Differences in Political Thoughts of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois

July 17, 2022 by Essay Writer

Booker T. Washington’s speech is similar to W.E.B. DuBois’s essay. However, at the same time it is vastly different. Washington and DuBois both talk about the progression of Negro men, but Washington talks more about the future than DuBois, and Washington is more focused on bringing the white and black races together than DuBois.
Both Washington and DuBois talk about the progression of Negro men. Washington states that the Negro race started out small with pumpkins and chickens and how they have evolved and helped to invent and produce things such as steam engines and buggies (Washington). DuBois talks about Negro leaders and how they evolved and led others to overcome obstacles and make known to white leaders how wrong slavery is (DuBois). They sound like completely different kinds of progression and in a way, they are. However, they are the same because both sides of progression helped to better the African-American race and how they are viewed as a whole.

Washington vaguely mentions the past while it is the sole focus of DuBois’s essay. DuBois mentions a number of African-American leaders and quotes some of them talking about how they influenced white men in charge to do something about the slavery movement (DuBois). He is more focused on showing the history behind how slavery changed than what to look forward to in the future. Washington mentions the past but is more focused on the future. He says, “you can be sure in the future, as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding, and unresentful people that the world has seen” (Washington). DuBois talks more about the past history and Washington focuses more on how he hopes the future will pan out.

Washington is very focused on bringing the white and black races together, while DuBois is talking about a time when the two races were not on good terms. DuBois quotes three men, Phillis Wheatley, Paul Cuffe, and Benjamin Banneker who were voicing their opinions to Thomas Jefferson about slavery and in a way, scolding him (DuBois). This could be said an effort to bring white and blacks together down the road. However, the main point is that slavery needs to be abolished so that the black man can enjoy life without having to necessarily deal with and obey the white man. Washington uses an analogy of a ship that needs water and another vessel says lower your bucket; He goes on to talk about how both the white and black races need to lower their bucket to others and get help from each other so that they can be successful and progress together (Washington). Washington is far more focused on the whites and blacks working together and getting along to move forward while DuBois is more focused on the leaders trying to influence the white man to get rid of slavery.

Both Washington and DuBois made some great and very influential points. The speech and essay are fairly similar but vastly different in that they focus on different periods of time. Both of them talk about the progression of Negro men, but Washington focuses more on the future while DuBois focuses on the past, and Washington is more focused on bringing the black and white races together than DuBois is. Both Washington’s speech and DuBois’s essay were very moving.


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