Washington Vs Du Bois: What was the best course for African Americans?.
African Americans were their own civilization. One that was brutally subjugated, but as diverse in belief and philosophy as any other society. When the slave nation became a nation of freedmen, a lot of doors opened all at once. Unfortunately, there were others standing in front of those doors: white society. To be fair, no social structure, especially the previously slave owning South, could make an easy transition from black livestock to colored fellow citizen overnight. This was an obstacle that the African American people of America would have to jump together. However, how to approach this obstacle met some difference of opinion between black rights advocates Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. While Du Bois's argument that black Americans deserved all the rights synonymous with U.S. citizenship was absolutely valid, Washington had a much more reasonable expectation of how the freed slaves and American society could unite towards equality.
Du Bois hit the nail on the head as far as black legal rights. Blacks were not a subjugate race any longer. Eventually, if not if not immediately, blacks would have to be given equal rights under U.S. law. It was a near guarantee not only because it was fair and moral, but also to keep the Constitution and Civil Rights amendments from becoming hypocritical, which would undermine the document as a whole, including the basic American ideal of universal equality. DuBois encouraged black America to fight for these legal rights through his literature, like the NAACP magazine The Crisis. DuBois, being a highly educated Harvard graduate, realized this fact fairly easily; black rights were very much black and white to him. His belief that blacks must be granted immediate full rights as U.S. citizens could be realized through governmental involvement of court decisions and public aid, including through organizations he helped to found, like the NAACP.