Equality W. E. B. Dubois had a better idea of equality than Frederick Douglass. Both of these civil rights leaders have lived and experienced a remarkable different life. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery. His mother was a slave and his father was a slave owner. W. E. B Dubois was born free and his parents were free African Americans. Douglass and Dubois education upbringing was a totally different experience. Douglass lived in the slave times. It was illegal to a slave to read and write. Any slave caught reading or writing would be severely punished or even killed.
Slave owners felt that if they learn they will soon rebel and start to fight back. Douglass even grew up not even knowing his own age. His master’s wife is what started off his education with the alphabet behind the master’s back. Through little poor children, He exchanged food for book lessons with the children. He became self-taught in gradually teaching himself to read and write. Which is how he went form slave to free man. Dubois lived in the time after slavery was abolished. It was legal to learn how to read and write. Even with the Jim Crown laws separating blacks and whites.
Dubois excelled in his studies becoming valedictorian of his senior class. His education navigated his way of life. No matter how he thought, planned, or reviewed any part of advocacy. They both had different up bringing that shaped them in there life of civil rights and how to go about solving a problem that they faced. Even in the very different upbringings they both became civil rights leaders fighting for the equality of African Americans. But both Douglass and Dubois had a very different way about getting the rights for African Americans. F.
Douglass was an advocate and an abolitionist for all black people. He expressed excitement in learning how to making anyone see that blacks are equal to every race. He just wanted to be “ treated as equal in the eyes of the white race” (Douglass pg. 3). He taught slaves to read in the south when it was nearly impossible for them to teach themselves. “ The work of instructing my dear fellow slaves was the sweetest engagement with which I was ever blessed” (Douglass, Narrative Of Frederick Douglass pg. 431). This was his idea of independence from his teachings of independence.
He went after every right in order to speak up for those slaves that didn’t have a voice. Education was one of his beliefs that helped him. Telling his story to the world, born a slave but now a free man. He fought for African Americans not are viewed as “property” or “slaves” but as equal to whites and must receive fair treatment. Douglass also in his speeches liberated what Americans in this economy would have done with blacks. In his speech “what the blacks want” he states, “I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us!
Your doing with us has already played the mischief. ” (Douglass). Society’s “America” has already put us in a category. Race we are not superior or equal to no other. Economically we don’t have the means to live out what we strive for. Education wise we have none, we are not sufficient enough to read or write for us to have a better life. Douglass in this speech stresses to leave us alone we are cable of doing bad or good on our own. His would view principle of self-ownership, which he understood to include both the racial and equality.
In his other speech “What to the slave is the fourth of July” Douglass pointed out that slaves plow, plant, and reaping mourns of loss, and using all kinds of mechanicals tools. Proof that they deserved the fuel range of natural rights. In the political “Thought Of Frederick Douglass” he dived into his study of abolitionism. Douglass states “robust conception of mutual responsibility” and the ideas of universal self – ownership, natural rights, limited government, and an ethos of self-independent living (Douglass pg. 3).
Douglass advocated for his equal rights amongst other races, and for equality with the slaves. While Dubois believed hard work, education, equality, race, and economics success was the key to success. Dubois was determined to learn all he could about the world and use that knowledge to help fight against segregation and discrimination. He plunged himself into historical, economic, and philosophical studies of being black in America hoping to elude a cure for the race problem in America. He founded The Niagara Movement to accommodate Booker T. Washington “Atlanta Compromise”.
Washington suggested “African American shouldn’t agitate for social and political equality in return for the opportunity to acquire vocational training and participate in the economic development of the new south” He believed through hard work and earned respect, African Americans would gain the esteem of white and eventually receive full citizenship. Meaning slaves should endure being ridiculed, beaten, demeaned, and disrespected then eventually receive equal rights to slaves. Dubois Niagara Movement “manifesto” in his words “ We want full manhood suffrage and we want it now… we are men! We want to be treated as mean.
And we shall win. ” The movement became the forerunner of the N. A. A. C. P. Dubois believed in a true higher education and voting fights for blacks. In those times slaves didn’t have a right to vote. He believed through education blacks can be equal to whites. The most of his free time he devoted to teaching slaves to read and write. He understood how the international perspective and practical oppressions of social justice. Discrimination was based off ignorance. He became convinced that if each race could learn and understand each other’s truths, there would be no reason to fear or hate each other’s race.
He also felt that through education African Americans could prevail and succeed. Not through violence and protests of people demanding their rights as people of America. Dubois concluded that after slavery ended “African Americans were still viewed as less intelligent, civilized, cultivated, and more prone to violence and crime then white students” (Dubois, Narrative of F. Douglass pg. 3). In order for there to be equality amongst people he started programs to reduce, eliminate color prejudice. W. E. B Dubois wrote a speech titled The Talented Tenth. Black men will rise and become more then there stereotypes. Education and work are the levers to uplift a people. Work alone will not do it unless inspired by the right ideals and guided by intelligence. Education must not simply teach work… it must teach life” (Dubois pg. 15). In conclusion Dubois fought for equal rights of African American people through his teachings, speeches, programs, and lessons. His goal was to make black as equal to whites through education. Not through violence or arguments we can obtain free social justice as righted African American people. But through education we can obtain social equality and be equal to other races.