In the history of nearly all other races and peoples the doctrine preached at such crises has been that manly  self-respect is worth more than land and houses, and that a people who voluntarily surrender such respect, or cease striving for it, are not worth civilizing.[8]

     In his essay The Talented Tenth DuBois reflected the view that a core of educated, intelligent leadership achieves and promotes the interests of the masses: abolitionism was such an example.

The Negro race, like all races is going to be saved by its exceptional men.  The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; ...Now the training of men is a difficult an intricate task.  Its technique is a matter for educational experts, but its object is for the vision of seers.  If we make money the object of man-training, we shall develop money makers but not necessarily men; if we make technical skill the object of education, we may  possess artisans but not, in nature, men.  Men we shall have only as we make manhood the object of the work of the schools - intelligence, broad sympathy, knowledge of the world that was and is and of the relation of men to it - this is the curriculum of that Higher Education which must underlie true life.  On this foundation, we may build bread winning, skill of hand and quickness of brain with never a fear lest the child and man mistake the means of living for the object of life.[9]

He felt that:

Too little notice has been taken of the work which the Talented Tenth among Negroes took in the great abolition crusade.   From the very day that a  Philadelphia colored man became the first subscriber   to Garrison’s "Liberator," to the day when Negro  soldiers made the Emancipation Proclamation possible,  Black leaders worked shoulder to shoulder with white men in a movement, the success of which would have been impossible without them...

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August 1999