Thursday, January 25, 2007

SAMPLE ESSAY #2

W.E.B. Du Bois at Odds With Booker T. Washington

Du Bois voiced his first public criticism of Washington in The Souls of Black Folk, a series of essays permeated with his growing resentment. What caught the public eye was the section entitled “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others,” which, though it recognized the Tuskegee educator’s achievements, unmistakably took him to task on a number of counts. Washington’s educational program, declared Du Bois, was “unnecessarily narrow,” and had developed into a “gospel of Work and Money to such an extent as apparently almost completely to overshadow the higher aims of life.” His failure to see, in Du Bois’s estimation, that no educational system could exist “on any other basis than that of the well-equipped college or university,” and his corresponding overemphasis on industrial training was stunting the growth of Black higher education and destroying the opportunity for developing the best minds of the race.

As Du Bois admitted, however, some of the criticism of Washington stemmed from “mere envy” and from “the disappointment of displaced demagogues and the spite of narrow minds.” Even Du Bois’s own attacks occasionally showed a distinctly personal element. But Washington could afford to me magnanimous; the fact that the Anti-Slavery Society, a British organization, should have felt it necessary to ask his advice before extending a welcome to Du Bois demonstrates how completely Washington dominated the scene. It was this very domination which the opposition group so resented. Their differences with Washington sprang from a sincere and significant disagreement on the approach to Black advancement, but mainly they feared that the ascendancy of the “Tuskegee Machine,” as Du Bois called it, had given Washington a power over Black affairs which they felt should not be vested in any individual.

In the realm of civil rights Washington had spoken against disenfranchisement and lynching, but his protest was far too mild for Du Bois, and his voluntary surrender of full citizenship had “without a shadow of a doubt” aided White society’s supposed design to take away the Black ballot and assign Blacks to “a distinct status of civil inferiority.” Furthermore, Du bois asserts, Washington’s emphasis on self-help released White society, Northern or Southern, from any and all responsibility to the betterment of its Black counterpart. It was not a problem for one race or for one region, as Washington tended to think, but a problem for the nation as a whole. For Du Bois, a Black could not hope for success “unless his striving be not simply seconded, but rather aroused and encouraged, by the initiative of the richer and wiser environing group.”

Finally, Du Bois warned of a group of “educated and thoughtful” Blacks who were alarmed by some of Washington’s theories and who had never accepted whole-heartedly his leadership, thrust upon them as it had been by “outer pressure.” Their criticism had been largely hushed by public opinion, but they now felt “in conscience bound” to ask of the nation three things: the right to vote, civic equality, and the education of youth according to ability. So far as Washington preached thrift, patience, and industrial training for the masses, they would support him. “But,” Dubois concludes, “so far as Mr. Washington apologizes for injustice, North or South, does not rightly value the privilege and duty and voting, belittles the emasculating effects of caste distinctions, and opposes the higher training and ambition of our brighter minds – so far as he, the South, or the Nation, does this – we must unceasingly and firmly oppose them.”
During the last twelve years of his life Washington was pursued relentlessly by his self-appointed gadfly, Du Bois. Soon abandoning the measured, restrained tones of The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois elaborated his attack to take issue with Washington on almost every point of his program. This is not to say that the public viewed them as champions of opposing armies, as Du Bois often characterized their ideological relationship; for most laymen of the time had not even heard of Du Bois. But within the narrow circle of Blacks anxious to have a part in determining race leadership and program, the struggle between Washington and Du Bois was of real significance.
Except for a common dedication to the cause of race advancement, the personalities of the two men seem to differ as widely as their ideas. Washington was a practical realist, interested primarily in attaining tangible goals; Du Bois was romantic, willing and eager to fight for principle even at the expense of the surer gains he saw as the fruits of compromise. In contrast to Du Bois’s poetic temperament, Washington’s was simple, direct, prosaic. Though Du Bois as an intellectual liked to deal with ideas, while Washington preferred men and things, Du Bois was by far the more emotional. Washington was first and last an American, while Du Bois characterized himself first and last as Black. Washington possessed a genuine humility and an ability to identify himself with the common man; Du Bois was imperious, egocentric, and aloof. To Du Bois, Washington’s faith in man and God was somewhat naive.

In his critique of the Tuskegee philosophy, Du Bois denied the hypothesis on which Washington’s program rested: the necessity of cooperation with the White South. He could not agree that there was a solidarity of interest between the Southern Black and the Southern White which made the race problem one to be solved from within. The price for cooperation and support, according to Do Bois, was too high: “Today the young Negro of the South who would succeed cannot be frank and outspoken. . . . He must flatter and be pleasant, endure petty insults with a smile, shut his eyes to wrong. . . . His real thoughts, his real aspirations, must be guarded in whispers.” Even had he rationally accepted Washington’s premise, Du Bois would likely have found it hard to follow him emotionally; for to Du Bois the White man was an enemy rather than a friend.

Since both men were educators, their divergence in educational philosophy became the focal point of their most widely publicized and ideologically telling disagreement. To Du Bois, an intellectual who had no doubt that the really important things in life lay in the realm of the mind, Washington’s emphasis on bank accounts and ownership of property was an abhorrent debasement of human (and especially Black) potential. Deploring the fact that “for every social ill the panacea of wealth has been urged,” he insisted that “the object of all true education is not to make men carpenters, it is to make carpenters men.” He wailed at Washington’s sense that education should begin at the bottom and expand upward.

He therefore championed the cause of higher education for the best Black minds at institutions like Fisk, Atlanta, and Howard, setting forth the doctrine of the “Talented Tenth,” a term which became the trade-mark of his educational philosophy: “The Talented Tenth of the Negro race must be made leaders of thought and missionaries of culture among their people. No others can do this work and Negro colleges must train men for it. The Negro race, like all other races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men.”

Washington vigorously denied that he opposed the higher training and ambition of the brighter minds of the race. “I would not by any means have it understood,” he insisted, “that I would limit or circumscribe the mental development of the Negro student.” Recalling the many industrial schools of Germany, where Du Bois, ironically, received much of his education, he made plain his opposition to the “ill-advised” notion that industrial education meant class education to which Blacks should be confined. Industrial education “should be given in a large measure to any race, regardless of color, which is in the same stage of development as the Negro,” he maintained.

70 comments:

Marina Jaschek said...

This essay is too lengthy and uncompelling. It is unclear what the author is trying to convey due to the large amount of quotations. There also needs to be more language variety.

Christopher Clancey said...

I thought the essay was pretty good. I didn't notice many errors, but I was concerned about one thing. Do you have to start a new paragraph every time there's a quote? If so, then the author needs to work on that.

Nathan Violet said...

It seems like Du Bois was mostly driven by his resentment at not being the leading figure in the Black cause. Washington had risen to the top, so he must have an ability to lead; meaning that he deserves to be where he is. Washington had also accomplished many things, and Du Bois even admitted that much of his opposition was based on a personal vendetta. All in all, Washington comes off as being the much more competent and cooperative, if not better, leader.

Raina Kelley said...

This essay was not able to hold my interest, i found it to be very dull. I also felt that there was an over usage of quotations, making the essay choppy. I felt the conclusion was unsatisfactory and that it was missing something.

Heather Huey said...

Du Bois, although a romantic, did not press for practical ideas. His elitist accusations against Washington were unprovoked, and therefore his followers few. Du Bois' failure to appeal to the common man worked against him in his quest to gain public appeal.

Sam Newson said...

First off for Charlie I would like to throw up the analogie of Radiohead and Oasis as Du Bois and Booker Washington. Both educated as bands and both gaining imfamy through different ways. As Washington, Oasis was very public and wrote about and for the working class of Britain while Radiohead scorned bands such as Oasis for their quick, unprompted rise to popularity. While lacking depth, Oasis gained popularity, where Radiohead's popularity was slower but stronger in the long run due to better quality.

That was my analogy.

I really like Du Bois's quote “unless his striving be not simply seconded, but rather aroused and encouraged, by the initiative of the richer and wiser environing group.” This is the appitamy of "it's easier to talk about change than envoke it." I enjoy it's application throughout time.

Tyler Rexius said...

It was a well written essay without a ton of errors i suppose. However, i was hardly impressed by the fact that the writer kept using quotes from the original writing intead of the writers own thoughts. It was more so a problem (for me) in the first half half or so of the essay.

Garrett Jubie said...

It was awsome didnt notice many errors and was brilliantly written I enjoyed the use of limited language variety it was good and the style of it over all was quite great
I liked that last paragraph it was intelegently written with some skill home slice.
CHARA
tpppf

Sam Newson said...

The wording was bland but it was more the comparisson of the two leaders that compelled me. I like their parrallel causes but completely different paths (I couldn't think of a better word).

Jessica Bascom said...

After reading this essay I have gained a better understanding of the relationship between W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, but my interest wasn't kept throughout the essay. I also noticed some typos.

Charlie Offenbacher said...

A well-written essay overall. Excellent word choice, near-impeccable grammar. However, perhaps due to unfamiliarity with the subject content and the lack of a persuasive point, I found the essay difficult to follow. Did anyone else think so too? Actually, since I just happened to read Marina's comment...I agree with her statement. Essay was too long and unwieldy, but in it's defense - it was written with a powerful command of the English language.

"...afford to me magnanimous." - A minor error, but undermines my confidence in their proof-reading. Combined with the humorous error Ahren pointed out, "Do Bois", I am not postive that the author took enough time for review.

I am also unsure of the validity of the capitalization of 'White' and 'Black' in this context. Anyone else know?

Karis Davie said...

Du Bois and Washington should have just set aside their differences and worked together. If they did that then they would have gotten a lot more accomplished instead of arguing all the time. They were both smart so why not use there different views on issues to there advantage? Well too late for that because they're dead.

Davida Grimes said...

This essay is very well organized and makes good points and connections throughout. At times the writing seems a little distant. I agree with its objectivity, but not its passiveness.

Anonymous said...

Garret, your are nonsensical and you don't make any sense. You should rewrite that with some periods.

Jennifer Duce said...

I felt it was obvious that Du Bois had a personal dislike for Washington in the first place, and therefore his criticism was on more of a personal level. What starts as a one sided attack, ends with comparisons of the two men, how they are not very similar even though they have so much in common. Du Bois stood for more of the black man as Washington stood for more of the common man.

Raina Kelley said...

Christopher Clancey, i disagree with you in the way that the essay was pretty good. If you are talking about conventions i suppose it was pretty good but content wise i feel it lacked quite a bit. You only have to change paragraphs when you the person you are quoting changes.

Tailor Hausmann said...

I liked this essay, but I thought that it was a little longer than it needed to be. It was kind of hard for me to understand some of the ideas in the beginning.

Ahren Baesler said...

In my opinion, this essay was bit hard to follow and featured a number of spelling mistakes. One that seemed to stick out to me was, "The price for cooperation and support, according to Do Bois, was too high..." Although this simple mistake is in name, "Du Bois", it takes away from the quality of the essay when one of the main focal points is misspelled.

The essay seemed to have a tone of dislike for Washington, which gave it a slanted opinion which was hard to agree with. Although I, myself, do not know much about Washington, I believe he should recieve a fair amount of coverage.

A particular sentence did give justice to Washington, though. "Washington possessed a genuine humility and an ability to identify himself with the common man; Du Bois was imperious, egocentric, and aloof." This gives both men equal justice, and outlines the basic qualities that make them who they are.

Overall, the essay had a clear point, but through me off with some minor spelling mistakes, a bit of opinionated slant, and a drifting off from subject. I do give the writer credit, however, for taking the time to actually backup his/her arguments with facts and examples.

Zoe Garcia said...

This essay is a good analysis of Du Bois critism of Booker T. Washington. There were a few problems, one of them being that the fourth paragraph could've been cut in halfish, and the second one being that the conclusion didn't really feel like a conclusion.

Leah Sikora said...

Sample essay #2 effectively outlines the relationship between W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, and highlights the major differences in ideas of African-american advancement between two African-american leaders. In a time of oppression and segregation these two men could not have disagreed more on how to go about raising the social standards of their race. Washington favored a slower, patient, and compromising road to equality whereas Du Bois demanded equality by immediate action. Washington saw himself first as an American and second as an African-american and thought that hard work and self-reliance were the ways to earn respect. Du Bois, in contrast, saw himself as first an African-american and couldn't bear the discrimination. He believed that as human beings African-americans should not have to work as hard as they did just to earn their human rights.

christopher clancey said...

garrett jubie-
wow that was the most hilarious thing i have ever read, tpffffffff CHARA CHARA CHARA!!!!!

Shane Smith said...

In the fifth paragraph Du Bois is spelled wrong.

Daphne Garcia said...

Overall, the sentences are well formed and the language is thought out. In the beginning of the essay, the ideas are a bit unorganized.

Karis Davie said...

also way too many quotes, its like there are so many " " my eyes cant work with it haha GARDETTO

Charlie Offenbacher said...

To Sam Newson -

The application of the Oasis v. Radiohead argument here is absolutely ridiculous. You're just angry cause What's The Story? [Morning Glory] is the second best-selling album in UK history.

You absolutely undermined your validity with that statement.

PS You're my Wonderwall:P

Marlee McVey said...

The writer obviously has great knowledge of the topic. While the essay does jump around here and there, it doesn't take away from getting their point accross. The writer always has their thesis statement firmly in mind.

Anonymous said...

I like the way you spelled type o because i really dont know how

Jessica Roberts said...

The overall this essay was written well and it gave good information. Du Bois and Washington seemed to have to same goal, they just went about reaching them in very different ways. I think that the quotes that the author used worked well, but maybe there were too many.

Anonymous said...

K-bone ya spelled Gardetto wrong actually not I just wanted to give a shout out

Christopher "Fancy" Clancey said...

Raina Kelley-
I thought it was good because of the lack of error in the essay, but i couldn't agree with you more about how boring it was!

Sam NEwson said...

I think that the quotes were really helpful to the writers cause and helped portray his ideas.

Josiah Kenworthy said...

Hey how's it going everyone? This essay was horrible, oh asian men CHARA

Emilie Chase said...

Overall this essay is very much to the point, that is that Washington is bad and Du Bois is good, I am not sure if the writer ment to portray that idea. There is an abundance of quotes, probably a few to many, I do appriciate most of them. The quotes support the overall idea.

Tailor Hausmann said...

Shane Smith- I wouldn't have noticed the error if you didn't tell me. Thank you

Jessica Roberts said...

To Tyler: Try using some capitalization on your I's.

Heather Huey said...

Sam Newson -

"epitome"

"attractive"

Don't worry. Bad spellers are people too.

Sam Newson said...

Oasis only sold a gross amount of albums because they appealled to the masses instead of making quality music. It's my same stance on why so many people like rap. It lacks substance but it's what the people want right now.

Anonymous said...

YEAH WUD UP DUCE??? this is bruce your house is brown on ridgeway

AKA The Jubester said...

YEAH I LIKE THE QUOTES THEY WERE HELPFUL AND PROVIDED A variation on it

Nathan Violet said...

I love Bacon????

Anonymous said...

WHO IS JOSHIA KENWORTHY WTHECK TYLER SPOONER IS A SPOON ER ER

Leah Sikora said...

In contrast to the opinions of many of my classmates I felt that this essay was very interesting and a valuable read despite the grammatical errors mentioned by Charlie and Ahren. It is a good demonstration of the Man vs. himself conflict of African-americans rather than the Man vs. Man type of conflict between African-americans and whites as we more commonly understand. There was a huge amount of pressure on African-americans not only from the outside, but the inside as well. The struggle that these people went through was greater than anything most, even African-american sympathetic, whites could understand.

Christopher Ryan Hot Tub Lion Clancey said...

Hih hop is dead, ask Nas.

josiah kenworthy said...

i like hot sweaty men.

TYLER SPPPPPPPOONER said...

People are having way too much fun on this thing how mature are you guys fareal

Sam Newson said...

I agree with Leah Sikora and her previous stance.

*I spelled well

Daphne Garcia said...

In regards to Sam Newson's earlier analogy, the validity is questionable, due to the fact that Radiohead lacks this so called "quality".

Anonymous said...

Yo Special K Yeah you live on Zephyr and i drove by you really creepily that one time

Tyler Rexius said...

Jessica, take back your comment and i'll give back you shoe

Sam Newson said...

Death to Daphne!!!

Sam Newson said...

Death to Daphne!!!

Sam Newson said...

Nathan,
your comment was right on the spot and I agree with it 100%. Keep up the amazing work.
ps. oh yeah, and i love you

Sam Newson said...

Death to Daphne!!!

Jessica Roberts said...

To Leah: I really liked your comment. It made the essay make more sense to me.

r adams said...

so this one time i was playing crash bandiccot and i leveled up and yelled cause i was sooo excited then my dog bit my face and carved an F on my cheek, i was pretty t-o'd at the time but i stil like my dog and play crash bandicoot

Ronner Dale said...

In tickling my fancy, I believe the essay was written in a way that appealed to Booker T. and his beliefs. I sense this in the force because the writer of this essay wrote: "In the realm of civil rights Washington had spoken against disenfranchisement and lynching, but his protest was far too mild for Du Bois". Notice the 'far too mild', I see a hint of "what a whore" in his voice. Oh and check this sucker out: "Washington’s emphasis on bank accounts and ownership of property was an abhorrent debasement of human (and especially Black) potential." 'Debasement'! Eat it De Bois. Booker T. can take you anyday. De Bois thought too much on the "what if" and talked about doing something like the UN council. Booker T., I got your back. You tried to help African-Americans down to the individual. You quickly tried to get them on their feet when others didn't. Your work has now got them running the NBA and 3 other of our national sports.

Anonymous said...

"This is very nice...Wa wa wee wa!"
-Borat Sagdiyev

"Come see my movie film, or I will be execute"

lol said...

5555 for an intense game of AoM

lol said...

5555 for an intense game of AoM

Joshia Kenworth said...

Who else likes hot sweaty men???

Daphne Garcia said...

Don't take it so personally Sam, it's not your fault Radiohead sucks.

Jessica Roberts said...

To Tyler Paul: Capitalize your I's and give me back my shoe!!!!

Leah Sikora said...

Is there a way that we can avoid posting useless comments?? Please??

Sam Newson said...

I don't hope Daphne dies. This was not a useless comment.

Leah Sikora said...

I'm glad that I could help you out Jessica!

Ronner Dale said...

so technically... um well. yep. wwwhat? see me rolling on my segway! do 'er, do 'er now. ha good one. thanks. no problem. no really thanks. its fine. no please let me wash your feet. um... ok.

Leah SIkora said...

I think there is too much focus on the grammatical elements of the essay in many of the comments. The content is what's important.

Marlee McVey said...

to Ahren:
I agree that the spelling errors did distract a little, but I don't agree with you that the writer strayed from the subject, he always seemed to keep it firmly in mind. You also seem to contradict yourself when you said that Washington was unfairly treated, but then you gave an example that he was. You also said "through" when you should have said "threw".

Anonymous said...

To Marlee:

Thank you for the comment. I believe that the author still was a bit slanted towards Du Bois. The reason that I included that quote was to show that, at least, he had some bit of respect for him.

I can appreciate your criticism on my "drifting from topic" argument. I can agree with you on that. After rereading it, I can now see that the author actually did stay pretty close to the ideal perspective and ideas.

I wish I wouldn't have spelled "threw" wrong in my comment. That is complete irony that I was talking about misspellings, and then I turn around a do one myself. I have an "excuse" though. I use Firefox at home (built-in spell checker), and I can't function in IE. I know that is a horrible excuse but it was worth a try. :):)

Thanks for the response.

Ahren B. said...

Woops! I forgot to put my name in. The above post is from me. :)