December 03, 2005

W.E.B. Dubois

"To gain the sympathy and coöperation of the various elements comprising the white South was Mr. Washington’s first task; and this, at the time Tuskegee was founded, seemed, for a black man, well-nigh impossible."

Although there is some admiration for Booker T. Washington, it is evident that Dubois was saying that Washington basically kissed the white man's behind to get where he is. Well, I look at it in this way, Booker T. Washington paved the way for W.E.B. Dubois to speak as freely as he did. Washington's ideas were not completely revolutionary like Dubois' were, but Dubois would never have been able to speak like that in that time period without someone lightening up the violence of feedback. I'm trying to remember the quote that we discussed in class, about how "Dubois stood on the shoulders of Washington to see everything clearly." I think that is one of the most accurate statements ever said in this class.

One thing that I found incredibly interesting is that W.E.B. Dubois died only one day before Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech (Wikipedia). How amazing would that have been for Dubois to hear that? He and Washington paved the road for King, and I sometimes wonder if it would have made a difference if Dubois heard that speech. Of course, Dubois lived to be 95, so I guess that there isn't much complaining. In history, we only hear about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Now we know a few more of the forefathers of equality.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at December 3, 2005 02:22 PM
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