Essay on American Activists

Published: 2021/11/30
Number of words: 1438

W.E.B Dubois and Booker T. Washington are two of the most influential people in the American society who fought for the African American rights from the political perspective. The two activists argue differently to make sure that the African American voices are heard and have space in the American political forums. Both leaders had clashing ideologies that gave way for the today civil right movement in America, and that is why the modern society is enjoying the sweats of them and their struggle. [1]When slavery was abolished, most of the African Americans started projects on the way to integrate themselves into the mainstream of American society as equal allies. Martin Luther King, W.E.B Dubois, and Booker T Washington are one of the most leaders that led the movement of American civil rights movement in the late twentieth century. All of these leaders each had a different idea that could help them get the place in the white land as equal in whatever they do, and some had different approaches that were both favoring African American to gain civil right equality.[2] King in his power he was able to organize peaceful protests in the streets of America to push for equal civil rights for African American to make an end to racism. According to the book, most of the ideas of Washington and Martin agreed in almost everything unlike that of Dubois. King’s views are said to be in common with those of Booker T. since he attended the Washington School, and it is believed there is where he rose to prominence to try accomplishing what Booker T had already started.

Need an essay assistance?
Our professional writers are here to help you.
Place an order

In case of any job opportunities given to the African American society, they were supposed to work extra hard to prove that they are unique human beings and they can excel and perform extremely high at challenging job more than the whites. Booker T argued that accepting the whites’ people job placed the African American in inferior position which made him bitter and start the movement. These leaders are supposed to be working coherently for equality of all the African American civil right equality by all looking for jobs that will make them have the economic level, but they can still be considered inferior at the workplace because of their skin color. Booker T and Martin argue that the civil rights of African Americans cannot come along because of their economic status. Dubois was always opposing the civil rights leaders the likes of Booker T in the early 20th century, but both had good strategies for the African American to have a position in the whites’ society when it comes to political affairs. Dubois believed in political action and education and also acquiring of full citizenship of Africana Americans will pave the way for them in achieving the civil right equality in that era. [3]At the start of the revolution Dubois was in agreement with Washington, but as time went by, he realized that there were some flaws in Booker T strategies and ideas hence he started rivaling the plans in the process. Dubois in his book of “soul of Black Folk” he argues that the men of black community should work hard and at the same time delicate their movement in opposing the work of their civil right leader in this context Washington.

Dubois, Washington and Martin they both had same goals of bettering the future of the African Americans but at different approaches since they never lived at the same era. Washington and King had different methods to fight against racism, whereby each path had positive and negative characteristics in the fight for the blacks in the society. Washington’s beliefs in the improvement of the African American surroundings by offering good education that will lead them to better jobs that will improve their economic status and work in the same environment with the whites as equal with little discrimination. When it comes to comparison between Dubois and Washington, they had different perspectives about their culture and country depending on their background. [4]Dubois was born in North Barrington he was possessed with the idea of socialism and communism has gone to school in Europe that motivated him in founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NACCP) that was the forefront of fighting for the civil rights of the blacks in both Europe and the United States. On the other hand, Washington was born in south Virginia by a black mother a cook and white father a farmer and the fact that he was a half race it made people have less interest in his ideas since by then the racism was at peak level. [5]There was a tremendous intellectual war in the US history between the two legendary leaders among their views and strategies that awakened the interests of the people from north and south as well as the other white racist that occupied their territory. The rivalry was merely about how the African Americans who had gained freedom from slavery should co-exist within the whites’ region that was many in numbers at the place. Even though the two legendary leaders were on the opposite sides depending on their ideas they both had one thing in common and that was to see the blacks have equal rights with every other race in the country and the issues of racism were no more in their land.

Worry about your grades?
See how we can help you with our essay writing service.

Martin had very moving and inspiring speeches that moved the African American souls and began revolution towards fighting for their rights throughout the entire country. King argued that all men are created equal despite their color and background, and they both deserve to be treated well in any situation be it at job places or any social place including the health services being offered in their community. The king speeches became nonviolent unlike that of other leaders who in sighted the blacks by telling them that the only way to get change is through a ballot or a bullet and gave rise to violent revolution. [6]Booker T and Dubois were very much challenged when it comes to the war against discrimination even from their kind who never believed in change and hated what they fought for understanding that they cannot change that fact of racism in the society since it was very dominant. In contrast to Booker T, W.EB Dubois believed in education and civil rights as the only paramount way to equality and by adhering to demand of the whites will make them inferior and second class citizens in the society. After the death of Washington in 1915, Dubois dropped from NAACP and continued to fight for civil rights for any black around the world and moved to Ghana where he was naturalized and died in 1963 and Martin was left in charge of the war for better African American living standards in the country. Martin Luther easily adapted the approaches of both the Dubois and Washington which made it easy for him to make it a success in ending the discrimination based on race.


Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt, and Manning Marable. Souls of black folk, pp.59-120. Routledge, 2015.

King, Martin Luther. The Radical King, pp.30-199.Vol. 11. King Legacy (Hardcover), 2015.

Rabaka, Reiland. WEB Du Bois, pp.30-99. Routledge, 2017.

Stein, Judith. ““Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others”: The Political Economy of Racism in the United States.” In Renewing Black Intellectual History, pp. 31-62. Routledge, 2015.

Washington, Booker T. Free associations: Memories of a psychoanalyst, pp.29-78 Routledge, 2017.

Washington, Booker T. Industrial education for the Negro,pp.44-86. Krill Press via PublishDrive, 2015.

  1. Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt, and Manning Marable. Souls of black folk, pp.59-120. Routledge, 2015.
  2. King, Martin Luther. The Radical King, pp.30-199.Vol. 11. King Legacy (Hardcover), 2015
  3. 3 .Washington, Booker T. Free associations: Memories of a psychoanalyst, pp.29-78 Routledge, 2017.
  4. Stein, Judith. ““Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others”: The Political Economy of Racism in the United States.” In Renewing Black Intellectual History, pp. 31-62. Routledge, 2015.
  5. Washington, Booker T. Industrial education for the Negro, pp.44-86. Krill Press via PublishDrive, 2015.
  6. Rabaka, Reiland. WEB Du Bois, pp.30-99. Routledge, 2017.

Cite this page

Choose cite format:
Online Chat Messenger Email
+44 800 520 0055