What Is The Great Debate Between Booker T. Washington
and W. E. B. DuBois

This unique teaching and learning blog contains copyright free copies of Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Exposition Speech” and W. E. B. Du Bois’ “Chapter 3: Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others,” from The Souls of Black Folk , with over 100 "hyper-linked annotations" to specific historical figures and/or social/historical topics in the two texts..

How Does It Work?

As university, college, and high school students read Washington's and DuBois' texts, they can click on the links to open a window to web page that provides them with scholarly sound information about the historical figure or topic. Once they finish reading the "hyper-linked annotation," they can close the opened window and return to either Washington's or DuBois' texts with a richer understanding of the historically important texts they are reading.

Why Was It Created?

The Great Debate between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois Blog was created to provide Bradley University's ENG 129 Introduction to African American Literature students with a course innovation that would strengthen their knowledge of African American literature and culture.

At Bradley University, in the African American literature, American literature, American history, and American sociology courses, like the majority of similar university- and college- level courses across the United States, and around the world, faculty have students read Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Exposition Speech” and W. E. B. Du Bois’ “Chapter 3: Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others,” The Souls of Black Folk together to help students understand the underpinnings of the racial interactions between U.S. Blacks and Whites and the intra-actions between U.S. conservative and radical Blacks from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century (mid-1970s).

However, most, if not all, students do not have significant background knowledge about the people and/or social/historical issues included in Washington’s and Du Bois’ texts. In addition, many students will neither take the time nor make the effort to research the more than 100 references to these historical figures and/or social/historical events. Without this key understanding, students tend to skip over vital information, and they do not truly engage with either Washington’s or DuBois’ texts. This lack of engagement prevents them from learning the historical significance of these texts in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

What Will It Contain in the Future?

In the near future, the current site will be available through a portal on the Bradley University English Department's homepage. At that time it will also contain copyright free photographs from the Library of Congress related to Washington and his topics and to DuBois and his topics and historical figures. Plus, it will contain a "Links" section for additional web pages that contain even more information about Washington's and DuBois historical figures and topics.