Chasing the American Dream: W.E.B Du Bois, A. Philip Randolph and Booker T. Washington's Impact on the Civil Rights Movement and Citizenship, 1910-1966



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The question that will be addressed in this thesis is: what are the theories of African American advancement articulated by W.E.B Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and A. Philip Randolph? How did their theories on education, politics and economic opportunity create the intellectual milieu which influenced the ideals and activities of the Civil Rights Movement? In response to the questions proposed, I believe that all three aforementioned political theorists, through their life’s work and publications, speak to this topic of African-American advancement in context to their time. DuBois, Washington and Randolph lived during an era of two World Wars, the establishment and dismantlement of Jim Crow and most importantly, during this renaissance of Black life within the United States. All of three of these theorists through their work reflected on the relationship that exists between the United States and African-Americans and proposed ways in which African-Americans can further advance in efforts to become as full and active citizens of the United States. Specifically delving into the categories of education, politics and economic opportunity, I plan on discussing theories proposed by DuBois, Washington and Randolph and discuss in which ways their theories influenced the intellectual, socioeconomic and political milieu that influenced the course of the Civil Rights Movement.



African American political thought, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, A. Philip Randolph, civil rights movement, American Dream, citizenship