W.E.B. DuBois - Booker T. Washington
The late 1800s and early 1900s saw the evolving framework of educational and professional opportunities for blacks appear via the polarized debate between Booker T. Washington (industrial emphasis) and W. E. B. Du Bois (intellectual emphasis).
Robert R. Taylor '92, MIT's first black graduate, was recruited as faculty to Tuskegee Institute by Booker T. Washington. Taylor's pedagogy appeared to draw from both Washington's and DuBois's philosophies, which he viewed as complementary rather than as conflicting.
[After slavery, blacks] began to think of his old way of living and to hope for a new order. The ability to reach out and develop new lines of work, to study the things by which he was surrounded and to make the most of them...(in other words, the secrets of chemistry, of physics, of mathematics, of the principles of mechanics), all this was to him a closed book...Constantly under the will of another...there was no place for that highest of opportunities...
Robert R. Taylor, "The Scientific Development of the Negro," 50th Anniversary of the Charter of MIT, 10 April 1911