Same Problem: Different Solution

This essay has a total of 923 words and 4 pages.

Same Problem: Different Solution


The African- American Community has been blessed with a multitude of scholars. Two of
those scholars include Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du bois. Both of these men, had a
vision for African- Americans. They wanted to see the advancement of their race of people.
These great leaders just had different viewpoints as to how this should be accomplished.
Mr. Washington's viewpoints are based on his own personal experience and understanding of
politics. Mr. Du bois' viewpoints came from his knowledge of the importance of education
and its ability to break down barriers of color.


Washington and Du bois wanted to see the advancement of the African-American people. The
question was "How could they advance?" There is a twelve-year age difference amongst the
two gentlemen. I could see the difference that a decade could make in the mindsets of the
two gentlemen. Washington is the elder of the two. He was apart of the slavery system not
merely a product of it. He was a slave who was freed. A man without neither a history, nor
a surname to call his own. Du bois was born into a system of freedom. He never experienced
having a master or the lack of freedom to move about as he pleased. He came into the world
and saw problems. He didn't see the long path that had been traveled to get them to the
point that they were at currently. Therefore these men saw different ways of accomplishing
their goals as a race.


In Booker T. Washington's autobiography Up From Slavery , he shares with the reader an
abundance of information as to how he became the man he was. He was born on a plantation
in Franklin County, Virginia. At the earliest moments of his life, he was a laborer,
cleaning the yards, carrying water, and taking corn to the mills. Booker T. Washington
talks about the burden of freedom. He talks about the attitudes of the slaves towards
their masters after emancipation. When the slaves learned they were free there was a
feeling of excitement, followed by one of the reality that they were now responsible for
providing for their families, shelter, food, clothing and a better way of life. He talks
about the connection and bond that they continued to share, as the slaves began to prosper
and the master and his family began to suffer. Washington remembers his new life in West
Virginia. The part where is education was put on the back burner as a result of a need of
income to support his family. But he also remembers his will and determination to gain an
education at any cost. This resulted in him going to school at night and traveling several
miles in order to gain a proper education. Washington eventually gained an education at
Hampton University, and went on to teach. He was also head of Tuskegee University. Mr.
Washington's life experience's taught him that everything has a time and a place. He
painted a picture of a boy in a filthy room with torn and ragged clothes, reading a French
book. He believed that man must have skills and should be able to provide for himself and
his family. He was speaking of economic freedom. He was speaking of working with white
people, to try to make a better place for both races. In many ways, I think he felt it was
more important to have food on your table rather than books in your hands. Mr. Washington
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