Personally, Washington never read books of fiction and thought that liberal arts education for black people was useless. After all, he had believed in the development of a "Talented Tenth," that is, a group of intellectually ambitious black Americans (usually comprised of those who had already achieved middle-class status) who would lead the rest of their race away from the worst influences: 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; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races. Du Bois were two African American leaders who took different approaches to discrimination and segregation experienced by African Americans.
He thought the best way to triumph over racism was to cultivate an educated class, a "talented tenth," as he called it, to fight it in the public.
The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera-house.
Washington thought that social equality would follow economic prosperity, and he urged white business leaders to consider hiring African Americans and to provide investment opportunities to black businessmen.
First, political power, Second, insistence on civil rights, Third, higher education of Negro youth, and concentrate all their energies on industrial education, and accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South... These movements are not, to be sure, direct results of Mr.
As a result of this tender of the palm-branch, what has been the return? WAshington's teachings; but his propaganda has, without a shadow of a doubt, helped their speedier accomplishment.
Accommodation for Washington was the acceptance of segregation in exchange for black people to have opportunities to live and work peacefully in the South.
He did not support black migration to Northern and Midwestern cities but, instead, encouraged black people to "cast down their buckets where they [were]" and find work in the agrarian and burgeoning manufacturing economies.
For Du Bois, accommodation amounted to capitulation.
He argued that economic success actually made African Americans more likely to experience violence in the form of lynching.
The policy of accommodation, he argued, had been in fact pursued for years, with nothing but discrimination, racial violence, and persistent poverty to show for it.
He advocated resisting Jim Crow legally, first by persuading the federal government to pass an anti-lynching law (which it never did).
I know that Du Bois felt that Washington was compromising the future of African Americans by agreeing to not push for higher education for young black men, civic equality and the right to vote. Washington did not describe his approach to race relations as "accommodation," a word which he did not use in his "Atlanta Compromise" speech in 1895.