In the speech he advocated black Americans accept for awhile the political and social status quo of segregation and discriminaton and concentrate instead on self-help and building economic and material success within the black community. Washington’s fine autobiography, published in 1900. “Signs of Progress Among the Negroes,” “Awakening of the Negro” written around the turn of the century can be accessed from this web page; scroll down to ‘Washington.’ Washington was the first black to be invited to the White House for dinner with a President.
The invitation came from Theodore Roosevelt and this article, written at the time by a Howard University professor, deals with this event and conveys the very powerful image of Washington in the eyes of ten million black Americans during the turn of the century.
In the interview, Du Bois discusses Booker T., looks back on his controversial break with him and explains how their backgrounds accounted for their opposing views on strategies for black social progress Here is the full text of this classic in the literature of civil rights.
It is a prophetic work anticipating and inspiring much of the black consciousness and activism of the 1960s.
Instead of focusing on higher education, they would instead focus on industrial education and become better workers. Washington was not necessarily to blame for the black man’s loss of status in the United States.
Washington, however, did speed up the process by which blacks regressed, due to his overtly public concessions. Their opposing philosophies can be found in much of today’s discussions over how to end class and racial injustice, what is the role of black leadership, and what do the ‘haves’ owe the ‘have-nots’ in the black community. Washington, educator, reformer and the most influentional black leader of his time (1856-1915) preached a philosophy of self-help, racial solidarity and accomodation. However, they sharply disagreed on strategies for black social and economic progress.This, he said, would win the respect of whites and lead to African Americans being fully accepted as citizens and integrated into all strata of society. In addition, he argued that social change could be accomplished by developing the small group of college-educated blacks he called “the Talented Tenth:” “The Negro Race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men.The problem of education then, among Negroes, must first of all deal with the “Talented Tenth.” It is the problem of developing the best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the worst.” At the time, the Washington/Du Bois dispute polarized African American leaders into two wings–the ‘conservative’ supporters of Washington and his ‘radical’ critics.This site on Du Bois offers a lengthy biographical summary and a bilbiography of his writings and books.A summary of Booker T.’s life, philosophy and achievements, with a link to the famous September 1895 speech, “the Atlanta Compromise,” which propelled him onto the national scene as a leader and spokesman for African Americans. Washington, a prominent American of African descent, came to popularity in the country after Americans had begun to feel solemn about the treatment of African-Americans. Washington, Du Bois strays further away from a political critique of the country. Washington’s rise to success, and what his ascendance meant both for America and for the American Negro.Washington, according to Du Bois, promoted submissiveness by asking that the Negro relinquish fundamental privileges.Firstly, Washington asks for them to rid themselves of political power.