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Booker T. Washington

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Booker T. Washington was one of the most influential African Americans in history. Raised the son of a slave mother, Washington was self- motivated and committed to his own education from a young age. The tumultuous time in America’s history during which he lived afforded him new freedoms that came from Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the eventual success of the North in the Civil War.[1] He took the first opportunity to attend a formal school, Hampton Institute, which led to professorship and the founding of one of the most prestigious African American educational institutions of the nineteenth century, Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.[2] When the Civil War ended in 1865, many newly freed black Americans sought education at all levels. But there were few trade schools or public schools that they were allowed to enroll in.[3] Among the first black colleges to meet the need was Tuskegee University, established in 1881.[4]

Booker T. Washington was born a slave on a plantation five years before the Civil War began, near Hales Ford, Virginia, on James Burroughs’s plantation in 1856. The slaves on the Burroughs’ farm learned that they were free in spring of 1865. Booker had survived chattel slavery and the Civil War.[5] He moved with his mother and siblings to Charleston, West Virginia to join his step-father, a Union Army veteran.[6] Washington was called only Booker during his early youth and added the name Washington when he entered elementary school. Living under impoverished circumstances, Washington worked in the local salt mines to assist the family. Washington left home at sixteen after learning about a school for former slaves called Hampton Institute while working in the mines.[7]

In 1872, after saving enough money, he left the mines to attend Hampton in Hampton, Virginia, under the direction of former Union Army General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, the school’s founder.[8] Initially denied entrance, Booker impressed the staff of the institution with his janitorial skills and maintained that role to help pay for his education.[9]

Upon graduation, he returned for a short time to Walden to teach, but eventually was hired by Hampton as a faculty member.[10] In 1881, upon the recommendation of the founder of Hampton, Washington was asked to go to Alabama to start another industrial school. It was at Hampton Institute where Washington established his ideals for industrial education.[11]

George Campbell, a former slave owner, and Lewis Adams, a former slave, functioned as the driving forces behind the establishment of the university.[12] They worked to receive funding from the Alabama state legislature. The state offered two thousand dollars per year. The men then asked the president of Hampton to recommend someone to organize and lead the school.[13] The president immediately suggested Washington. He accepted and went on to become America’s foremost black educator of his time. When Booker T. Washington arrived in Tuskegee, Alabama, he was surprise to find that no provisions had been secured for purchase of land or buildings.[14] The only funds for the school were twenty-five hundred dollars for teachers’ salaries which was secured from the legislature as a favor to blacks who had supported a local politician.[15]

Booker faced the challenge of finding a suitable location for the school and building the campus. During the early years, Tuskegee Institute was able to operate through the generous gifts of food and money from individual supporters.[16] A church provided the instructional setting for the initial thirty students until one hundred acres was purchased for the campus. Students constructed classrooms, laboratories, and farm buildings.[17]

They grew their own food and otherwise provided for themselves. Both men and women learned practical trades along with academic subjects. The faculty wanted Tuskegee students to return home to teach farming, construction, metal working, and other trades.[18] The school was originally named the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. He had the foresight to hire George Washington Carver to lead this school from 1861-1943. He taught agricultural subjects from 1896 to 1943.[19] Washington won financial assistance from the leaders of such companies as Kodak, Sears, and Standard Oil. Along with other sources of income, their support encouraged the construction of hundreds of small community schools for black Americans.[20] Washington had absorbed Armstrong’s industrial education philosophy of manual labor, training, economic development, self-help, and normal school training.[21]

In 1881 Washington began organizing and building Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, literally from the ground up. Washington professional life as an educator and leader of African American interests demonstrated how education, race, public policy, and politics intersected in the United States during the nineteenth century.[22] Washington’s career placed him at the center of a debate among African Americans about the proper path to full citizenship and complete participation in America society economically, politically, and socially.[23]

Washington was seen as accommodating the status quo of African American subordination because the message of his writings and speeches was that the road to success for blacks was through achieving economic stability through education mainly, vocational training; he did not protest, did not challenge the political system, did not speak about the lack of social equality like his critics, Frederick Douglass and W.E.B.[24] Du Bois. Washington chose to concentrate on what blacks could accomplish by focusing on learning industrial skills; he believed this would help his race secure economic self-reliance. Washington felt the militant rhetoric of Douglas and Du Bois distracted his people from the path to prosperity through economic success.[25]

It was after moving to Tuskegee that Washington married for the first time. In 1882, he married his childhood sweetheart, Fannie Smith. A daughter, Portia, was born in 1883. Fannie died unexpectedly the next year.[26] In 1885, he married for his second time to Olivia Davidson. Olivia was also working at Tuskegee Institute. Olivia and Booker had two boys, Booker Jr. and Earnest.[27] Olivia died in 1889 and Booker was married, for the third time, to Margaret Murray in 1893. They did not have any children.[28]

By 1891, Tuskegee Institute had grown to a campus that included over five hundred forty acres of land and approximately four hundred students. This was a huge increase from the thirty students who had started classes in a church building only ten years before.[29] In 1896, Booker T. Washington secured funding that opened a separate agriculture school at Tuskegee, thanks to the Slater Fund for Negro Education. In the year prior to the start of Tuskegee’s agriculture school, Booker had probably his defining moment when he delivered a speech at the Southern States International Cotton Exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia.[30]

Washington believed that it was futile, at the time, for black to worry about their place in society. He felt it was better to focus on becoming economically self-reliant through vocational training. His beliefs were not embraced by all African Americans.[31] Some in the white community misread Washington’s intentions to mean that blacks should permanently serve in a laboring capacity. His later years brought Washington both accomplishments and recognition.[32]

In 1901, he published an autobiography titled Up From Slavery. The proceeds from this book went a long way to providing economic security for Tuskegee Institute. The same year, Booker T. Washington was the first African American man to be invited to dinner at the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt. During a trip to Europe, he also had tea with Queen Victoria.[33]

In 1904, Washington had successfully surrounded himself with what was called the Tuskegee Machine. This enabled him to be influential in many political decisions and he became viewed as the key national advisor for the African American community. He also was savvy in creating good public relations for his causes through the use of black newspaper and other publications.[34]

Early in the twentieth century, Booker T. Washington declined to be involved in a race relations conference that was the impetus for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was suspicious of the group’s motives and wanted nothing to do with its militant policies.[35]

In 1912 the election of Woodrow Wilson, as the President of the United States was the turning point in Washington’s public rhetoric. Wilson had campaigned with assurances that he would pursue equal rights for African Americans.[36]

He did not follow through with such promises after he was in office. Stung by this betrayal, Washington surprised some by publishing an article with a tone more in common with the militant black leaders of his time.[37] Despite this change in rhetoric, many believe that Washington had always done more behind the scenes than he outwardly made apparent or for which he was given credit.[38]

Booker T. Washington health began to deteriorate rapidly as a result of his extensive travels and overwork. He collapsed in New York City; he was brought home to Tuskegee, Alabama where he died on November 14, 1915 at the age of 59. Over eight thousand people attended his funeral held in the Tuskegee Institute Chapel.[39]

By that time, the school had fifteen hundred students studying forty trades or academic majors in one hundred buildings. Its endowment had grown to $ two million, the highest at that time among black colleges in the United States. Tuskegee became independent from the state of Alabama in 1892.[40] Washington’s legacy is a modern university of about three thousand students on five thousand acres of land. It has eleven technical departments offering many programs, including a doctorate degree in Materials Science and Engineering. That is the university’s first doctoral program.[41] It was clear that he had made a major impact on the world. This impact would continue to be felt as the United States struggled with racial issues through the twentieth century.[42]

Booker T. Washington moved away from the confrontational approaches embraced by his predecessor in the African American community, Frederick Douglass. It has been debated whether or not Washington was simply being realistic in what could be accomplished during that era or whether he personally believed such approaches were the best for the community.[43] Washington clearly was one of the most influential leaders of his time. It must be remembered that Booker lived during a time when blacks were not allowed to vote, most lived in poverty, and very few were educated.[44]

The racial overtones in the fifty years after the Civil War made for political and social environments that were unstable at best. In today’s terms, Booker may have been acting in a politically correct manner so that he did not lose the support of key white individuals.[45] He worked hard to develop these relationships and may have calculated that a confrontational approach was not advantageous. Washington was also well known for his abilities to raise fund for the Tuskegee Institute.[46] Many northern philanthropists gave to Tuskegee because Washington had a clear vision for how the school could help Southern blacks make a better life for themselves.[47]

Today, Tuskegee University exists because of the leadership first brought to the campus by Booker T. Washington. Tuskegee’s institutional history also boasts of George Washington Carver

and the Tuskegee Airmen. Over one thousand pilots trained at Tuskegee and many went on to have distinguished tours of duty in the war.[48]

An infamous legacy of Tuskegee Institute is its involvement in a medical study that began in 1932 under the direction of the Public Health Service. During this study, near four hundred African American males who had syphilis were studied without disclosing to them the knowledge of their disease. It was not until 1997 that President Clinton formally apologized for the government’s grave misconduct.[49]

In addition to the substantial contributions in the field of education, Dr. Booker T. Washington was the author of fourteen books. His autobiography, Up From Slavery, first published in 1901, has been translated into many languages and is still widely read today.[50] For his contributions to American society, Washington was granted an honorary master’s degree from Harvard University in 1896 and an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth College in 1901. On April 7, 1940, Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.[51] In 1942, the Liberty Ship Booker T. Washington was named in his honor, the first major ocean going vessel to be named after an African American.[52]

Washington remained influential until the end of his life, but was forced to share leadership with others as time went on. Booker T. Washington was one of the best educators of his day and the most powerful black leader of his time because of his belief that blacks could earn the respect of white society by being responsible and not pushing too hard for civil rights.

Bibliography

Denton, Lantz. Virginia. “Booker T. Washington and the Adult Education Movement”. (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1993).

Karwatka, Dennis. "Booker T. Washington and Tuskegee University." Tech Directions 70, no. 4 (November 2010).

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (Accessed 14 January 2011).

National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/. (accessed 14 January 2011).

National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed 14 January 2011).

National Public Radio. Remembering Tuskegee: Syphilis Study Still Provokes Disbelief,Sadness.http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/tuskegee/. (accessed 14 January 2011).

Washington T. Booker. Case of the Negro (Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Library, 1995).

Washington T. Booker (1856-1915)." New Crisis (15591603) 106, no. 1 (January 1999): 42 Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed January 16, 2011).

Washington T. Booker (1856–1915) Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd (accessed January 16, 2011).

-----------------------
[1] Booker T. Washington, Case of the Negro (Charlottesville Virginia: University of Virginia Library, 1995), 577-578

[2] Virginia Lantz Denton, Booker T. Washington and the Adult Education Movement (Gainesville Florida: University Press of Florida, 1993), 1-2, 23-24

[3] Booker T. Washington, “New Crisis” 106, no.1 (January 1999), 42.

[4] Denton, 2

[5] Washington, 578

[6] Dennis Karwatka, “Booker T. Washington and Tuskegee University,” Tech Directions 70, no.4 (November 2010, 10-11

[7] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[8] Denton, 23

[9] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[10] Karwata, 11

[11] Washington, 578

[12] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[13] Denton, 24

[14] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[15] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[16] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[17] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[18] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[19] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[20] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[21] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[22] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[23] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[24] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[25] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[26] National Public Radio. Remembering Tuskegee: Syphilis Study Still Provokes Disbelief, Sadness.http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/tuskegee/. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[27] Booker T. Washington “Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education”. (assessed January14,2011http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd).

[28] National Public Radio. Remembering Tuskegee: Syphilis Study Still Provokes Disbelief, Sadness.http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/tuskegee/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[29] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[30] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[31] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[32] National Public Radio. Remembering Tuskegee: Syphilis Study Still Provokes Disbelief, Sadness.http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/tuskegee/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[33] Booker T. Washington “Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education”http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd. (assessed January 14, 2011).

[34] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[35] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[36] Booker T. Washington “Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education”http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd. (assessed January 14, 2011).

[37] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[38] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[39] National Public Radio. Remembering Tuskegee: Syphilis Study Still Provokes Disbelief, Sadness.http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/tuskegee/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[40] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[41] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[42] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[43] Booker T. Washington “Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education”http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd. (assessed January 14, 2011).

[44] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[45] Booker T. Washington “Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education”http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd. (assessed January 14,2011

[46] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACPTimeline.http://www.naacp.org/past_future/naacptimeline.shtml. (accessed January 14, 2011).

[47] Booker T. Washington “Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education”http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd. (assessed January 14, 2011).

[48] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[49] National Public Radio. Remembering Tuskegee: Syphilis Study Still Provokes Disbelief, Sadness.http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/tuskegee/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[50] National Park Service. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/tuin/.(accessed January 14, 2011).

[51] National Park Service. Booker T. Washington National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/bowa/.( accessed January 14, 2011).

[52] Booker T. Washington “Early Years, The Black Commitment to Free Education, Industrial Education”http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2542/Washington-Booker-T-1856-1915.html#ixzz1BV8Me5xd. (assessed January 14, 2011).

----------------------- Booker T. Washington

Nina Faison

HIS 222

Dr. Dilda

11:00 am

April 15, 2011

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...Amid a political and cultural climate of racism and separation, the late 19th century and early 20th century was a very tumultuous time. Nearly four-fifths of the nation’s 10 million African Americans still lived and worked in the South. Most worked in agriculture, while those living in the cities worked at menial jobs. “But a small African American middle class of entrepreneurs and professionals gained a foothold by selling services and products to the black community”(page 553). During this time, Booker T. Washington “won recognition as the most influential black leader of the day” (page 553). He became the “leading spokesperson for racial accommodation, urging blacks to focus on economic improvement and self-reliance, as opposed to political and civil rights” (page 553). He preached a philosophy of self-help, racial solidarity, and accommodation. He urged blacks to accept discrimination for the time being and to elevate themselves through hard work and material prosperity. He strongly believed in education of the crafts, farming skills, industrial skills, and the concentrate on the virtues of patience, thrift, and enterprise. He believed that this would lead to the respect of whites and the possibility of African Americans being fully accepted as citizens and integrated into all areas of society. He felt that the best way for blacks to stabilize their future was to make themselves an indispensable faction of society by providing a necessity. Scholar and activist,......

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...Criticism of Ladder For Booker T. Washington, by Martin Puryear This is an essay to criticize a piece by master woodworker Martin Puryear titled Ladder For Booker T. Washington, created in 1996 from ash and maple wood, displayed at The Modern in the City of Fort Worth, Texas. Made from smooth, light wood the ladder appears to extend great lengths, but when viewed from a different angle the ladder is much shorter. The purpose of a ladder is to reach greater heights with ease and safety, but the ladder appears bent and crooked in different areas making for a difficult climb. The lighting in the room also stood out, making the ladder going upwards towards a large fluorescent fixture. The most obvious element of design Martin Puryear uses is shape to create a one-point perspective illusion, making the ladder appear infinite. Another interesting choice of design was the use of smooth, rounded texture of the wood emphasizing a difficult climb. Lastly the artwork uses the value from actual light to make the ladder recede into a bright light. The main principles of design I see are the use of movement and balance. First he uses curving lines and repetition to show movement. The way Puryear repeats the curves of the steps make your eyes move up. Secondly he uses asymmetrical balance making one side of the ladder different than the other, which is different from a normal symmetrical ladder. Booker T. Washington was an African-American teacher, author, advisor to presidents,......

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Up from Slavery

...A TEACHER’S GUIDE TO THE SIGNET CLASSIC EDITION OF BOOKER T. WASHINGTON’S UP FROM SLAVERY By VIRGINIA L. SHEPHARD, Ph.D., Florida State University S E R I E S E D I T O R S : W. GEIGER ELLIS, ED.D., ARTHEA J. S. REED, PH.D., UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, EMERITUS and UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, RETIRED A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery 2 INTRODUCTION Booker T. Washington’s commanding presence and oratory deeply moved his contemporaries. His writings continue to influence readers today. Although Washington claimed his autobiography was “a simple, straightforward story, with no attempt at embellishment,” readers for nearly a century have found it richly rewarding. Today, Up From Slavery appeals to a wide audience from early adolescence through adulthood. More important, however, is the inspiration his story of hard work and positive goals gives to all readers. His life is an example providing hope to all. The complexity and contradictions of his life make his autobiography intellectually intriguing for advanced readers. To some he was known as the Sage of Tuskegee or the Black Moses. One of his prominent biographers, Louis R. Harlan, called him the “Wizard of the Tuskegee Machine.” Others acknowledged him to be a complicated person and public figure. Students of American social and political history have come to see that Washington lived a double life. Publicly he appeased the white......

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Civil Rights

...Booker T Washington I have chosen Booker T Washington for my topic. I chose him because of his determination, dedication, and hard work for education. Booker T. Washington put himself through school and became a Principal of a University. Booker was also a bi-racial child his mother was a slave and his father was a Caucasian male. He was determined to provide education for African-Americans. Booker T Washington was born a slave in the early 1856. Since he was born a slave he was not allowed to attend school and had to work. Since his mother knew he was interested in learning to read and write, she gave him a book. With this book he learned the alphabet and how to read & write. He was so determined to learn, he was waking up at 4am before he had to be at work. After working 2 years for Mrs. Ruffner she allowed him to attend winter school. Booker faced several obstacles in his life. He was faced with his bi-racial issues. He was made fun of because he didn’t look like other slaves, he only had a mother on the plantation because his father was white. He wasn’t allowed to attend school like other Caucasian kids because he was considered African American. He had to work as a young child instead of going to school. Booker received a lot of criticism after General Armstrong appointed him Principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. General Armstrong was asked to recommend a white man but changed his......

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Booker T Washigton

...Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in Virginia, and after the Civil War worked in a coal mine and peregrination to school at night. Education was consequential to him, but he withal apperceive that blacks in the South had very little power: little maxima, few rights, and despite the 15th Amendment, were unable to vote. His suggestion, which he made most eminently in Atlanta and became known as the Atlanta Compromise, was that blacks get jobs in blue collar craft work and farming and edifying, which were relatively lower paying jobs. He pushed for the engenderment of agricultural and technical schools, such as Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which he founded. But by working strenuously and earning veneration, and accepting their inferior licit status for the time being, blacks would ultimately gain the reverence of whites, who would grant them more rights and sanction them to move up the economic ladder. This made Washington very popular with whites at that time, and he was even invited to dine at the White House with Teddy Roosevelt. However, in the next decades, in many ways, Washington was visually perceived as an obstruction to the civil rights kinetics, with his accentuation on slow economic gain, not pushing for rights and accommodation to the whites. While Washington was very authentic and understood the situation for blacks in the South at that time, later people visually perceived him as too inclined to compromise and keep his people down. Educator Booker T.......

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Up from Slavery

...failure in life is based on how they were raised. When one looks at American slavery, it seems as if the life of a slave would never turn out to be great due to the horrors of being held captive by the system of slavery. But in spite of how terrible a person’s upbringing may have been, I believe that anyone can be successful in life by faith, hard work, and perseverance. Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington is a great example of how anyone can succeed in life. When I think of the title of Mr. Washington’s autobiography, I think about a slave who decided to forget the past, and press onward to a higher place in life. Consider this quote by Booker T. Washington: “When persons ask me in these days how, in the midst of what sometimes seem hopelessly discouraging conditions, I can have such faith in the future of my race in this country, I remind them of the wilderness through which and out of which, a good Providence has already led us” (Booker T. Washington, 578). I find this quote by Booker T. Washington to be profound considering the circumstances he was in at the time. Mr. Washington had all odds stacked against him as a youth that could have hindered his progress and growth in life. He described the beginnings of his life as being miserable, with disfavored surroundings. He was born a slave; he didn’t know his father; his mother hardly had time to provide any kind of training for him and his siblings due to her responsibilities to the plantation; and he had no......

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