us history, okay can anyone help with this paper, clueless?

okay i got the intro down but i have no idea what to include in the body paragraph and how she wants us to the sources

In the introduction to his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folks, W. E. B DuBois famously wrote, “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”

This assignment asks you to examine the strategies for the uplifting of the black race of three of the most prominent, yet very different African American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Specific stylistic and other such requirements are available in the Paper Guidelines above.

Please read the following brief texts in order to formulate your response to the paper prompt:

Booker T. Washington:

Full text of Washington’s Atlanta Compromise Speech

Audio excerpt of the above speech (recorded later by Washington)

W. E. B. DuBois:

The Talented Tenth

DuBois’ criticism of Booker T. Washington:

Marcus Garvey:

Audio and text of a Marcus Garvey speech on the Back to Africa movement

“Declaration of the Rights of the ***** Peoples of the World”: The Principles of the

Universal ***** Improvement Association (UNIA)

Part 1 of a PBS Documentary on Garvey – (~ 9 minutes)

Youtube thumbnail


W.E. B. DuBois’ criticism of Garvey

Paper Topic Question:

Three of the most prominent African American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. DuBois, urged radically different strategies for the uplifting of their race. Utilizing the resources above and those from other class materials, BRIEFLY describe each of their approaches and, using these same materials, explain which approach or combination of approaches you think would have been the most successful, were it to have been fully implemented, and why. **Be sure that you tie your answer to the history that we have learned, rather than simply just stating your opinion. **

Note: Please confine your answers to historical events and situations prior to World War II. While it is frequently tempting and often easy to criticize historical actors from the past, be sure that you do so only sparingly. Unfortunately, this country has a legacy of racism, hence the insight of DuBois’ 1903 statement above, that some would argue persists to the present day. Be sure that you engage with the past in historical terms and events, rather than composing an essay about the racist behavior of those in the past. This assignment is asking you to engage with the arguments and strategies of these three civil rights leaders and then to use what you know about 20th century America to decide which strategy (or combination thereof) would have accomplished its goals/been the better plan and why.


1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
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    Your teacher has supplied you with the sources on Booker T Washington, WEB DuBois and Marcus Garvey. Read the articles, watch the video and listen to the audio. Your teacher wants you to look at the three within the context of their own historical era and perspective which is vastly different than ours today. Their's was a period when racial segregation was considered by whites to be legal, just and was widespread among American society. In 1896 the Supreme Court in Plessy vs. Ferguson declared that separate but equal was legal and that ruling justified the segregation of white and black society. Generally, DuBois believed that education was paramount to achieving equality and that what he called the "Talented Tenth" of the ***** race must be well educated and set forth as an example to the rest of Negroes in the value of education and to whites that Negroes were the intellectual and social equal of whites. Washington also believed in the value of education. However, he differed from DuBois because he believed that Negroes should learn skilled trades, farming and other vocational pursuits and over time, they would grow to be accepted as the equal of whites. Garvey believed that white America would never accept Negroes as equals and advocated a return to Africa where they would be able to establish a new life and would be considered the elites in such a society. So the body of your paper can examine each of the three civil rights leaders and their unique and vastly different views of the plight of Negroes and their radically different ideas in how to advance the ***** people in the late 19th and early 20th century. You can highlight how each man's point of view conflicted with the others. As you can see, DuBois, criticized both Washington and Garvey, their methods and ideas. Your teacher wants you to realize that the America of that period thought, believed and behaved very differently than we do today. Also note that blacks did not all think alike, believe in the same ideas or seek the same solutions to common problems because they came from different backgrounds and life experiences. Washington was a former slave, raised and lived in Alabama, and attended a Agricultural college and a seminary college. Garvey was born and raised in Jamaica, had a voracious appetite for reading and attended college in London.DuBois was born in Massachusetts, Harvard educated as a free man and did not experience severe prejudice and segregation until he went to college in the south. Their unique experiences and backgrounds contributed to how they viewed the plight of there fellow blacks and how they formulated there solutions. Your conclusion should be fairly straightforward and based on the 20th century as a whole which strategy or combination thereof would better serve to accomplish the goals of advancing the black cause and why.

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