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W.E.B. DU Bois

1. Basic philosophy on ways in which African-Americans could achieve equality.

In a meeting, 1906 at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, W.E.B. Du Bois said “We will not be satisfied to take one jot or title less than our full manhood rights. We claim for ourselves every single right that belongs to a free-born American, political, civil and social; and until we get these rights we will never cease to protest and assail the ears of America.” This quote represents one of the ways which he explained ways African- Americans could achieve equality. In a later speech Du Bois argued that Blacks should join together, apart from whiter, to start businesses and industries that would allow blacks to advance themselves economically. This is another way in which he told African Americans to achieve equality.

2. The major Problems facing African-Americans.

There were many problems facing African-Americans. One of them was Disfranchisement. This is taking the right of someone, especially, the right of a citizen to vote. Du Bois would have been highly against something like this. Lynching, the hanging of someone by the action of a mob, he felt was a big problem. Also, he never would agree with any sort of thing like this. Du Bois wanted equal opportunity for everyone ,like the whites had. He felt that Blacks should also be able to get an education, and do the same things that the whites did.

3. Opinion on Booker T. Washington’s speech at the Atlanta Exposition.

Since Booker T. Washington gave a speech at the Atlanta Exposition Du Bois had begun to challenge the leadership of Booker T. Washington, an educator who was then the most influential and admired black in the U.S. Du Bois objected to Washington’s strategy of accommodation and compromise with whites in both politics and education. Du Bois perceived the strategy as accepting the denial of black citizenship rights. He also criticized Washington’s emphasis on the importance of industrial education for blacks. Which Du Bois felt came at the expense of higher education in acts and humanities. A group of black and white intellectuals who opposed the tactics of Booker T. Washington met in New York City in 1909 to discuss the formation of a new organization dedicated to improving conditions for blacks in U.S. The resulting group became known as the NAACP ( National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

4. Opinion on the Role and Efforts of the NAACP.

W.E.B. Du Bois supported and was for the NAACP. He was elected a founding officer on The NAACP in 1910. He was named editor of the NAACP’s magazine, “The Crisis,” which became the most important national voice for the advancement of Black civil rights through his editorials and reporting. His writings for the NAACP such as on lynching in South, his positions on why blacks should support U.S. was effort during the World War I, his criticism on Marcus Garvey, these were all very influential So his role was writing, reporting in newspaper of the NAACP and his efforts were plentiful in that he spoke out and agreed with most of the NAACP proposements except for the one in 1934 where he was unwilling to advocate racial integration in all aspects of life, a position adopted by the NAACP, this caused him to resign in 1934. Later in 1944 he returns to the NAACP to head its research efforts but when dismissed in 1948 after disputing with the NAACP ‘s executive director, where he accused the director of selling out the cause of black civil rights for his own political advancement.

5. Direct Action such as sit-ins protests, freedom rides.

Protests, sit ins, and freedom rides were things that W.E.B. Du Bois was against. For example he would not have to agreed with the African-Americans who kept sitting in a restaurant, even though they would not serve them. Sit-ins is when a group of people would sit around and not move no matter the consequences until they got what they wanted. Protests include walking around with signs and banners shouting for what you want and will do to get it, it’s a demonstration in which they show their grievances Instead he would take the right path, the peaceful one, he’d go to court in the above situation , and direct action would be taken. He knew that picketing and protesting would only be making the situation worse.

6. Martin Luther King Jr.’s idea of passive resistance.

Du Bois would most likely be against passive resistance. Du Bois did not like protests or riots much. These were some things he was against. He would much rather do something that would not pursue violence. If there was one thing he was trying to resist throughout his demonstrations was violence. So, in my opinion Du Bois would not favor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s idea of passive resistance.

7. Success or failure of the Civil Rights Movement.

Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., struggle by black Americans to gain full citizenship rights and achieve racial equality. Individuals and organizations challenged discrimination with a variety of activities, including protest marches, boycotts, and refusal to abide by segregation laws. Many believe that the movement began with the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 and ended with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, though some argue that it hasn’t ended yet. Washington argued the Black people should temporarily forego “political power, insistence on civil rights, and higher education of Negro youth. They should concentrate all their energies on industrial education.” Du Bois believed in the higher education of a “Talented Tenth” who through their knowledge of modern culture could guide the American Negro into a higher civilization.

More civil rights organizations came into being, major court battles were won, and a period of peaceful protests as well as civic unrest led to the enactment of historic new civil rights laws. So after all of this I would say Du Bois would have thought it to be a success.

8.What needs to be done, the future of the Civil Rights Movement.

The future of the Civil Rights Movement depends on the people who are willing to get and education and become lawyers and doctors to help other African-Americans out. Du Bois would have wanted blacks to get an education. The Civil Rights Movement ended with the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Some argue that the movement is not yet over because the goal of full equality has not been achieved. Radical problems still existed after 1968, and urban poverty among blacks represented a worsening problem. Beginning in the 1970’s children were bused outside their school districts to desegrated schools, and new affirmative action programs attempted to address the questions of equal opportunity for blacks, other minorities, and women.

W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in great Barrington, Massachusetts. A descendent African-American, French, and Dutch ancestors, he demonstrated his intellectual gifts at an early age. He graduated from high school at age 16, as valedictorian and only black in his graduating class of 12. He was orphaned shortly after his graduation and was forced to fund his own college education. He won a scholarship to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he excelled greatly.

He grew up with many more privileges and advantages than most African- Americans growing up in America at the time. He didn’t suffer economically or with encounters of racism. As violence increased in the South against blacks in the 1880’s, Du Bois’s education was matched by the hard lessons he learned about race relations. He followed reports on lynchings, calling each racially motivated. Through these and other encounters with racial hatred, as well as through his experience teaching in poor black communities in rural Tennessee during the summers. From here on Du Bois began to develop the desire to help blacks improve conditions for all blacks.

Du Bois received his bachelor’s degree from Fisk in 1888, and won a scholarship to attend Harvard University. Harvard considered his high school education and the Fisk degree inadequate preparation for the masters program so they registered him as an undergraduate student. He earned his master’s degree and then his doctoral degree in 1895, becoming the first black to receive that degree from Harvard.

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