To some degree Du Bois' criticisms of Washington were valid, as Washington did little to resolve the social issues that plagued the African-American race, so as not to seem controversial or threatening to the white population. However, when looking at the backgrounds of the two leaders it becomes obvious why they had such opposing views. Washington had been born a Slave in the South and so he would naturally be more cautious and reserved when dealing with the white population as he knew the damage that a majority population could cause to African-American's. He matured in a time when the number of lynchings was ever growing, and so he would fully recognise and understand the fear most African-American's lived with. Du Bois by contrast, was born a freeman in the North, which was far more liberal and accepting than the South and so he didn't have a proper grasp of the everyday problems and anxieties many African-Americans' dealt with. It can also be argued that while Du Bois spent large amounts of his time criticising Washington, he actually did nothing practical to forward the progress of African-Americans' the way Washington did with the Tuskegee Institute.