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W.E.B. Du Bois’ Assessment on Ways to Approach Equality for African Americans
The philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois strongly suggests that the best strategy for the African Americans to gain political and social equality in the United States is to support their active participation or involvement within the American society . As a crucial step to equality, Du Bois highlighted the importance of giving each African American the opportunity to pursue formal education in the field of arts and sciences, humanities or literature. It simply means that ready access to proper education is the best way to ensure that the African Americans can improve their social status or gain equal rights with the white Americans.
I strongly agree with Du Bois’ perception and approach to equality. First of all, education is necessary when it comes to the empowerment of all African Americans. Through proper education, it makes a lot of sense that the African Americans can subsequently increase their knowledge and self-confidence which are both equally important in terms of uplifting their socio-economic status in life. Furthermore, gaining extensive knowledge on human rights including the importance of removing the practice of racial discrimination, the African Americans can increase their self-esteem and determination as they struggle for equality in politics and the entire American society.
During the civil war and the reconstruction period from 1860 to 1880, the African Americans were mostly maltreated and exploited due to lack of power and ignorance. Back then, majority of the African Americans were treated as slaves. Since most of the African Americans were deprived of education, other races such as the white Americans developed a wrong perception that all African Americans are ignorant and incompetent in handling sensitive matters that are strongly related to politics.
Basically, crab mentality such as this carried on for years. Instead of being able to apply for white collar jobs, most of the African Americans had low paying jobs such as those that are directly related to the agricultural sector (i.e. farming and fishing, etc.). All these clearly explain the political and social gap between the white Americans and the African Africans. Since ignorance is one of the main reasons why it is so hard for the African Americans to gain equal rights in America, one can say that the best way to improve their quality of life is to empower them through formal education.