However, many had argued on what type of education the newly freed African American people will need in the course of their lifetime. This question has given rise to the argument on the advantages and disadvantages of industrial education. With this on hand, the Industrial Education for the Negro by Booker T. Washington and On the Training of Black Men and A Negro Schoolmaster by W. E. B. Du Bois will be used to cite the advantages and disadvantages of industrial and liberal education.
Booker T. Washington was one of the African Americans who were the slaves in the South. For this reason, he wrote the essay Industrial Education for the Negro. In the time that they were given their freedom, he immediately and strongly supported the industrial education for African Americans especially in the South. He believed that for an African American to live a strong and fruitful life in American soil, he or she must learn to work and earn for a living. In this manner, he had considered all types of employment as an honorable job, even doing the laundry and doing the dishes. In the process of industrial education, an African American student will be able to place his or her self in the American society and will be able to work and not be worked in the process. The learning in this type of education is necessary in order to be sufficient and skilled in the chosen industrial field. The ability to learn how to handle tools and incorporate these learning with mathematics and sciences will allow the work to be more sophisticated, efficient, and easy. In amalgamating industrial education with mathematics, languages, letters, and sciences, a student, who will also be a future employee, will be harnessed and strengthened and will eventually be equipped for real life. It will open a door for the African American to the world of business and commerce. Washington also cited that he considered that the African Americans are capable of learning higher education and are free to achieve such education. However, he also wants to see his fellow African Americans to be able to use their “mental strengths” (Washington 357) in accomplishing daily practical activities and work. He also added that incorporating industrial education to the learning of African American students will allow them to pay for their own schooling and earn from their activities. Furthermore, he strongly believed that industrial education will not only equip African Americans in the light of industrial employments, but will also inculcate in their lives the habit to save and love their work, business, and economy they are a part of. Along with these values will also grow the individual’s moral values and religious foundation, which Washington considers supplemental values in order to appreciate and enjoy life, art, and literature. In the light of liberal education, W. E. B. Du Bois cited in his essays, On the Training of Black Men and a Negro Schoolmaster, that industrial education is essential, but it must not be the only type of education African Americans must be given. He believed that African Americans, considered as free men, must be given the chance to mold themselves into leaders that will soon rise and lead the nation. As a graduate of BA in Fisk University and PhD at Harvard University, he strongly believed that the African American youth must be given equal learning with the White in terms of arts, politics, philosophy, and other branches of knowledge. In this way, they will be raised as strong, committed, and well-educated leaders. He believed that education is not only a medium in order to teach a person to work and earn for a living, but it is the key to mold laborers to men and women in society. Working for a living