Although W.E.B. Du Bois would later publish a pointed challenge to Booker T. Washington’s philosophy in his seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), at the time of Washington’s Atlanta speech, Du Bois wrote this letter to express his congratulations. Dubois advocated uplifting African Americans through the higher education of a “Talented Tenth” of the population who could guide the masses to higher civilization. He believed it was important to press for immediate civil rights without compromise. Washington advocated economic strength as the key to advancement. He believed that through vocational training, African Americans would become productive workers in a segregated society. They would win the respect of whites by acquiring wealth and property and thus earn full citizenship in due time.