W.E.B. Dubois Essay, Research Paper
W.E.B. Du Bois
Few work forces have influenced the lives of African-Americans every bit much as William Edward Burghardt ( W.E.B. ) Du Bois is considered more of a history-maker than a historian ( Aptheker, “ The Historian ” ) . Dr. Du Bois conducted the initial research on the black experience in the United States. Civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. have referred to Du Bois as a male parent of the Civil Rights Movement. Du Bois conducted the initial research on the black experience in the United States, and paved the manner for the Pan-African and Black Power motions. This paper will depict his life, work, influence in the black community, and much publicized civil difference with another black leader, Booker T. Washington.
Du Bois was born in the western Massachusetts town of Great Barrington. His household roots were Gallic Huguenot on his male parent ’ s side and Dutch and African on his female parent ’ s side. His male parent, Alfred Du Bois, left his household when W.E.B. was a immature male child. W.E.B. lived with his female parent Sylvina until her decease in 1884. This same twelvemonth, Du Bois graduated from high school as the valedictory speaker and merely black in his graduating category of 12. He was awarded a scholarship to go to Fisk University in
Nashville, Tennessee. He had grown up with more privileges and advantages than most inkinesss populating in the U.S. at the clip, and suffered no terrible economic adversity or racism.
Du Bois continued his instruction at Fisk University. He received his unmarried man ’ s grade in 1885 and won a scholarship to go to Harvard University. He received his 2nd unmarried man ’ s grade in 1890, and so enrolled in Harvard ’ s alumnus school. He earned his maestro ’ s grade and so doctorial grade in 1895. He became the first black to have a doctorial grade from Harvard. His doctorial thesis, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade was published in 1896 as the initial volume in the Harvard Historical Studies Series. The same twelvemonth the thesis was published, Du Bois began to learn Latin, Greek, German, and English at Wilberforce University in Ohio. After learning for several old ages, Du Bois conducted an thorough survey of the societal and economic conditions of urban inkinesss in Philadelphia in 1896 and 1897. The consequences were published in the Philadelphia Negro ( 1899 ) . This was the first sociological text on a black community published in the United States.
In 1897 Du Bois moved to Atlanta University, where he taught economic sciences and history for more than a decennary. His most widely acclaimed work, The Souls of Black Folk ( 1903 ) was published during his clip in Atlanta. With The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois had begun to dispute the leading of Booker T. Washington, a fellow pedagogue who was so the most influential and admired black in the United States.
Washington, who had faith in the hereafter of his race in the state, believed that difficult work, forbearance, and self pride would construct their character and finally gain them their civil rights. This is apparent in Washington ’ s The Future of the American Negro. He shows the “ impatient extremists ” within the Negroes of the North whose “ ill-judged, incendiary vocalizations tend to add to the loads of our people in the South instead than alleviate them. ” ( ” Washington, ” Discovering Authors )
During the Atlanta Exposition, Washington gave a address before a crowd of Whites and African Americans. Here he states that inkinesss “ cast down their pails ” by supplying services that whites needed. “ No race can thrive till it learns that there is every bit much self-respect in tilling a field as in composing a verse form. It is at the underside of life we much get down, non at the top. Nor should we allow our grudges to dominate our chances, ” quotes Washington. ( ” Washington, ” Discovering Authors ) He besides speaks of equality and justness. He believed equality would come of course if Blacks proved themselves to be intelligent and hardworking:
The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of inquiries of societal equality is the extremist folly, and the at advancement in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will came to
us must be the consequence to severe and constant battle instead than unreal forcing. ( The Atlanta Exposition Address, Norton Anthology )
Du Bois was non opposed to Washington ’ s power, but instead, he was against his political orientation and methodological analysis of managing the power. The manner inkinesss should travel about accomplishing their civil rights between Du Bois and Washington. Washington suggests to his people to compromise to halt fighting for societal and political equality. African Americans “ compromised ” by inquiring for less than they genuinely wanted, trusting to accomplish a part of their ends. Washington argued that opposing segregation might make more force – and the inkinesss had no manner to support themselves. Washington felt it was more of import that African Americans have nutrient, shelter, and good occupations, instead than equality or integrating, and told African Americans to accept segregation – for the clip being – in exchange for instruction and occupations.
W.E.B. Du Bois criticized his positions and argued that Booker had been incorrect to compromise. Du Bois stated Black people ’ s three demands should be their right to vote, civil equality, and instruction harmonizing to ability. Du Bois believes that segregation must non be tolerated, no affair what the cost, and that African Americans must demand equal intervention, and he encouraged people to protest and take action.
Both work forces besides had their differences in their positions of instruction. Washington argued that Black people should temporarily predate political power, insisting on civil rights, and higher instruction of Negro young person. They should concentrate all their energies on industrial instruction. Washington wanted inkinesss to seek and acquire along in society. He encouraged inkinesss to go educated and to work in agribusiness and industry, to accept their 2nd category position in American society.
Washington glorified manual labour. He believed equality would come of course if Blacks proved themselves to be intelligent and hardworking. Washington even made merriment of inkinesss who studied Latin or Greek.
Du Bois believed in the higher instruction of a “ Talented Tenth ” who through their cognition of modern civilization could steer the American Negro into a higher civilisation. Du Bois feared that Washington ’ s educational theoretical account was going the lone option unfastened to black pupils. Du Bois felt that Washington ’ s program would do inkinesss to give up political power, insisting on civil rights, and higher instruction of Negro youth. While Du Bois respected Washington and his achievements, he felt that inkinesss needed political power to protect what they had worked for.
Du Bois felt that the greatest enemy of inkinesss in America was non needfully whites, but the ignorance of Whites refering the achievements and capablenesss of the black race. He wanted to promote and develop the black young person through instruction. The most gifted of the black young person should be taught to be leaders in the black community. In his 1903 book The Negro Problem, Du Bois stated, “ The Negro race, like all races, is traveling to be saved by its exceeding work forces
.” ( Redding, Portrait…Du Bois ) Du Bois felt that merely educated inkinesss could derive political power. And political power, he felt, was the lone manner that inkinesss could go equal in American society. In his address “Behold the Land, ” given to the Southern Negro Youth Congress in 1946, it shows these ideals by promoting the black young person of the South to contend a nonviolent mode for equality. Du Bois quotes:
We want our kids trained as intelligent human existences should be and we will contend for all clip against any proposal to educate Black male childs and misss merely as retainers and subordinates, or merely for the usage of other peoples. They have a right to cognize, to believe, to draw a bead on. ( Turner, The Harlem Renaissance Reexamined )
Du Bois had a alone influence on the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( NAACP ) . He was hired to head the NAACP ’ s promotion and research attempts. He besides was named editor of The Crisis, which shortly became the most of import national voice for the promotion of civil rights, mostly through Du Bois ’ s coverage and columns.
Du Bois resigned from the NAACP in 1934 because he was unwilling to recommend racial integrating in all facets of life, a place adopted by the NAACP. He returned to Atlanta University, where he taught, wrote books, and founded a new diary, called Phylon. He besides published Black Reconstruction and Dusk of Dawn.
In 1961 Du Bois moved to the freshly independent West African state of Ghana. In an act of rebelliousness merely before his going, he joined the American Communist Party. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1963 and became a citizen of Ghana in February of that twelvemonth, shortly before his 95th birthday. Ghanese President Kwame Nkrumah welcomed Du Bois ’ s determination and deemed him “ the first citizen of Africa. ” Du Bois died a few months subsequently.
The Souls of Black Folk ( which shall now be referred to as Black Folk ) is possibly as emotional and subjective a book as any written in the first decennary of the twentieth century ( Redding, Portrait … Du Bois ) . It is considered one of the most prophetic and influential plants in American Literature ( Aptheker, “ The Historian ” ) . Du Bois uses the essay to province that Black ’ s quiet credence of racism merely stifles their opportunity for promotion in society.
Black Folk exposed the magnitude of racism in our society. Black Folk is a aggregation of 14 essays which records the inhuman treatments of racism, celebrates the strength and pride of black America, and explores the self-contradictory “ dual consciousness ” of Afro-american life. Du Bois made this celebrated statement refering this “ dual consciousness ” on the black individuality:
One feels his two-ness- an American, a Negro, two psyches, two ideas, two unreconciled nisuss, two warring ideals in one dark organic structure, whose dour strength entirely keeps it from being torn asunder. ( Du Bois, Norton Anthology, pg.1687-1688 )
Du Bois besides challenges black work forces to execute their responsibilities, and inquiries Washington ’ s leading in the undermentioned extract:
The black work forces of America have a responsibility to execute, a responsibility after part and delicate, – a forward motion to oppose portion of the work of their greatest leader … So far as Mr. Washington apologizes for unfairness, North or South, does non rightly value the privilege and responsibility of vote, belittles the castrating effects of caste differentiations, and opposes the higher preparation and aspiration of our brighter heads, – so far as he, the South, or the State, does this, – we must endlessly and steadfastly oppose them. ( Du Bois, The Norton Anthology, pg.1701 )
Black Reconstruction is a Marxist reading of the station Civil War epoch in the South. Harmonizing to Aptheker ( ” The Historian ” ) , it contains four chief subjects:
1. The American Negro non merely was the cause of the Civil War but a premier factor in enabling the North to win it.
2. The Negro was the lone effectual tool which could be used for the immediate Restoration of the federal brotherhood after the war.
3. The enfranchisement of the freedwomans after the war was one of the greatest stairss toward democracy taken in the 19th century.
4. The efforts to retrace that measure, disenfranchising the Negro and cut downing him to caste conditions, are the workss which make the South today the state ’ s societal job Number One … .
Personally, I find Du Bois ’ s positions genuinely singular. After finishing this paper, I have concluded that he was a definite initiation male parent of the Civil Rights Movement. Obviously, his positions for the improvement of the black community proved to be more good than those of Booker T. Washington, who preached more moderate reforms. His work was fundamentally mimicked by the work of Martin Luther King Jr. , who considered Du Bois a wise man. His influence in the black community was frequently invisible compared to Washington, but I find Du Bois ’ s parts to be much more sufficient, particularly during the Civil Rights Movement in the sixtiess, which acted out what he preached more than half a century before.
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