TOPIC: African Americans during the Progressive Era: The era was bringing about new ideas that even influenced African Americans concerning their future prospects in a prevailing white American society. The prevailing views were split between Booker T. Washington, who promoted economic and educational standards for African Americans to achieve equality, and W.E.B. Du Bois, who advocated for the securing of civil rights by any means, even if militant.
African Americans during the Progressive Era dealt with social controversy between two leaders: Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Both approached the road to equality differently; whereas Washington promoted economic and educational advancement of African Americans as the first step to equality, Du Bois argued the opposite, claiming that African Americans must first secure civil rights through militant means as the first crucial step. Similarly, this social controversy over African American approaches to civil rights can be seen during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Whereas Martin Luther King Jr. promoted a passive, nonviolent method of protesting for civil rights, Malcolm X advocated for black violence to combat white violence in securing civil rights. Du Bois and Malcolm X shared very similar approaches to the securing of civil rights by advocating militant methods in hopes of empowering blacks to further assert themselves, whereas Martin Luther King Jr. and Washington chose non-invasive approaches to civil rights in hopes of an albeit gradual, but bloodless, attaining of African American equality.