Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois were both influential leaders in the fight for desegregation. Booker T. Washington led the less violent and subtle crowd. W.E.B. Du Bois directed his followers in more of a let's get something accomplished now, rather than Washington's more subdued approach. Booker T. Washington worked hard from a very poor family to eventually establish a college and become an influential leader in the African American community around the turn of the century. Most of the white men also believed as Washington did the gradual integration of colored people. Booker T. Washington suggested that it is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. He imply's that his race must start at the bottom and work their way up through hardship and segregation. W.E.B. Du Bois came from a very well to do family.

He started from an upper middle class family and acquired a good education. He then went on to Harvard after high school and obtained the first PHD from Harvard to a black man. Du Bois believed that blacks needed their rights to be acknowledged right then. It did not matter if it angered the whites. He felt that constant agitation was the way to liberty. W.E.B. Du Bois has a few very good points in his argument against Washington. Washington took the more indirect approach.

This approach had been used during the previous years and was virtually unsuccessful. It also called for the submission of colored people to whites. Du Bois thought that these ideas were futile and began a more antagonistic approach. He called for organized resistance that angered the whites but gain popularity and eventually changes. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois differed in many ways. Each felt that the other was wrong in their way of thinking.

Booker T. Washington eventually established the Tuskegee Institute to help blacks to learn skilled trades. This followed his perspective in tha each African American should work his way through the economic ladder. W.E.B. Du Bois ultimately founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.