Life of African Americans in the period after the civil war was
stimulatingly difficult. Among the host of challenges were the Black codes
which made their life no better than it was before the civil war. The Congress
promised to emancipate African Americans from slavery, but it appeared as if
blacks were still deprived of their basic rights. They still did not achieve the
status equal to that of the whites. During this time of political unrest two
prominent African American spokespersons, Booker T. Washington and
W.E.B Du bois arose and put forward their views about how this racial
conflict could be ended and the blacks and whites could be united. They both
strived real hard to help blacks achieve recognition of the civil and political
promised by the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.
They even wanted blacks to rise out of poverty. Although their final goals
were the same, the route that they took to it differed drastically. Du Bois
could be categorized as a person who was more liberal while Booker T.
Washington chose to take the more conservative path. Knowing the
differences between Washington's and W.E.B Du Bois's ideas as a
B Du Bois, 38) Higher education and hard work could uplift them from this servitude and he knew that he could assist them through it. They had suffered a lot of hardships through this period of time. B Du Bois put this insight into their minds and made them realize that they should rebel against servitude and fight for equal rights and status as the whites. Washington's program of achieving civil and political rights for the blacks also had its own shortcomings. Washington's approach was more moderate as he seemed to be averse to rapid change. He believed that the black race had been transplanted by the foolishness of its forefathers( W. He insisted on self reliance and self- respect. Du Bois, unlike Washington did not preach surrendering to white supremacy. B Du Bois were people with conflicting personalities.