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In Flight
Forced Smiles
Happy Oblivion
Ducking Destiny
Chance of Showers
Chance Encounters
The Thinking Dog
The Race
Flight of the Ostrich
Monster Under My Bed
The Rose Garden
Window Shopping
Dramatic Romances
Musings on Nature
A Day at School
The Holy Light
A Rainy Night


The Roller Coaster
The Purse
Sammy's Lesson
The Legend of the Hungry Dragon
Spirits in the Night


My Philosophy of Life
Five Scholarship Questions
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois
Prophets for God
My Service Project (1999-2000)
My Service Project (1997-1998)
The Beauty of the Forest
Reaching Beyond

The Pastry Menace
A College Just for You!
The Rights of Plants

Literary Analyses
Saving Harry:  Clearing the Controversy Over Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Essays on Wuthering Heights
The Creature in Frankenstein and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Edna's Decision in The Awakening
Character Comparison in Kate Chopin's The Awakening
Why The Chosen?

Research Papers
Race, Norms, and the Sidewalk
Analytical Exercise
The Validity of Comparing Governments
The British System: Legal-Rational Or Traditional?
The Importance of Framing
Madison on Factions
Spirituality and the Brain
Sea Water and Conductivity

Clinic Violence: A "Moral" Way to Bring About Change?
Graduation Speech
The Call to Relationship
Mark Twain Speaks Again (original version)
Mark Twain Speaks Again (shortened version)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Year 2000
Hunting for Sport?

Mercury Spill Exercise
Chocolate Feature Exercise
Character Sketch
Reaction Story
Aspiring Actress Profile
"Shark Attack" Exercise
Villa Maria Academy Hosts Diversity Panel

Coastal Vacation

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois

"The Negro problem." This archaically-named "problem" plagued America since its inception. What is the best way to treat the African-Americans whose ancestors had been forcibly dragged to this country? The obvious answer, to treat them as equal citizens, seemed like a radical idea after the Civil War, when although people believed slavery was wrong, they did not believe that treating African-Americans as second-class citizens was wrong.

Two leaders of the African-American community, Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois, had different solutions to the so-called "Negro problem." Washington's centered around making peace for the short-term, DuBois's centered around gaining rights for the long-term. Ultimately, DuBois's approach was probably the most successful as far as incorporating African-Americans into society as equals.

Washington realized that tensions between conservative whites and rights-demanding blacks in the South ran high. His solution to the "Negro problem" was to offer to trade African-Americans' social and political rights for some low-level economic opportunities. He reasoned that once blacks educated themselves sufficiently, they would achieve greater and greater things and whites would gladly recognize them as equal to themselves. He did not foresee "separate but equal" schools and did not realize the full extent of Southerners' racism.

DuBois, on the other hand, demanded that African Americans be given their rights. As he saw it, following Washington's plan would just be moving backwards in the fight for equality. With himself as an example, he knew that blacks were capable of achieving great things intellectually if given the chance. He wanted them to be educated according to their own abilities, not just trade school for everyone. DuBois was a visionary, and his ideals would be adopted by the civil rights movement that finally pressed for equality.

Copyright © 2002 Colleen Fischer | Last updated October 7, 2002