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Racial Discrimination during the 19th Century

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In much of the country in the late nineteenth century, social tensions were defined in terms of rich versus poor, native-born versus immigrant, and worker versus capitalist. In the states of the former Confederacy, despite all the calls for a New South in the years after Reconstruction, tensions continued to center upon the relations between blacks and whites.

Throughout the late 19th century, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States. Most of these people that were lynched were black. Was lynching necessary? To many people it was not, but to the whites in the late 19th century it served a purpose. Whites started lynching because they felt it was necessary to protect white women. Rape though was not a great factor in reasoning behind the lynching. It was the third greatest cause of lynchings behind homicides and ‘all other causes’. It’s sad to think that we look at other countries and deem them immoral for killing their own people, but we over look the fact of what happened in the late 1890’s to the late 1960’s. This is something that we cannot over look and do not need to try to over look it.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, there was a social reform going on in the South. The Civil War had ended and Lincoln had freed the slaves. This meant that they were free to join society but they still faced issues. Even though they were freed men now, they still had to deal with poverty and discrimination throughout the South. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were two of the strongest leaders of the black community and had very different strategies of dealing with the problems blacks faced during this time period. Booker T. Washington’s strategy for dealing with discrimination was one of self help and education. If they started to rebel against the discrimination, it would only make the whites more determined to keep them oppressed. He believed that the blacks could work to gain the respect of the whites.

W. E. B. DuBois, who grow up in the North American and did not experience the harsh conditions of slavery or of southern prejudice. He believed in what he called the “the talented tenth” of the black population who, through their intellectual accomplishments, would rise up to lead the black masses. Unlike Washington, DuBois felt that equality with whites was of the utmost importance. More politically militant than Washington, DuBois demonstrated his political beliefs through his involvement in the Niagara Movement, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and served as editor of The Crisis, a black political magazine. He felt that blacks should educate themselves in the liberal tradition, just as whites. Basically, all I wanted to talk about here were ‘’how the W.E.B DuBois and Washington dealing with the discriminate problems’’ and one of the most effective event of the racist period. One more thing that I would like to add to this presentation, racist is not something that we just look over, but we have to do something with it. The world wants differences.

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