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Th e Reaction of African American Leaders after the Reconstruction Era

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Th e Reaction of African American Leaders after the Reconstruction Era
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  Tedjani ZEGHOUANE 1 Tedjani Zeghouane   Kasdi Merbah University – Ouargla Faculty of Letters and Languages Department of Letters and English Language Speciality: English Literature   and Civilization  Academic year: 2014/2015 THIRD YEAR RESEARCH PROPOSAL Full name: ZEGHOUANE Tedjani Mark: ……. /20 Group: 01 Proposed title of the research The Reaction of African American Leaders after the Reconstruction Era 1. Background of the research After the Civil War, the Northerners in United States of America proclaimed abolishing slavery. When The Reconstruction Era ended in 1876, the Southerners promoted the idea of  New South, modern and industrialized, with limited success. By freed African Americans, racial discrimination in the South took another form, Southerners were always trying to dominate African Americans; they disfranchised freed men in the South; therefore, they established unjust laws, like Jim Crow Law and its consequences to control and limit African Americans freedom; in addition, they faced a terrorist groups like Ku Klux Klan. Thus, in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, two great leaders, Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois changed the course for equality in American society, and they helped to give birth to the modern Civil Rights Movement. Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois exploded to  protect African Americans rights, and raised the slogan to attack racial discrimination by establishing organizations in order to get equality. So, this research deals with the reaction of African Americans leaders after the Reconstruction Era.  Tedjani ZEGHOUANE 2 Tedjani Zeghouane 2. Purpose of the research The aim of this research is to shed light the reaction of the two Black leaders W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington after the Reconstruction Era, and how they played an essential role in advocating Black' rights in the South. Also, it aims to discovering their movements in uplifting African Americans life conditions, by creating several movements to get social equality. 3. Research questions 1.   How was the reaction of African American leaders after the Reconstruction Era? 2.   What were the reasons urged the Black leaders to create independent movements? 3.   How was the nature of the two African American leaders’ philosophy, Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois against racial discrimination? 4. Research hypotheses In the light of the questions mentioned above, we hypothesize that: 1.   The Black leaders debated the most suitable reaction contra-slavery, to achieve social equality. 2.   After the Reconstruction Era, African Americans faced terror groups like Ku Klux Clan, and unjust laws as Jim Crow Law. 3.   The philosophy of Booker T. Washington was one of accommodations to white oppression. Whereas W. E. B. Du Bois firmly wanted that persistent agitation, to achieve full citizenship rights for Black Americans.  Tedjani ZEGHOUANE 3 Tedjani Zeghouane 5. Review of Relevant Literature 5.1-Motives behind Racial Segregation After reconstruction era, the position of the Negro in America steadily destroyed. The hopes of the freedmen for full citizenship rights were shattered after the federal government dominated the Negro and restored their control to the South. Blacks were left at the mercy of former Confederates, as the United States government let the slaves work regarding to their  problems in the South. The era of Jim Crow brought to the American Negro disfranchisement, social, educational and occupational discrimination, mass violence, murder, and lynching. Black people were stripped of their civil and human rights and reduced to second-class citizenship. Strict legal segregation of public facilities in the Southern States was strengthened in 1896 by the Supreme Court's decision in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case. Racists, northern and southern, proclaimed that the Negro was subhuman, barbaric, immoral, and innately inferior, physically and intellectually ( Gibson , The Problem of Negro Leadership . 2015). Slavery was abolished, but the rise of outrageous of discrimination system was considered worse, and the southern governors stripped Blacks of their voting rights through adoption of poll taxes and literacy tests (Junius, 2007, p. 148). However, many of the freed men gained their rights where the Reconstruction era beginning to disappear but, the new laws exhausted African Americans and became disfranchised. The Plessey v. Ferguson rule helped to grow segregation; and such terrorist groups like Ku Klux Klan, sometimes used violence and lynching to spread fear in the African-American community (The Challenge of Freedom, 2014). 5.2-Movement of Booker T. Washington Booker T. Washington was born a slave in Franklin County, Virginia; he was the son of a house slave and an unknown White father. His character extended beyond the field of education. He became one of the most significant educators in American history. Washington was social critic and reformer of international reputation. He devoted his energy to improve  Tedjani ZEGHOUANE 4 Tedjani Zeghouane Black’ life conditions (op.cit.p.506). In his autobiography, up from slavery (1991), he recounts his own personal struggles. Washington said: “  I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. I am not quite  sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth, but at any rate I suspect must have been born somewhere and at some time. As nearly as I have been able to learn, I was born near a cross-roads post-office called Hale’s Ford, and the year was 1858 or 1859. I do not know the month or the day. The earliest impressions I can now recall are of the plantation and the slave quarters - the latter being the  part of the plantation where the slaves had their cabins ” (Manis, 2013, p. 11). Washington declared that African Americans must concentrate on self-education, learning useful trades, and investing in their own businesses, his speech at the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta (1895), he accepted the reality of segregation. However, he insisted that African Americans must be included in the economic progress of the South. Washington said to an all-white audience,  "In all things social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress."   Booker T.   Washington went on to express his confidence that no race has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree castaway (as cited in Shook, 2005, p. 2526). 5.3-Politics and the Atlanta Compromise Atlanta Compromise was the first speech given by an African American man in front of a mixed audience in the South. In this speech, Washington suggested that African Americans should not agitate for social and political equality in return for the opportunity to acquire  professional training, and participate in the economic development of the New South. He  believed that through hard works, African Americans would gain the respect of the white society . (Wesson, 2011, n.p.). To avoid a harsh white backlash, Washington advocated a "go slow" approach. In Atlanta compromise speech,   Washington said, "Concentrate all their energies on industrial education, and accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South"    (op.cit). He thought that manual jobs would establish the foundation for the creation, in order to move African Americans forward. He believed that in the long term, "The blacks would eventually gain full participation in society by showing themselves to be responsible, reliable American citizens."   His efforts advocated toward equal rights, he believed that such achievements would prove to the deeply-prejudiced white America, that African Americans were not Well-educated in the North (as cited in Wikipedia.org, 2015).   Tedjani ZEGHOUANE 5 Tedjani Zeghouane 5.4-The Negro Business League The Negro Business League, organized in 1900 by Booker T. Washington, to take over  business and industry, based on philosophy, that the people could lead the markets of the world, if they could make better articles and sell it cheaper. This philosophy open-hand amount of democracy; therefore, it works for success of business. This philosophy had been taught by school of classic political economy and becoming more spreading in 1900, and it was adaptation of the three theories of political individualism and free competition (Alfred, 2009, p.305). The league contains a lot of professionals, such as doctors, farmers and craftsman, etc. It was included Negros small-business owners; its aim is getting African Americans equality in the United States. Booker T. Washington argued that African Americans need to build economic network and he hoped this league to be a reason to change their conditions (Wikipedia.org,2015). Though the league firstly spreading lack business connections and adopted a trampled  business community for the Negros, it also had many essential goals whether direct or indirect networks to associate with whites business. Many times, white business leaders addressed the  National Business League at their yearly conventions. Booker T Washington himself kept in touch with the members of the whites corporate elite, such as Andrew Carnegie, Julius Rosendale and President of Sears (ibid).  5.5-Movement of W. E. B. Du Bois W. E. B. Du Bois was born in   Massachusetts 1963. He was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, author and editor. After graduating from Harvard, he became the first African American to earn a doctorate; he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. In 1909 Du Bois was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People "NAACP" (Moore, 2003, p.37). In addition, Du Bois made a group of African American activist called Niagara Movement; he was the leader of this group, which wanted equal rights for Blacks. Du Bois opposed the Atlanta Compromise, which made by Booker T. Washington, who stated that blacks must work hard and submit to white political rule. Du Bois believed that African Americans needed the chances for advanced education to develop their life conditions. Strongly, Du Bois  protested against lynching, Jim Crow Law, discrimination in education and employment. He
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