Parallel to the disagreements of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during the civil rights movements of the 1960's, African American leaders W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington had different strategies to move towards African American progress. Du Bois illustrates his disagreements towards Washington in chapter three in The Souls of Black Folk. Du Bois illustrates in "Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others" that it was more important for Blacks to acquire education, civil and political, rights rather than economic rights, that of which Washington deemed more important in order for Blacks to achieve integrity. .
African Americans were undoubtedly the inferior race during the 1800's, and more specifically, the time period in which Booker T. Washington served as an influential leader to the African American people. However, instead of desiring to work towards equality, he urged his fellow Blacks to accept racism and discrimination, and to remain the inferior race. The answer to the "Negro problem", according to Washington in his "Atlanta Compromise", was to segregate the Blacks from the Whites. As some agreed with Washington and believed he was being realistic, W.E.B. Du Bois was not among them. In contrast, he believed segregation was not the answer to the "Negro problem", and would cause more problems instead. As stated by Du Bois, who disagreed with Washington's tactics, in chapter three of The Souls of Black Folk, "Mr. Washington's program practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro races"(43).
Booker T. Washington advocated economic improvements for the African Americans, but while sacrificing civil rights, political power, and higher education. He believed that the Blacks should work hard and own land, and concentrate on industrial education and the accumulation of wealth in order to gain the respect of the whites, even if it meant suffering from racial inequalities for the time being.