The Niagara Movement of 1905 rejected racism and promoted equality.  The ascendency of this view point would coincide with the death of Washington.

     Washington is well known for his 1895 speech at the Atlanta Exposition.[5]  He encouraged both Blacks and whites to "cast down your bucket where you are,":  to accommodate each other for progress in areas of mutual interest.  He advised whites that Blacks would be loyal, self effacing and self sacrificing.   Moreover, "In all things purely social we can be separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress."   He continued, that "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing."

     When the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was established in 1909, its principles included the abolishment of legal injustice, the elimination of racial discrimination, the assurance of the rights of citizenship, the extension of equal opportunity in public education, and equal public accommodations.  For many, Washington’s life, in contrast, was forever stained by his perceived acquiescence in a third class citizenship for Black America.

     DuBois [1868-1963] graduated from Harvard in 1895 as the first African American to receive a doctorate there.  A renowned writer, editor, scholar, educator, historian, sociologist and intellectual, he had a childhood devoid of noticeable racism and color discrimination.  He associated poverty and ignorance with a lack of opportunity, not the color of one’s skin.  One assessment of his is that he

Was a fighter and crusader in his own right, although he never commanded the mass appeal of men like Garvey and Booker T. Washington.  But while they could command large groups, DuBois convinced and converted his disciples.

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August 1999