W. E. B dubois (1868-1963)

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W.E.B Dubois


Booker T. Washington


  • Born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

  • studied at Harvard University and, in 1895, became the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard.

  • Du Bois criticized Washington for not demanding equality for African Americans, as granted by the 14th Amendment.

  • Du Bois fought what he believed was an inferior strategy, subsequently becoming a spokesperson for full and equal rights in every realm of a person's life.

  • Claimed Washington's strategy would serve only to perpetuate white oppression

  • advocated political action and a civil rights agenda (he helped found the NAACP in 1909)

  • Du Bois’s philosophy of agitation and protest for civil rights flowed directly into the Civil Rights movement which began to develop in the 1950's and exploded in the 1960's

  • Washington believed that African-Americans would gain respect from the white community if they had trade skills

  • Born to a slave on April 5, 1856

  • Booker’s mother, Jane, worked as a cook for plantation owner James Burroughs. His father was an unknown white man, most likely from a nearby plantation.

  • After the Civil War, he and his mother moved to West Virginia where he worked in a salt mine and then went to school in the evening.

  • He founded the Tuskegee Institute which grew immensely and focused on training African Americans in agricultural pursuits

  • He reassured whites that nothing in the Tuskegee program would threaten white supremacy or pose any economic competition to whites.

  • Washington stated that African Americans should accept disenfranchisement and social segregation as long as whites allow them economic progress, educational opportunity and justice in the courts.

  • This started a firestorm in parts of the African-American community, especially in the North.

  • He urged blacks to accept discrimination for the time being and concentrate on elevating themselves through hard work and material prosperity.

  • This, he said, would win the respect of whites and lead to African Americans being fully accepted as citizens and integrated into all strata of society.

  • He believed that it was important for blacks to develop good relationships with whites.

  • He was afraid that blacks who demanded equal rights would create ill will between themselves and white Americans

Marcus Garvey


  • Born on August 17th, 1887, in Saint Anne’s Bay Jamaica.

  • His father was a stone mason, and his mother a domestic worker and farmer

  • In 1903, he traveled to Kingston, Jamaica, and soon became involved in union activities.

  • In 1907, he took part in an unsuccessful printer's strike and the experience kindled in him a passion for political activism.

  • In 1910, he traveled throughout Central America working as an newspaper editor and writing about the exploitation of migrant workers in the plantations.

  • He later traveled to London where he attended Birkbeck College (University of London) and worked for the African Times and Orient Review, which advocated Pan-African nationalism.

  • He returned to Jamaica in 1912 and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) with the goal of uniting all Africans to "establish a country and absolute government of their own advocated political action and a civil rights agenda (he helped found the NAACP in 1909)

  •  He corresponded with Booker T. Washington and traveled to the United States in 1916 to raise funds for a similar venture in Jamaica.

  • He settled in New York City and formed a UNIA chapter in Harlem to promote a separatist philosophy of social, political, and economic freedom for blacks.

  • In 1918, Garvey began publishing the widely distributed newspaper Negro World to convey his message.

  • In August 1920, UNIA claimed 4 million members and held its first International Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Many found his words inspiring, but not all. Some established black leaders found his separatist philosophy ill-conceived.

  • W.E.B. Du Bois, Garvey, "the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America." Garvey felt Du Bois was an agent of the white elite.

  • On June 23, 1923, Garvey was convicted and sentenced to prison for five years for mail fraud.

  • In 1927 he was released from prison and deported to Jamaica.

  • His message of pride and dignity inspired many in the early days of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s including Malcolm X and the Black Panthers

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