Of Mr. Booker T. Washington And Others Summary

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“Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others” W.E.B. Du Bois’ article, “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others,” offers a critical insight of Washington’s work as a civil rights activist. In the face of oppression, Washington was able to fight against it and achieve a significant position in society. Du Bois describes him as a “notable figure in a nation of seventy-million…(who began) with so little (and yet) has done so much (540),” giving hope to many African-Americans. Despite his success, Du Bois labels Washington as a black antagonist because, although he was an influential leader that pursued economic achievement for African Americans, he accepted black inferiority and believed that African Americans were required to prove their worthiness of full economic and political rights. The first act of submission Washington request of African Americans is to “give up political power (542).” According to Du Bois, political equality is very important in order for African Americans to advance economically; without it, politicians African American did not appoint will rule over them. Du Bois remarks, “It is utterly impossible…for workingmen and property-owners to defend their rights…without the right of suffrage (544).” The power to influence others would provide blacks with a sense of mutuality and respect, therefore, removing the “veil” that separates the…show more content…
Du Bois argues that Washington “insists on thrift and self-respect, but at the same time counsels a silent submission to civic inferiority such as is bound to sap the manhood of any race in the long run (544),” suggesting that it would be difficult to earn respect within their culture as well as outside groups if African Americans continued to accept their position in society. This would lead to the subordination of the African American civilization; thus, increasing their existence within the

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