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The Talented Tenth, by William Edward Burghardt [W.E.B.] DuBois, 1903 - Essay Example

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The Talented Tenth" by William Edward Burghardt DuBois Name Module Instructor Date Introduction The viewpoint of W.E.B. Dubois is that blacks in America should have political, economic and social parity with whites. However, at the same time, blacks, apparently, should be treated differently from whites and be segregated from whites…
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The Talented Tenth, by William Edward Burghardt [W.E.B.] DuBois, 1903
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The Talented Tenth, by William Edward Burghardt [W.E.B.] DuBois, 1903

Download file to see previous pages... Furthermore, the viewpoint would most likely be somewhat anti-American – this is because he renounced his American citizenship towards the end of his life, and he also was decidedly anti-capitalist, becoming a member of the American Communist party while he still lived in America. All of this would point at a man who was not comfortable in his birth country, not comfortable with the economic circumstances of the country, not comfortable with the economic basis of the country's financial system, and not comfortable with whites, in general. Yet, he was also a person who was passionate about helping blacks become the best that they can be and passionate about assuring that blacks were economically, politically, and civilly on par with the whites in America.1 Discussion The document titled “The Talented Tenth,” which is the topic of this essay, is a primary source. While the book that features this particular writing, titled W.E.B. Du Bois Writings (1986), is a secondary source because the book itself was compiled by somebody other than W.E.B. DuBois. The article itself is primary because it was written by W.E.B. DuBois himself. If somebody had written about the ideas of W.E.B. DuBois, then this would be a secondary source. The actual writing is primary. The gist of the article is that the black race must be saved by ten percent of the black population, that is, the most talented among the population, and they must be developed so that they could become the best and lead the worst away from “contamination and death.”2 The problems and solutions of the article are complex. One of the problems is that there must be strict training for the talented tenth, and the object of training these men must be something other than economic or technical training.3 DuBois states that training these men only in economic or technical skills would be reductive and would not result in these individuals becoming men: “If we make money the object of man-training, we shall develop money-makers but not necessarily men; if we make technical skill the object of education, we may possess artisans but not, in nature, men.”4 The solution to this is that the men would attain higher education that would provide them a well-rounded education – education that would not only increase their intelligence but also their sympathy and their knowledge of the world. DuBois also wrote that prejudice, in general, is a problem. That the whites in America believe that the blacks who are talented and intelligent, who are leading the black race, are the exceptions. As a rule, according to the white race, the blacks are purveyors of “death, disease and crime.”5 The solution that DuBois proposes is that the best and most capable of the black youth would be schooled at the best colleges and universities. DuBois acknowledges that society has the potential to be “pulled down” by the worst elements of the black race, which would fulfill the white's view that the blacks are ruled by those who are the transmitters of crime, disease and death, but his solution is that the blacks must be lifted up through the talented few who will be trained at these colleges and universities. Judging from the biography of W.E.B. DuBois, the assumptions were mostly borne out through ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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