In the early twentieth century, there were several different approaches on the question of black equality. African-American figures such as W.E.B Du Bois and Booker T. Washington held opposing views and approached the problem in different ways. They both felt African Americans deserved equality, but Booker T Washington felt that the way to achieve this would be through education. He felt that the creation of Tuskegee Institute would allow African Americans to use education to enter the work force and gain economic equality. W.E.B Du Bois was a critic of Washington and felt that Washington's approach to gaining equality was far too passive. Critics felt that Washington's methods would take a long time and blacks had to work with the white man without demands and protests. Du Bois accused Booker T. Washington of appeasement and demanded for a much more radical approach to the problem. However, I feel that Booker T. Washington approached the problem of black suppression in a correct way because he allowed them to be accepted into society by education and diplomatic matters and because he proved that African-Americans deserved the rights granted to white men by the Constitution.
Booker T. Washington was born as a slave in Hales Ford, Virginia on April 5, 1856. When the United States government freed slaves, he moved to Malden, West Virginia, with his entire family. Booker attended the Hampton Institute, which was a school for African Americans. He is also a proof that a black man can overcome illiteracy and make something of himself. He wrote the book Up From Slavery, and told the world how education changed his life.
In 1879, he was a tutor for his Hampton Institute and this influenced him to see how education drastically improved the lives of African Americans. It also helped him see that blacks could hope for equality if they pursued education. Most of Washington's theories came from his experiences at the Hampton Institute.