Striving for Equality – Obstacles and Successes us history/Napp Name



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Striving for Equality – Obstacles and Successes

US History/Napp Name: _________________
In 1892 Ida B. Wells, a fiery young African American woman from Tennessee, launched a fearless crusade against lynching. Wells pointed out that greed, not just racial prejudice, was often behind these brutal acts. Writing in the Memphis Free Speech newspaper, she reported that three African American grocers lynched in Memphis had been guilty of nothing more than competing successfully against white grocers.


A mob destroyed the press that printed the
Memphis Free Speech and drove Wells out of town, but she settled in Chicago and continued her campaign. Although Congress rejected an anti-lynching bill, the number of lynchings decreased significantly in the 1900s due in great part to the efforts of activists such as Wells.
Some African American leaders like Wells chose the path of protest, but others recommended different solutions to discrimination. One such person was the influential educator Booker T. Washington. He proposed that African Americans concentrate on achieving economic goals rather than legal or political ones. In 1895, he summed up his views in a speech before a mostly white audience at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. Known as the Atlanta Compromise, the address came amid increasing acts of discrimination against African Americans. Washington urged his fellow African Americans to postpone the fight for civil rights and instead concentrate on preparing themselves educationally and vocationally for full equality.
The Atlanta Compromise speech provoked a strong challenge from W.E.B. Du Bois, the leader of a new generation of African American activists born after the Civil War. Du Bois pointed out in his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk that white Southerners continued to strip African Americans of their civil rights. This was true in spite of the progress African Americans were making in education and vocational training. They could regain that lost ground and achieve full equality, Du Bois argued, only by demanding their rights. Du Bois was particularly concerned with protecting and exercising voting rights. In the years that followed, many African Americans worked to win the vote and end discrimination.

The struggle, however, would prove to be a long one.” ~ The American Vision


1. One idea that both Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois supported is that

(1) African Americans should have increased civil rights.

(2) Vocational training was the best approach to education.

(3) Immigration was responsible for racial segregation.

(4) Jim Crow laws were needed to help African Americans.

3. In The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois identified three paradoxes to Washington’s thinking. One of these was

(1) Washington’s denunciation of higher education for African Americans and his simultaneous lack of acknowledgment of the need for trained black teachers for black common schools and for his own Tuskegee Institute.

(2) Washington’s lack of understanding of how his own experiences were irrelevant to most African Americans’ experience.

(3) Washington’s repudiation of the right to vote for most African Americans while retaining the right to vote himself.

(4) All of the above.
4. W. E. B. Du Bois believed in

(1) The importance of a sense of dignity for African Americans

(2) Separate but equal facilities are acceptable, so long as they are truly equal

(3) Higher education for African Americans

(4) A and C
5. W.E.B. Du Bois was known for advocating

(1) Maintaining things as they were

(2) Rapid movement toward integration

(3) Gradual movement toward integration

(4) Separating the races, but with true equality of services

(5) Acknowledging that blacks will never achieve parity with whites
6. Ida B. Wells was a fearless crusader against

(1) Temperance

(2) Lynching

(3) Integration

(4) Slavery

(5) Religion


2. Which statement best summarizes the beliefs of Booker T. Washington?

(1) The best solution for African Americans was to return to Africa.

(2) Social equality for African Americans would be easier to achieve than legal rights.

(3) The way to dissolve the barriers of segregation and bring about an end to Jim Crow laws was by active, violent resistance.

(4) The most immediate means for African Americans to achieve equality was to expand their opportunities for vocational education.

7. Who said that African Americans should concentrate their efforts “upon the everyday practical things of life, upon something that is needed to be done, and something which they will be permitted to do in the community in which they reside?”

(1) Grover Cleveland

(2) Booker T. Washington

(3) Mark Twain

(4) Jacob Riis

(5) W.E.B. Du Bois
8. The Tuskegee Institute

(1) Was founded by W. E. B. Dubois.

(2) Was the first graduate school of business for African Americans in the U.S.

(3) Became a national model for educating African-American teachers, farmers, and industrial workers.

(4) Was founded by Ida B. Wells.
9. W.E.B. Dubois’ ideas about the education of African Americans differed from Booker T. Washington’s ideas in the following way: (1) Washington advocated separate education for black youth, while Dubois argued for integrated schools.

(2) Dubois advocated a more academic approach, while Washington encouraged achieving respectability as a trained worker.

(3) Washington focused on achieving civil and political equality through training the best Negro youth as teachers, professionals, and leaders, while Dubois argued for political activism.

(4) Dubois and Washington did not differ in any significant respect regarding education.
10. Ida B. Wells published articles in

(1) The Atlanta Compromise

(2) The Memphis Free Speech

(3) The Souls of Black Folk

(4) The New York Times





Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896

Booker T. Washington

W.E.B. DuBois

  1. Plessy, a racially mixed man, sat in a railroad car where only whites were permitted.

  2. He was arrested for violating a state law that provided “separate but equal” facilities for non-whites.

  3. Plessy said this law violated his “equal protection” rights under the 14th Amendment.

  4. The Supreme Court held that so long as a state provided “equal” facilities, it could legally separate African Americans from whites.

  5. The decision allowed the continuation of “separate but equal” facilities – resulting in whites and African Americans attending different schools, using different water fountains, and bathing in different public beaches.



~ The Key to Understanding U.S. History and Government

  1. Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856.

  2. In 1881, he founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

  3. In 19011, he wrote Up From Slavery, an autobiography.

  4. Washington believed that African Americans should first concentrate their efforts on trying to achieve economic independence before seeking full social equality.

  5. He believed economic prosperity could best be achieved by vocational training and practical, job-related education.

  6. He wanted young African Americans to develop skills and attitudes that would help them to survive in an environment of increasing violence and discrimination.

  1. W.E.B. DuBois was the first African American to obtain a Ph.D. from Harvard University and became a notable historian and writer.

  2. Unlike Booker T. Washington, DuBois urged the next generation of African Americans to move in a new direction.

  3. DuBois believed African Americans should agitate for full social and political equality immediately and not rest content with an inferior social and economic status.

  4. In his writings, DuBois encouraged African Americans not to define themselves as whites saw them, but to take pride in their dual heritages – as both Africans and Americans.

  5. In 1909, he helped form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) – to win rights through the courts.

  1. Who was Plessy and why was he arrested? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. What Amendment did Plessy state was being violated? Why? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. What did the Supreme Court rule at the time? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  4. What did the Court’s decision allow? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  5. Who was Booker T. Washington and what was significant about his early years? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  6. What book did Booker T. Washington write? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  7. What did Booker T. Washington found? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  8. What did Booker T. Washington believe African Americans should focus on first? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  9. How did Booker T. Washington believe economic prosperity could be achieved? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  10. Who was W.E.B. DuBois and why was he significant? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  11. What did W.E.B. DuBois believe? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  12. How did the ideas of W.E.B. DuBois differ from the ideas of Booker T. Washington? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  13. How did W.E.B. DuBois encourage African Americans to see themselves? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  14. What organization did W.E.B. DuBois help found? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  15. Given the circumstances at the time, who would you have agreed with: Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. Dubois? Why? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  16. What is most surprising about the information presented in the chart? Why? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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