The correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington
Adams, Nicholas Philip
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Contained in this thesis is an annotated edition of the correspondence between the African-American leaders W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. Du Bois and Washington would go on to become rivals, their philosophies of education and racial uplift diverging from one another. Du Bois favored vocal protest and higher education, while Washington preferred a gradual approach of vocational education and economic advancement. However, this correspondence sees them attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, to work together. Covering the decade between 1894 and 1904, the letters touch on a variety of political, social, and educational topics at a crucial time for race relations in America. The differences between the two men that would lead to their split - age, regional origin, education, philosophy - are seen in the correspondence, but so too is a spirit of cooperation. These themes are explored in an introductory essay, while other more specific contextual details are provided in the footnotes accompanying the letters. The many individuals mentioned by Du Bois and Washington are annotated, allowing the reader a fuller understanding of the social world of black activism at the turn of the twentieth century. Narrative material is provided to help bridge the gap between letters, and a timeline detailing the relationship between the two men is also included. While some of these letters have been published before, their presentation as part of an annotated correspondence allows for a greater understanding of this primary source material.