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African Americans and the New South - Essay Example

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America,as it was preparing to enter the 20th Century, was experiencing rapid change.The Civil War was over,reconstruction was complete and the nation had seen unequaled leaps of technology and industrial advancement in the last several decades of the 19th century…
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African Americans and the New South
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African Americans and the New South

Download file to see previous pages... America,as it was preparing to enter the 20th Century, was experiencing rapid change.The Civil War was over,reconstruction was complete and the nation had seen unequaled leaps of technology and industrial advancement in the last several decades of the 19th century.Wells took a radical stance is his position.He blamed the African American as much as the White population for perpetuating the inequality still remaining in the south.The violence and its increasing frequency and spread both west and north were in his mind precursors of what was to follow if African Americans sat quietly by and let it occur.Although he stopped short of an outright revolution,in his mind words alone would not bring about a change.The only people African Americans could rely on were themselves. Through meeting the violence and hatred head on was the only solution available. Although not standing by and letting the rest of the nation dictate what was best for African American people, Wells view was, in my opinion, much to extreme and would alienate the supporters for Black equality among the general population. The extremist views, although not negating the horrors of lynching, would do more harm than good in drawing attention away from the brutality and focusing it on perceived hatred for Whites.Booker T. Washington's views stated that the newly won freedom from slavery brought with it desires to achieve immediate positions of power and importance. However, as natural as the tendency was to desire this, Washington stated that the initial joy of new found freedom was over and the work was truly to begin. This work was not found in African Americans seeking to make a new life elsewhere, nor was it in southern industry looking to the hordes of immigrants entering the United States. Instead Washington tells us to "cast down your bucket where you are." (38) His view expresses that white and black southern America are intertwined in their history, both knowing the other's strengths and weaknesses and working together was a business that lead to prosperity for both.
The biggest mistakes African Americans could make, in his view, is expecting too much, too soon. He stresses that the important issues to improve the state of Black America is education and working hard at doing the best job possible, no matter your position in life. The attainment of higher things is found in the ability to start from where you are and work towards improvement through education, learning and reliance on one another.
The last area that Washington stresses is the separation of Blacks and Whites socially. He uses, quite well, the metaphor of the hand and the fingers - connected yet separate. "In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress". (39) He proposes a business proposition that through mutual hard work and cooperation each race will grow and prosper as a united front. His position is logical and pragmatic not based on emotion but on a mutually beneficial business partnership. However, he warns us that if both continue on the path of exclusion and complaint the result will be ruinous for both races an almost implied threat.
Turner offers a position totally opposed to Washington, whom he refers to, if not by name by his stance, when he states "that any black who claimed that African Americans did not want social equality immediately "is either an ignoramus, or is an advocate of the perpetual servility and degradation of his race" (42). Turner opens with what appears to be disdain for Black Americans when he opposes the notion that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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