Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery

1343 Words6 Pages
Booker T. Washington’s states two main points at the beginning of his autobiography Up from Slavery that sets the tone for his belief system, thought process and writings as an educator and publically proclaimed speaker for his race. Those two points are that he was born a slave and that he may have been born at a literal crossroad by writing, “I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. I am not quite sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth, but at any rate I suspect I must have been born somewhere and at some time. As nearly as I have been able to learn, I was born near a cross-roads post-office called Hale’s Ford, and the year was 1858 or 1859.” I purpose that these two facts dictate his thoughts on race relations and seal his place in history. The African Slave has been unbound from slavery’s physical chains by law but Washington attempts to bind the freed slaves and their descendants in metaphorical chains for a lifetime through his “single definite programme,” as laid out in detail at the Atlanta Exposition where he proclaimed knowledge and opinions of his entire race by stating , “The wisest among my race…show more content…
Dubois states in his book The Souls of Black Folks on Washington’s attitude toward African-American’s future progress, “Mr. Washington represents in Negro thought the old attitude of adjustment and submission; but adjustment at such a peculiar time as to make his programme unique.” The “peculiar time” Dubois mentions coincides with Washington’s building Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. In the end Washington’s “single definite program” was self-serving toward his legacy as a founder and builder of an education institution for African-Americans. He was determined to accomplish this by any means necessary, even selling his fellow African-American’s human rights and civil rights down the river as so many slaves were sold during slavery. This makes Washington worse than the slave master who owned
Open Document