African Americans Essay Research Paper TERM PAPERLife
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African Americans Essay, Research Paper TERM PAPER Life of African Americans in the period after the civil war was stimulatingly difficult. Among the host of challenges were the Black codes which made their life no better than it was before the civil war. The Congress promised to emancipate African Americans from slavery, but it appeared as if blacks were still deprived of their basic rights. They still did not achieve the status equal to that of the whites. During this time of political unrest two prominent African American spokespersons, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Du bois arose and put forward their views about how this racial conflict could be ended and the blacks and whites could be united. They both strived real hard to help blacks achieve recognition of the civil and political promised by the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution. They even wanted blacks to rise out of poverty. Although their final goals were the same, the route that they took to it differed drastically. Du Bois could be categorized as a person who was more liberal while Booker T. Washington chose to take the more conservative path. Knowing the differences between Washington’s and W.E.B Du Bois’s ideas as an African American living in the postwar south, I would follow Du Bois as his views were more satisfying and would prove to be a more effective way to pursue the goals of achieving recognition of the civil and political rights promised by the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments and also to life the blacks out of poverty. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Du Bois were people with conflicting personalities. Washington’s approach was more moderate as he seemed to be averse to rapid change. He believed in order for blacks to gain complete respect from the whites, they would have to live a life quite similar to the one they led in the period before the civil war. They would have to perform the same menial tasks. He believed that in this manner as soon as the economic condition of the South improved, blacks would be given equal status by everyone. Booker T. Washington put forward a program of industrial education, conciliation of the south , and submission and silence as to civil and political rights ( W.E.B Du Bois , 31.) He believed that industrial education was extremely important because it was a way by which students could acquire knowledge as well as skill while working and earning money. It also gave students confidence and moral independence. Mr. Booker T. Washington wanted African Americans to compromise by giving up their civil and political rights . Adjustment and submission of blacks was represented by his program. (W.E.B Du Bois, 37.) Since he was a conservative , he desired that the African Americans also give up the ideas of political power , civil rights and higher education. He tried to divert their attention to things such as earning money to support their families, reconcilement of Southern states etc. On the other hand, W.E.B. Du Bois held views that were in contradiction to those of Booker T. Washington. Du Bois chose a more liberal path to achieve his goals. According to him African Americans should have used any means available to resolve the equality and cultural problems. He had complete confidence in the ability of African Americans and did not consider them inferior to whites and believed that they could govern themselves. Unlike Booker T. Washington whose program for emancipation focused more on work and money, W.E.B Du Bois aimed for more spiritualistic and honorary things. The period of time before W.E.B Du Bois came into the limelight, the blacks had suffered a great deal from the whites. They had been disfranchised, not been given the right to higher education and were considered inferior to whites. Du Bois wanted to change all this completely and thus his ideas appeared to be more radical and demanding. as compared to those of Booker T.