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Research Paper on Racial Leadership in African Americans Political Thoughts

EssayChat / Dec 10, 2018


The period around the 1920s was characterized by struggles among African Americans as they struggled through racial barriers. Leaders, including Marcus Garvey, W.E.B DuBois were influential black political leaders, who served during the 1920s. Booker T. Washington is also a valuable player in racial leadership based on his Atlanta Speech that aimed at providing blacks with economic freedom as a means of racial liberation. Michelle Alexander is a civil rights advocate, who wrote the 2010 book titled The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Alexander also worked as an opinion columnists at the NYT, New York Times. The leaders were from diverse backgrounds, which led to establishment of different perspectives on the destiny of the race of the African Americans. Alexander argues that racial discrimination in the United States has assumed a systematic outlook despite the abolishment of racial discrimination that ended in 1963 with the civil rights movement. However, it remains valuable to note that Michelle, Garvey, and DuBois made significant contributions to the generations that are coming up.

Important Implication of Alexander Mitchell, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B DuBois to Black Politics Struggle for Racial Liberation

Marcus Garvey and W.E.B DuBois were great men, who had different ideas compared to other black men leaders in the 1920s. For instance, DuBois was mainly linked with the NAACP, and mainly concentrated on solving issues through an integrated procedure. On the other hand, Garvey concentrated on a concept that empowered blacks to support their fellow black communities. Garvey considered his move practical as it created an independent community where blacks stopped relying on Whites (Recken 51).

Africa PoliticsHowever, Alexander (1) argues that racial discrimination continues to surface in the United States through governmental policies, including the War on Drugs notion. The consequences remain devastating especially for the people of colored races. Alexander outlines the implications and scope of these law enforcement policies based on the penal and legal activity assumed by the procedures. Alexander considers the move as a resumption of the Jim Crow Laws, which were prevalent in the 19th and the 20th centuries. The main theme of Alexander's book is on the mass incarceration of men from the African American descent.

Marcus Garvey and W.E.B DuBois practiced beliefs based on their backgrounds, which created established a profound effect on their activities in black community works and lives. The leaders were involved in organizations, which attracted different forms of people. DuBois background was more influential because of his privileged background. He worked for the NAACP, which was mainly focused on helping African Americas improve their conditions in life. The goal was mainly achieved because DuBois worked with liberal whites in the course of the NAACP Projects (Recken 52).

Consequently, Johnson, Keith, and Elwood Watson (67) DuBois attracted an intellectual and Upper Class Blacks among his followings. The main goal was to nurture the intelligent, most, tenth talented Blacks, a situated that neglected the poorer blacks. Resultantly, Marcus Garvey gained the base because the alienated blacks formed part of his following. Marcus Garvey's background was characterized by an impoverished community from Jamaica. He attained minimal schooling, which helped him travel to Latin America, which assisted him to travel to England.

As a result, he became immersed in the ideas prevalent in the Pan African Movement. He transferred the ideas of the Pan African Movement into the Universal Negro Improvement Association, UNIA, which gained support from blacks of working class status. The following concentrated on the Marcus Garvey, and his ideas. Further, Alexander Mitchell outlines some of the issues that thrive today as Jim Crow laws through systematic racial control. Jim Crow used the system to control racial issues, which replaced racial hostility with racial indifference (Garvey 18). Racial indifference is characterized by lack of care and compassion for people of other races apart from the ones from the white race.

However, racial hostility was the issues of racial hostility like forbidding blacks from accessing schools, and other facilities, which were mainly considered accessible to Whites only. Mills (1) argues that White coined the term Justice to mean 'just us.' The modern world continues to thrive in White Supremacy because most of the books were written by White people to favor their needs. Most Western political thoughts of over two thousands are covered ignoring the basic political system because of the biased nature of the authors.

Most standard courses and standard books were authored by the whites, who ignore their racial privilege. They never value its political implication as it creates domination where Whites have historically and continues to rule over Blacks in different and important ways. Philosophy remains the White form of books and writings in humanities where approximately 1% of philosophers were from the North American Universities. Equally, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans are left out in the bracket of philosophers. White women have attained demographic advantage, which makes them more in the philosophy profession compared to their nonwhite female counterparts (Mill 4).

African Americans philosophers, who work on political and moral theory, end up becoming accustomed to white supremacy. Most of their works rarely produce historical issues that can be separated from their white peers, as they rarely address the broader debate in an aggressive manner. There is need for a theoretical framework that globally challenges discussions on race and White Racism. The white political philosophy can be significantly challenged through feminist theorists based on the political theory and traditional moral. Racism should be recognized as a political system based on its power structure that uses informal or even formal rule (Stein 455).

Equally, the socioeconomic privilege and difference in material wealth distribution constitute to political system as rights and duties, benefits and burdens, and opportunities are differentiated. Mill (2) advocates for racial contract because, it is developed to, accommodate the unacknowledged system for racial contractual issues. Racial contract remains critical because it will involve an agreement between two parties that consider each party as their equals. The prevalent contract remains strange because it concentrates on the white people as opposed to the entire American Population. The racial contract helps in evaluating the government and the society in general based on its misleading principles.

Alexander (1) argues that the presence and election of Barrack Obama in Office was seen as a 'triumph over race' in America, but in reality race issues continues to thrive. Obama is considered a proof of America as a free land based on its wars, customs, laws, and rules. However, racial caste still thrives in America based on the decades of analysis between issues before and after civil rights. The number of African Americans controlled by the correctional facilities is more than the ones enslaved in 1850. These people are under parole, jail, prison, and under parole. It is critical to understand that 1850 is ten years before establishment of Civil War.

Alexander (1) argues that the minorities under oppression are under legalized discrimination based on jury service, public benefits, housing, and employment. The trend is seen as the one previously experienced by their grandparents, parents, and great grandparents. Alexander argues that the African Americans are subject to harsh punishments because of simple crimes such as possession drugs, which are mainly small or even addiction. The persons are subject to separation from mainstream society permanently, which is a form of inequality.

The rate of black admission to prison ranges from 20%-57% more than their white counterparts (Alexander 1). The New Jim Crow book views that the laws based on the past racial aspects. Alexander quoted the case of racial profiling that she handled during an interview in 2012. In the case Alexander outlined that the 'Driving While Black' case in ACLU involved a well-documented case that failed because the man argued that the police can never be challenged by a black person, especially when arguing for against a White person (Recken 51). Alexander hoped to dedicate the book to the African American convicted because of his race rather than justice.

How Different Racial Leadership Help or does not help certain practice of vision for racial emancipation

The later generations draw significant influence from Marcus Garvey and W.E.B DuBois because of their capacity to influence racial equality. The leaders established and assisted blacks in regaining their pride through their contributions, which founded what was later recognized as the civil rights movement. UNIA, an organization founded by Marcus Garvey acted as a point that helped blacks to gather around. Garvey's perspective concentrated on back to Africa Movement. Marcus Garvey remained successful because of his great skills as an orator. Equally, W.E.B DuBois used the NAACP as the basis of his influence on black community based on the value that the black Americans placed on the organization. W.E.B DuBois used his skills in Editorship during the Crisis as the foundation of spreading the message incorporated by the NAACP and by his ideas (Johnson, Keith, and Elwood Watson 69).

Despite the different views and perspective of Marcus Garvey and W.E.B DuBois, the African American was in agreement when it came to disputing the ideas presented by Booker T. Washington. Booker T. Washington remains valuable in the leadership of Black people because he urged the Blacks to consider they the second citizens. As a black leader, Booker T. Washington failed because his ideas were upholding White Supremacy (Blackpast.org 1). DuBois disputed Washington's (48) ideas through forming the NAACP, which concentrated on improving blacks and upheld racial integration.

Equally, Garvey (25) input involved the understanding that white cooperation was required to create some form of headway. The only challenge prevalent in the ideas presented by Garvey was his desire for separating African Americans from Whites, by allowing them to move back to Africa. Despite the difference in the ideas presented by DuBois, and Garvey none matched the ones presented by Washington. The ideas presented by the two leaders remains valuable as they continue to inspire the young blacks in the society today as they thrive to work through the new form of racism that prevails in the society today (Recken 55).

Despite valid statistics on mass incarcerations, Alexander's book receives criticism from James Forman Jr., a clinical law professor from Yale University. Forman argues that there are insights and similarities of Jim Crow analogy in Alexander's books. However, Forman views that Alexander overemphasizes her case because he does not incorporate the valuable ways that the newer system of mass incarceration adopts. Forman argues that Alexander ranks among the first authors, who have misstated and overstated their cases. Forman that Alexander overemphasizes his argument on the war against drugs. Consequently, Alexander ignores views on violent crimes with the view that her analysis is simplistic based on its demographics (Stein 458).


In conclusion, different racial leadership's types have been demonstrated by Washington, DuBois, and Marcus Garvey. The different forms of leadership remain critical in improving the American society today because all the leaders advocated for equality. Washington provided the 1895 Atlanta Compromise speech prior to the establishment of the International Exposition and Cotton states in Atlanta. The Address remains influential in the American society today helping African Americans whenever they seek to resist white discrimination. However, Washington differed from the ideas presented by DuBois and Garvey because he focused on accommodation as opposed to resistance. However, Alexander Mitchell in her law practice as an African American argues that the changes from racial hostility have resulted in racial difference. African Americans continue to experience racial discrimination based on opportunities and benefits. Consequently, most African Americans have been subject to correctional facilities as opposed to their white counterparts based on privilege basis. Washington, DuBois, and Marcus Garvey racial leadership helped political thoughts against racial hostility, but gave rise to racial differentiation based on white ideologies.

Work Cited

Alexander, Mitchelle. "The New Jim Crow: How the War On Drugs Gave Birth To A Permanent American Undercaste." March, 2010. The Nation.

Blackpast.org . "(1895) Booker T. Washington, "The Atlanta Compromise Speech." 2017.

Johnson, Keith V., and Elwood Watson. "The W. E. B. DuBois and Booker t Washington Debate: Effects upon African American Roles in Engineering and Engineering Technology." Journal of Technology Studies, vol. 30, no. 4, Fall 2004, pp. 65-70.

Mill, Charles. "The Racial Contract." Cornell University Press: Athaca and London. 1997.

Recken, Stephen L. "Rags to Respectability: Arkansas and Booker T. Washington." Arkansas Historical Quarterly, vol. 67, no. 1, Spring 2008, pp. 54-71.

Stein, David. "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - By Michelle Alexander." WorkingUSA, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2012, pp. 455-458.

Marcus, Garvey. "Africa for the Africans." UNI. Rd 8.

Washington, Booker, T. "Up from Slavery." Dover Drift Editions.

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