This video from The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow identifies two major leaders in the black community during the era of Jim Crow: Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. By the turn of the 20th century, Washington was an incredibly popular figure who, among many accomplishments, had become the leader of the Tuskegee Institute and started the National Business League. Washington maintained that African Americans could achieve economic progress and spiritual growth but only by accepting the confines of Jim Crow. Du Bois, on the other hand, attacked Washington’s methodology publicly and emphasized the importance of intellectual rigor and equality for African Americans in all aspects of American life, with no exceptions. Nowhere were his verbal assaults on Washington as strong as in his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk.
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