I am a black female domestic worker from Atlanta serving private households. After reviewing the work of black scholarly publicists, I would like to express my opinion on the authors’ views in the Atlanta Independent newspaper. First of all, it seems crucial to introduce the person in question to the readers. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois is a historian, writer, sociologist, publicist, and public figure of the United States. His writings highlight the role of black people in the history of world culture and reveal the destructive results of colonial policy, imperialist oppression, slavery, and racial discrimination.
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I support his idea that moral self-improvement and enlightenment as decisive prerequisites for the implementation of democratic transformations. Indeed, suppose the citizens of the state lack clear ethical principles in their activities. In that case, neither authorities’ political improvisations nor massive force pressure of ordinary people can lead to democracy. Du Bois was convinced that “the Talented Tenth of the Negro race must be made leaders of thought and missionaries of culture among their people” (Du Bois, 1903a, p. 75). In addition, I think that the idea of double consciousness developed by Du Bois is essential for understanding the black uprising. The black population of America is forced to constantly feel duality – “two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body” (Du Bois, 1903b, p. 3). This theory helps to understand the position of oppressed people and explains the essence of colonialism and xenophobia.
The views of Dubois were in opposition to the ideas of another activist for the rights of African Americans of the time – Booker Washington. However, I have to disagree with the position of this publicist according to which it is necessary to give rights to blacks not immediately but gradually. He thought they should earn the respect of white fellow citizens by working for the good of society. The author acknowledges a difference between a black person and a white person “growing out of unequal opportunities in the past” (Washington, 1977, p. 315). I do not think that any delay is permissible when it comes to ensuring the rights of specific groups of the population, and the very idea that rights must be earned seems racist to me. No one has the right to decide whether other people deserve rights based on how many good things they have done for society; such reasoning is immoral and devoid of logic.
Du Bois, W.E.B. (1903a). The talented tenth. James Pott & Co.
Du Bois, W.E.B. (1903b). The souls of Black folk. McClurg & Co.
Washington, B. T. (1977). Booker T. Washington Papers (Vol. 5). University of Illinois Press.