Up From Slavery: An Autobiography Term Paper

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Booker T. Washington marks an epoch in the history of America. He was the greatest Negro leader since Frederick Douglass, and the most distinguished man, white or black, who came out of the South since the Civil War'" (Dagbovie). DuBois was also critical of Washington, however, and felt that he sometimes submitted to the will of whites, and lived between the black and white communities, attempting to get along with both (Dagbovie). Many other historians dispute this theory, feeling Washington maintained a healthy relationship with blacks and whites, and did much good for the black community.

Throughout his life, Washington was always concerned with the betterment of blacks and their economic and social condition. He believed education was the central point that would elevate blacks from poverty and despair. Another historian wrote, "Washington's concern was 'that slavery had left the [African-American] ill-prepared to care for himself'. In Washington's opinion, African-Americans needed skills that would help them be 'better prepared for the duties of citizenship'" (Kikas). Tuskegee Institute helped fill the void in black education, and helped prepare thousands of blacks for skilled technical jobs. He wrote of his intentions for the school, "Aside from this, we wanted to give them such a practical knowledge of some one industry, together with the spirit of industry, thrift, and economy, that they would be sure of knowing how to make a living after they had left us" (Washington 127). The school succeeded, which is a lifelong testament to Washington's own life work.
In conclusion, "Up From Slavery" is an uplifting book that shows what a person can do when they put their mind to it. Washington did not have an easy life, but he spent it helping others, and his legacy lives on today in Tuskegee University in Alabama, and the many students that have graduated from that university.

References

Anderson, Eric D. "Booker T. Washington and Black Progress: Up from Slavery 100 Years Later." Journal of Southern History 71.1 (2005): 193+.

Dagbovie, Pero Gaglo. "Exploring a Century of Historical Scholarship on Booker T. Washington." The Journal of African-American History 92.2 (2007): 239+.

Kikas, Gabriel. "Bush and Booker T. Washington's 'Compassionate Conservatism'." Contemporary Review Sept. 2004: 157+.

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