barrington Massachusetts Bu Bois had grown up with more privileges and advantages than most blacks living in the United States at that time Unlike most blacks living in the South he had suffered neither severe economic hardship nor repeated encounters with racism Du Bois in comparison to Washington had never known slavery As violence against blacks increased in the South throughout the 1880s Du Boiss scholarly education was matched by the hard lessons he learned about race relations Through his experiences with poor blacks and encounters with racial hatred Du Bois began to develop his racial consciousness and the desire to help improve the conditions of his race With The Souls of Black Folk Du Bois openly attacked Washingtons philosophy of the Atlanta Compromise He objected to Washingtons strategy of accommodation and compromise with whites in both politics and education He accused Washington of encouraging white efforts to impose segregation and of unnecessarily limiting the aspirations of the blacks Du Bois also criticized Washingtons emphasis on the importance of industrial education for blacks Rather than settle for the trade and agriculture schools Du Bois believed that talented blacks should accept nothing less than a full university education By creating a trained elite blacks would in
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