To black audiences, his forceful argument that the status quo could not change until all African-Americans consistently demanded equality upset various "conservative" figures in the Tuskegee movement led by Booker T. Washington, especially because he insistently called for "militant protest and agitation" (Franklin and Meier 65). For instance, he described Washington's ideology as "the old attitude of adjustment and submission" (Marable 49). In summary, DuBois often found himself resting at odds with the "current mainstream of black thinking" and a "series of stormy conflicts" characterized his relationship with other black leaders (Franklin and Meier 64).
Rudwick describes DuBois' early "impotence" as a leader against mainstream African-American thought (Franklin and Meier 67). His early attempts to dilute the efforts of Booker T. Washington and others through participating in the Carnegie Hall Conference met with failure. Later, his Niagara Movement, an activist group of African-American intellectuals, faced strong opposition from Washington and lacked effective organization and leadership from DuBois himself (Franklin and Meier 69-71). DuBois later became a primary figure in the NAACP. His views became more extreme as he advocated for Black Socialism and began to play an integral part in the separatist Pan-Africa movement. He left for Ghana in the early 60s