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Washington and Du Bois

Washington and Du Bois

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Washington and Du Bois

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  1. Washington and Du Bois

  2. African Americans were ignored by the mainstream of the Progressive Movement, including by the Progressive Presidents • Pres. TR - "Now as to the Negroes … I entirely agree that as a race and in the mass, they are altogether inferior to whites“ • Pres. Wilson segregated African American workers in the Fed. Govt. bureaucracy – the armed forces were still segregated in WWI • Exceptions among Progressives were Ida. B. Wells-Barnet, Ray Stannard-Baker, Jane Addams

  3. For African Americans, the promises of the Civil War and Reconstruction had not been fulfilled • Their 14th and 15th Amendment Rights were ignored or circumvented by Southern Redeemed Legislatures • 14th Amendment – Civil Rights for all citizens, those born in the US • 15th Right to vote for all citizens, regardless of color or “former condition of servitude”

  4. Political Rights (15th Amendment) • The right to vote was denied by the terror of the KKK (no protection from police, army, govt.) • Also by the ingenious / creative policies of the Legislatures, who claimed that they were not denying African Americans the right to vote based on color (not denying 15th Amend Rights), but rather based on their inability to meet one of the other requirements, such as • The Poll Tax – a property tax qualification; few AA’s were prosperous enough to meet this requirement….most were sharecroppers, not farm owners, but leased the land

  5. The Literacy or Understanding test which required voters to demonstrate the ability to read, do math, or to interpret the Constitution (Read the Louisiana example): difficult without a formal (5th grade) education • The Grandfather Laws / Clause: introduced to exempt illiterate whites from having to take the Literacy Test; people could vote if they had a grandfather who had voted: Freedmen could not qualify through this clause

  6. Economic and Social Conditions (14th Amendment) • Majority of Freedmen had no option but to become sharecroppers: really another form of slavery • The Jim Crowe laws of the South approved of segregation…discrimination • The Supreme Court, in Plessey v Ferguson, 1896, supported segregation (Jim Crowe Laws) and discrimination: “the separate but equal doctrine.”

  7. Lynching: no protection by the law or authorities: no due process if accused of a crime (Ida B. Wells) • Those who migrated to the North were also victims of racism: got only menial, low paid jobs, were segregated into inner city ghettoes… • De Jure (legal) segregation / discrimination in the South, De Facto (in fact, reality) segregation / discrimination in the North

  8. African American Leaders • Two African American leaders with different views on how to deal with this denial of political, economic, social rights would emerge to champion the campaign for Civil Rights for African Americans • Washington and Du Bois

  9. Booker T. Washington

  10. Booker T. Washington • Born a slave in Virginia in 1856 / son of slave parents • Emancipated by Lincoln’s Proclamation..13th Amendment • Raised, after that, in poverty and deprivation • Worked as a janitor to pay his way through Hampton Institute, a federally funded technical school in Virginia, established to educate freed slaves….. Then went to college…became a qualified teacher….taught in Hampton

  11. Hired by the new Tuskegee Institute, Alabama – a technical college - in 1881 (25 yrs old) to be its director. • He spent 33 yrs there, elevating it to become a prominent, well known school for African Americans where students could learn any of 30 trades • He promoted the idea of the advance of African Americans through achieving qualification in a practical, vocational skill, valuable to the community - farming, forestry, plumbing, sewing and nursing

  12. He became a spokesperson for African Americans: developed ideas on how they would advance in society and gain respect • His ideas became known as the "Atlanta Compromise” (derisively, by Du Bois). He believed that AA's could achieve economic prosperity, independence, and the respect of white society through hard work in a skilled trade / craft…..should not worry about academic education or professions, for now • By quietly working at their trades, and not causing any trouble, not posing as a threat, they would become valuable members of their communities

  13. It would be these skills that would lay the foundation for the creation of stability that the AA community required to move forward. He believed that in the long term “blacks would eventually gain full participation in society by showing themselves to be responsible, reliable American citizens.” • His approach advocated for an initial step towards equal rights, rather than immediate equality under the law – this step would provide the economic power to back up their demands for equality in the future – this action over time “would provide the proof to a deeply prejudiced white America that they were not in fact “naturally” stupid and incompetent”

  14. If they did not demand social and political equality, they would not be seen as a threat and would be allowed to work at their trades, and prosper economically • Social and Political Rights / Equality could wait: the demand for these would be set aside until later • He urged African Americans to work for immediate self improvement, economic improvement, not to agitate for social and political change • He also urged them to remain in the South, not to migrate to the North

  15. He urged white society to employ African American labor over immigrant labor, to give African Americans a chance to prove they could do these skilled jobs • Washington urged African Americans to tolerate racism, the Jim Crow laws, voting restrictions etc. This policy, knows as Accommodation, emphasized Economic success over racial equality. • Atlanta Compromise / from Atlanta Exposition Speech • Accommodation / Accommodationism • Gradualism

  16. His views were accepted by the majority of the African American community, particularly in rural areas, and in the South. • Struggling to escape poverty, they agreed that economic gains were more important than winning the vote, ending segregation, or directly challenging white domination. • Felt his approach was practical, pragmatic

  17. Built a nationwide network of supporters in many black communities, with black ministers, educators, and businessmen composing his core supporters. • Was also supported by Liberal whites (especially rich northern whites)….. • He gained access to top national leaders in politics, philanthropy and education – enlisted the support of wealthy philanthropists, who helped raise funds to establish and operate thousands of small community schools and institutions of higher education throughout the South for African Americans

  18. During a difficult period of transition for the United States, he did much to improve the overall friendship and working relationship between the races.

  19. Autobiography written in 1901,Up From Slavery... outlined his life story • See documents A • “Caste down your buckets…” • “in all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one hand in all things to mutual progress.”

  20. W.E.B Du Bois

  21. W.E.B Du Bois • He and his group of supporters opposed Washington’s Gradualism and Accommodation • Upbringing, background circumstances influenced his thinking • Du Bois was from the North (Mass.), had never experienced slavery, was from a relatively affluent family, received an academic education, graduated from Harvard (first African American to receive a doctorate there), was a History Professor at the University of Atlanta

  22. He was also younger – 12 years younger, born 1868, after the Civil War • Worked with Washington for a time – then broke with him; criticized him for dominating the movement / his dictatorial style and for his inability to allow discussion on policy and procedures (accused him of being dictatorial) • He disagreed with Washington (and his “Tuskegee Machine”)….on education and on demanding Social and Political Rights

  23. For accepting the Political and Social position of African Americans, discrimination / segregation etc., he called Washington an "Uncle Tom" with a slave mentality • He asserted that while vocational education might be good for the many African Americans, it was not good for the "talented tenth" of the AA community – it did not satisfy their intellectual abilities: needed the challenge of academic subjects / liberal arts education / classical education; should aspire to be professionals

  24. Vocational education was not appropriate for this “talented tenth”. • With an academic education this elite group could then provide leadership for all African Americans in the struggle for all their rights – Ec, Soc, Pol …NOW • Complete equality and justice should be demanded now, not later • They should launch an assault on “the entire structure of race relations”

  25. In "The Souls of Black Folk (1903)", he launched an open attack on the philosophy of the Atlanta Compromise, accusing Washington of encouraging white efforts to impose segregation and of unnecessarily limiting the aspirations of his race: • “Is it possible and probable that nine million men can make effective progress in economic life if they are deprived of political rights, made a servile caste, and allowed only the most meager chance for developing their exceptional men? If History and reason give any distinct answer to these questions, it is an emphatic NO. Economic progress, prosperity is not possible without political and social equality.”

  26. The most important things to push for now were voting rights, the right to equality in education, and civic equality • “African Americas did not expect that all their rights would be granted immediately, but they should not voluntarily throw these rights away and give the impression that they do not want them. They should not belittle or ridicule themselves. On the contrary they must insist continually that all their rights be granted now.”

  27. In 1905, Du Bois and a group of his supporters met at Niagara Falls (Canadian side - hotels on US side would not have them) and launched what became known as the Niagara Movement. • Aim of the movement was "plain, blunt, ceaseless agitation, unfailing exposure of dishonesty and wrong - this is the ancient, unerring way to liberty, and we must follow it."

  28. 4 yrs later, 1909, after a rally at Springfield Illinois they joined with white progressives sympathetic to their cause to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to combat racial discrimination. • Whites held most of the offices, but Du Bois, its director of publicity and research, was the guiding spirit. • In the ensuing years, the new organization led the drive for equal rights, using as its principal weapon lawsuits in the federal courts.

  29. Much of the organization’s efforts were devoted to combating lynching, of which there were more than 1,300 cases, between 1900 and 1920. • Little progress was made in terms of getting the support of the mainstream of society • Among sympathetic whites / Progressives, Washington's ideas were more acceptable than those of Du Bois, because Washington’s did not directly challenge white society’s political and social domination.

  30. Later, the NAACP begun to win some important victories. • In Guinn v US (1915) the Supreme Court supported their position that the grandfather clause in an Oklahoma law was unconstitutional. • In Buchanan v Worley (1917) the Court struck down a Louisville, Kentucky, law requiring residential segregation.

  31. the NAACP established itself as one of the nation's leading AA organization’s, a position it would maintain for many yrs. • It also established a pattern of African American resistance – challenging injustice through the legal / Court System -that would ultimately bear important fruits (Brown v Board of Education, 1954: overturned the Plessey Decision / Separate is Equal): Thurgood Marshall, attorney • Eventual success of Civil Rights Movement / King: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, elimination of Poll Tax..

  32. See Document B