Concept[ edit ] The phrase "talented tenth" originated in among Northern white liberals, specifically the American Baptist Home Mission Societya Christian missionary society strongly supported by John D. They had the goal of establishing black colleges in the South to train black teachers and elites. Du Bois used the term "the talented tenth" to describe the likelihood of one in ten black men becoming leaders of their race in the world, through methods such as continuing their education, writing books, or becoming directly involved in social change. He strongly believed that blacks needed a classical education to be able to reach their full potential, rather than the industrial education promoted by the Atlanta compromiseendorsed by Booker T.
Full Document The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races.
Now the training of men is a difficult and intricate task. Its technique is a matter for educational experts, but its object is for the vision of seers.
If we make money the object of man-training, we shall develop money-makers but not necessarily men; if we make technical skill the object of education, we may possess artisans but not, in nature, men.
Men we shall have only as we make manhood Web du bois talented tenth essay object of the work of the schools—intelligence, broad sympathy, knowledge of the world that was and is, and of the relation of men to it—this is the curriculum of that Higher Education which must underlie true life.
On this foundation we may build bread winning, skill of hand and quickness of brain, with never a fear lest the child and man mistake the means of living for the object of life. If this be true—and who can deny it—three tasks lay before me; first to show from the past that the Talented Tenth as they have risen among American Negroes have been worthy of leadership; secondly to show how these men may be educated and developed; and thirdly to show their relation to the Negro problem.
You misjudge us because you do not know us. From the very first it has been the educated and intelligent of the Negro people that have led and elevated the mass, and the sole obstacles that nullified and retarded their efforts were slavery and race prejudice; for what is slavery but the legalized survival of the unfit and the nullification of the work of natural internal leadership?
Negro leadership therefore sought from the first to rid the race of this awful incubus that it might make way for natural selection and the survival of the fittest.
It was then that your abhorrence thereof was so excited, that you publicly held forth this true and invaluable doctrine, which is worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding ages: James Derham, who could tell even the learned Dr. These and others we may call the Revolutionary group of distinguished Negroes — they were persons of marked ability, leaders of a Talented Tenth, standing conspicuously among the best of their time.
They strove by word and deed to save the color line from becoming the line between the bond and free, but all they could do was nullified by Eli Whitney and the Curse of Gold. So they passed into forgetfulness. But their spirit did not wholly die; here and there in the early part of the century came other exceptional men.
I ask every man who has a heart, and is blessed with the privilege of believing— Is not God a God of justice to all his creatures? Do you say he is? Then if he gives peace and tranquility to tyrants and permits them to keep our fathers, our mothers, ourselves and our children in eternal ignorance and wretchedness to support them and their families, would he be to us a God of Justice?
I ask, O, ye Christians, who hold us and our children in the most abject ignorance and degradation that ever a people were afflicted with since the world began—I say if God gives you peace and tranquility, and suffers you thus to go on afflicting us, and our children, who have never given you the least provocation — would He be to us a God of Justice?
If you will allow that we are men, who feel for each other, does not the blood of our fathers and of us, their children, cry aloud to theLord of Sabaoth against you for the cruelties and murders with which you have and do continue to afflict us?
Too little notice has been taken of the work which the Talented Tenth among Negroes took in the great abolition crusade. They stood as living examples of the possibilities of the Negro race, their own hard experiences and well wrought culture said silently more than all the drawn periods of orators—they were the men who made American slavery impossible.
It has equally implanted hopes and aspirations, noble thoughts, and sublime purposes, in the hearts of both races. It has prepared the white man for the freedom of the black man, and it has made the black man scorn the thought of enslavement, as does a white man, as far as its influence has extended.
Strengthen that noble influence!Just about everybody who knows anything about black history and/or Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois knows that one of the most important concepts of the many that he defined was “the Talented Tenth.”. In "The Talented Tenth" (¶¶ ) Du Bois quotes Benjamin Banneker in his letter to Thomas Jefferson (19 August ).
Banneker () was a free African American whose accomplishments spanned astronomy, mathematics, surveying, and almanac writing. The Talented Tenth is a essay by W.E.B. du Bois, which popularized a theory that cultivating a class of exceptional leaders through Talented tenth significance The Talented Tenth Origins | African American History Blog - PBS Henry Lyman Morehouse coined the term, the talented tenth, though many mistakenly attribute it to W.E.B.
DuBois. W.E.B. Du Bois: Sociologist, author, and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was the most important black protest leader in the U.S.
during the first half of the 20th century. An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, advocacy of Talented Tenth. 'The Talented Tenth' is a essay by W.E.B. Du Bois that popularized the theory that cultivating a class of exceptional leaders through classical education was crucial to African American.
'The Talented Tenth' is a essay by W.E.B. Du Bois that popularized the theory that cultivating a class of exceptional leaders through classical education was crucial to African American.