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Booker T. Washington, Up From slavery (Book Report Sample)


Instructions: Use the whole book to write your paper. 1. Write a minimum of 7 full pages. (There is no maximum limit). 2. Double-space it. 10 or 12 font size. 3. Use one inch margin space on all four sides. 4. You must upload your paper on to Moodle. It should be a WORD file. Title of file: “Paper”. 5. DO NOT USE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK. WRITE IN YOUR OWN WORDS. POINTS WILL BE DEDUCTED IF YOU DIRECTLY QUOTE FROM THE BOOK. 7. Organize your paper in your own style. 8. Use a spell-checker to check spellings. Points will be deducted for spelling errors. 9. I will grade your paper on your understanding of the book, demonstration of your reading through the use of multiple details and examples from the book, and your discussion. 10. Do not hesitate to consult me while you are writing the paper. 11. Remember that this is a history paper. Hence place it in a historical context. 12. I will NOT accept late submission of paper. 13. Do not email me the paper, submit it in CDs, or post it on your web site. 14. I WILL REGARD COPYING FROM CLIFF OR SPARKS NOTES AND INTERNET AS CHEATING (PLAGIARISM). DO NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCE (Books or internet). It will result in a F grade for the paper. (100 Points) Your paper should have two parts. Part One: (5 pages minimum) You should write your paper in an essay style. In reading his autobiography, how would you justify the legacy of Booker T. Washington as a leader of blacks in the years following the Civil War until his death? You should include Booker's experiences as a slave child, his views on white slave masters and mistresses and his views on whites soon after the Civil War when slavery was abolished. You should discuss his desires and ambitions as a young man and how he achieved them. You should include his work to improve race relations between whites and blacks. In that context in addition to discussing his work and ideas in Tuskegee, you should discuss his significant speeches chief among them being the Atlanta Speech. You should write also about his views on what he considered to be the best ways for blacks to improve their lives in the years following the Civil War. Part Two: (2 pages minimum) Are Booker T. Washington’s ideas about education relevant for today? Discuss this in relationship to the article; “Beyond One-Size-Fits-All College Dreams”. You can read the article in the site I have provided below.

Booker T. Washington: Up from Slavery
Part I
Booker Taliaferro Washington was born into a slave family in a plantation in Hale’s Ford, Franklin County, Virginia in 1856. This paper offers a book report of his autobiography, ‘Up from slavery’. The author rose to become one of the most influential (black) leaders in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. He is widely considered as an advocate for improved race relations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, with special focus on social development of the blacks and creating institutions that will ensure the same. He also advocated for economic independence in relation to the southern agricultural economy; his commitment to equality was later regarded as a significant influence on black socio-economic development.
The legacy of Booker T. Washington was formed from his childhood days through to adulthood. After freedom came to Washington and his family, they moved to West Virginia where he performed a variety of manual jobs to aid in the subsistence of his family, and since it was the only way he could be productive. It was there that Washington through his determination managed to get trivial and or basic education. At that time no public schools existed for the blacks, as such, black families had to pay a little fee every month for their children to be homeschooled by volunteer teachers, who would come to each family’s cabin for lessons. Washington used to wait earnestly and looked forward for the "teacher’s day”, all in the quest to learn and gain education.
Washington’s childhood experiences depict that he hardly had time for play, but hard work at all times; as it turns out, this formed the basis of his social philosophy. When a school was opened in Kanawha valley (where they had moved to), Washington had to endure the agony of seeing other (white) children going to school while he worked at the salt furnace, for his stepfather had discovered that he had values of financial discipline. This experience clouded his ambition in some way. Nevertheless, he managed to secure night lessons after the day’s work. This night school idea enabled the young man to gain values of tolerance and faith, which he applied in the after years while teaching at Hampton and Tuskegee.
One cannot decline to note that Washington’s experiences as a youth were filled with numerous odds and obstacles that were prone to slow down his personal growth and development and so the realization of his ambitions. In fact, it is clear that the earlier times of his life were seemingly depressing and miserable. All the same, the young Washington did not allow the circumstances he faced to determine his destiny. He had no knowledge of his biological father and his mother had little time to attend to him, train or guide him as a child, considering her duties of being a slave at a plantation.
Even so, with his unyielding determination, Washington was, at some point, permitted to go to school during the day for a few months as long as he woke up early enough to do the day’s work and returned in the afternoon to work for at least two more hours. He went to the extent of altering the clock by 30 minutes so he could arrive in time for the classes. It was in school that he named himself Washington for fear of being victimized for having one name. Additionally, he had to walk for miles just to get to the night lessons. This is a clear indication of sheer determination by an individual to rise above racial stereotypes that existed at the time and to realize his dreams and ambitions.
Washington had dreams of seeing himself and all other black people in America living a just life, free from slavery. As a small boy, he saw their master’s daughter attending school and he was adversely affected by the illegality of education for the blacks as a result. Nevertheless, he hardly viewed the white masters and mistresses as total oppressors of the black community. In fact, he (as well as other slaves around him) came to a point of realization of kindness towards others (their masters and mistresses) as a more rewarding attribute of life over material possessions. At some point, the plantation slaves would offer food and other needs to Yankee soldiers while faithfully hiding the property of their masters away, in safe places. A keen look into the expressions of Booker T. Washington reveal that he was hardly bitter as a black person (and a victim of slavery and poverty) but regretful that the whole nation was in fact in sufferance due to the slavery.
With the passing of the civil war, Washington believed that the whites were left just as vulnerable as the blacks were. They were not only able to sustain their farms but also lacked basic and skilled knowledge of the crafts. As it were, their acquired formal education could not be a substitute for this. They had lived in lenient coexistence with the blacks, whose labor they had come to rely on as a form of subsistence. The spirit of self-reliance lacked in white men but it was fortified in blacks, bringing both groups to common ground.
Looking into Washington’s desires, and how he achieved them, it is evident that his desire to achieve was as strong as depicted when he workined in a coalmine. He overheard two men talking about a great school in Virginia for the blacks, the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. He resolved at once to go to that school though he had no idea where it was or how he would get there. He stayed at the coalmine for some time before moving in with Miss Ruffner, where he spent a year and a half. At Miss Ruffner’s he learnt the qualities of self-discipline, he would pick papers scattered on the streets and how always wanted to paint any unpainted house.
Washington traveled five hundred miles to Hampton to join the Hampton Institute by walking, begging for rides on cars and offloading from a ship for a day’s pay. His resilient spirit manifested even more there. The head teacher was at first reluctant to admit him- most likely because of his tattered looks. When asked to sweep the recitation room, Washington ensured to do so three times to ensure it was perfectly clean. Indeed, the head teacher inspected the room thoroughly and failed to find any unclean space; this greatly contributed to his admission to the school. After going through many obstacles, Washington managed to complete his education and later became a teacher at the school.
Washington always tried to maintain healthy relations with all people regardless of their race. In particular, he kept the company of the wealthy and powerful in an effort to improve race relations between the whites and the blacks. In May 1881, General Armstrong received a letter from some men in Alabama asking him to recommend someone who had the capacity to take charge of a school for the blacks in the little town of Tuskegee in the state of Alabama. General Armstrong unhesitatingly recommended Washington to take charge of the school. The men then asked Washington to travel to Alabama to start the school. He proceeded to Tuskegee through his old home in West Virginia thinking there would be a building ready for him to begin the school in; he found no building whatsoever and began the first hard task of locating a place where he would set up the school. He managed to set up the school with the help of aspiring students as fellow workers, in a dilapidated shanty near a blacks Methodist church with the church acting as the assembly room.
In Tuskegee, the blacks implored Washington to join them in their political endeavors and be one of them; indeed, he was touched by how the blacks lived in very poor and uncouth conditions, in the cabins. Families slept in single and congested rooms; the author studied their lifestyles and the obstacles they went through on a day-to-day basis. In one instance, Washington entered the schoolhouse only to find five pupils studying using a single book. These experiences in Tuskegee and around the country encouraged him and gave him more determination to advocate for empowerment of black people and putting an end to racial segregation.
One of the most highly regarded references of Washington and his social philosophy and beliefs is his speech made in Atlanta in 1895. He expressed ways he regarded as necessary for black people to improve their lives as well as concepts of liberalism. He categorically asked black people to take up the responsibility of shaping the outcomes of their lives and the whites to take up equality as the basis of treatment of every person. Washington expressed his belief that common labor could be best manifested by encouragement of application of both knowledge and skill in collective and common life occupations. He advised people of all backgrounds (and blacks in particular) not to allow their downfalls (caused by the external environment) to determine or influenced their destiny. He urged people to focus in the future and not dwell in the bitterness of the past or historical injustices. Indeed, the Atlanta address remains the most important event of Washington’s public life. It was hailed by both the blacks and the whites as a speech of wisdom. The speech marked the beginning of new race relations in American history, but as critics would later comment on, the Atlanta compromise was no compromise at all, as blacks made all concession awhile the whites made none at all.
The Atlanta address was effective as Washington agitated for the rights of blacks to be recognized by the white majority. Despite some limitations, Washington was able to remain committed to equality for all. He managed to bring the president of the Nation to Tuskegee in an attempt to end racism by making blacks ...
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