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ERIC Number: EJ905153
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1071-6084
The W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington Debate: Effects upon African American Roles in Engineering and Engineering Technology
Johnson, Keith V.; Watson, Elwood
Journal of Technology Studies, v30 n4 p65-70 Fall 2004
The messages of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois could not have been more diverse. The philosophical rivalry between Washington and DuBois has deep historical roots. To be on the same side fighting for the same purpose, progress, and uplifting of the Black race, these two Black intellectuals harbored radically divergent views on how to assist African Americans to free themselves from their often subhuman conditions. Both men were aware that technological advancement was of foremost importance to the advancement of African Americans. Washington's (1901) "Up From Slavery" and DuBois' (1903) "The Souls of Black Folks" were immediately hailed as classic commentary due to their efforts to address the then "Negro" problem in America. There were a number of Black Americans who made a valiant effort to mitigate poverty, illiteracy, racial discrimination, high mortality rates, and other desolate conditions that plagued many African Americans, particularly at the turn of the century. However, due to their influential appeal among certain constituencies, both Washington and DuBois garnered ample attention from many segments of the American intelligence, many of which were European in ethnic origin. Thus, acknowledgment from the White power structure (this was particularly true in the case of Washington) provided both men a platform to promote their message. In this article, the authors discuss the effects of the debate upon African American roles in engineering and engineering technology. Both Washington and DuBois were aware that the need for African Americans to become technologically literate was paramount. However, whereas Washington advocated a hands-on external approach, DuBois promoted a paternalistic form of advancement of the Black race. Both men's philosophies are still being argued and applied in the technological arena today.
Epsilon Pi Tau. International Office, Technology Building, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0296. Tel: 419-372-2425; Fax: 419-372-9502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A