“UpFrom Slavery” versus “The Souls of Black Folk.”
Inthe late 19thcentury, slavery tore America apart until its abolishment in 1865.After that, the Americans faced a new era of struggle for equalopportunities between the freed slaves and the white majority. It wasa time of unfair treatment and segregation of the blacks. Most ofthem had the courage to speak out for their rights. However, BookerT. Washington and WEB Du Bois were exceptions. They were highlyeducated and used their books, “Up from Slavery: An Autobiography"and "The Souls of Black Folk" to articulate their views andexpress opposition to racial segregation. Each of the authors has adifferent style and ideas, but they have a common goal to addressequality and boost the progression of the black race.
Thenovels pose both writers as fighters for freedom and racial equality.They put up a strong fight against segregation through persuasivearguments. In "The Souls of Black Folks," Du Bois arguesfor an education system that fosters liberation rather thansubordination and “insistent demand for equality” (Baym et al.897). He reacts against the principle of separate but equal that ledto segregation of African Americans. Washington endorses the wants ofthe black man. He champions the aspirations of the black man. BuBoisbelieves that economic security is correlated to fulfillment andfights for the chance to acquire wealth and knowledge. He alsochampions education for all children regardless of their race.
Washingtonand Du Bois have different approaches to achieving social equality.Washington believes in posing as a grateful, humble man who asks forfavors nicely and expresses gratitude after any assistance. Headdresses the struggle for justice with plenty of caution. This way,he turns out to be an advocate for black people to gain privilegesthat the law has to offer (Baym et al. 680) and preparing the blacksto receive the rights. Through this approach, he gains popularityamong the white and blacks. Du Bois contends that the blacks mustcomplain if they want to achieve any equality. He feels that"ceaseless agitation" (683) will be more efficient thanvoluntarily giving up on the rights that they deserve (683).
DuBois and Booker T. use different styles in putting their novelstogether. Booker T, Washington organizes his book in chronologicalorder. He narrates his story from the time of his birth as a slaveuntil he went back to Virginia, then a speaker. His tale is in firstperson tense. Despite him writing about sad encounters mostly, hemanages to maintain a jovial mood throughout the novel. However,occasionally he inserts a letter from close or famous people. Du Boisbook is a compilation of narrations that he put together later ionhis lie. He rarely talks about his life before he got an education.The book mainly comprises of reflections of his life. There is afamous quote and lyrics from African American music at the beginningof every chapter. An example is "America is not another word forthe opportunity for all her sons" (Baym et al. 884). This quotesums up the chapter, which talks about the inequality in America.
BookerT. Washington and WEB Dubois are both significant historical figuresin the fight against racial segregation. Their novels “Up fromSlavery: An Autobiography” and “The Souls of Black Folk”contain strong persuasive arguments. The authors have a common goalto end black oppression, but they use different styles in their worksand believe in separate ideologies to achieve equality.
Baym,Nina, Jeanne C. Reesman, and Arnold Krupat. TheNorton Anthology of American Literature: Volume C.New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014. Print.