B.T. Washington Essay, Research Paper
Chad Mertz Booker T. Washington Essay September 25, 2000 Throughout the life of Booker T. Washington expressed in his autobiography, Up From Slavery, one component has remained the same through his influences, instruction, public speech production, and instruction of others. This is the fact that one can non win entirely on a & # 8220 ; book & # 8221 ; instruction, but must attach to this with that of an & # 8220 ; industrial & # 8221 ; instruction as good. He believed that with this type of instruction, the black adult male could supply necessary services non merely for himself, but besides for those in his community every bit good. Washington was born on a slave plantation in either 1858 or 1859 in Franklin County, Virginia. He grew up with his female parent, his brother John, and his sister Amanda. They lived in an highly little log cabin, which was typical for a slave household. His male parent was thought to be a white adult male who lived on a nearby plantation. Washington knew nil of him, which was besides really typical of many slaves. Washington & # 8217 ; s female parent was the plantation cook, which meant she did non hold a great trade of clip to raise the kids. The white work forces that gave them orders raised them. Due to the fact that he was merely a little kid during the times of bondage, Washington could execute few occupations. These were small occupations such as cleaning the paces, transporting H2O to the work forces and adult females to the Fieldss, and taking maize to mill. Although little, these occupations gave Washington the base of his industrial instruction, which shaped his positions for the remainder of his life. After the terminal of the Civil War, Washington & # 8217 ; s mother moved his household to Malden, West Virginia. This is where her hubby, who besides was Washington & # 8217 ; s sister & # 8217 ; s male parent, lived. Although he wanted to go to school, Washington worked in the local salt mines to assist back up his household. During this clip of work, Washington acquired a Webster & # 8217 ; s spelling book that came to be the first book he of all time read. About this same clip a school had been stated in Kanawha Valley, a small town a few stat mis off from Malden. This is where Washington began his book instruction. To go to the school, Washington, at first, had to travel to dark categories due to his occupation at the salt mines. With a small persuasion, Washington eventually was allowed to go to during the twenty-four hours provided he worked from four O & # 8217 ; clock to nine O & # 8217 ; clock in the forenoon. This instruction was really disorderly due to the fact he could non go to on a regular basis. Finally Washington had to drop out of the school and go on working full clip at the salt mines. Washington continued working at the salt mines until he was able to work in the coal mines. The coal mines paid a small more, but non a important difference. It was here where Washington overheard two work forces speaking about a new all Negro school in Hampton, Virginia. In order to travel to this school, Washington needed to salvage money for apparels and going disbursals. For this he worked in the house of Mrs. Viola Ruffner, who turned out to hold an ample affect on his life. & # 8220 ; The lessons that I learned in the place of Mrs. Ruffner were every bit valuable to me as any instruction I have of all time gotten since, & # 8221 ; ( Washington 52 ) . From Mrs. Ruffner, Washington learned about taking pride in holding a clean life country. She besides encouraged his instruction during the clip of his work at that place. After salvaging whatever money he could, Washington set off for the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. During his travels, Washington overcame many adversities. For a piece he even slept under a board pavement. This fact showed Washington & # 8217 ; s dedication for instruction. He knew it was critical, and in bend, was traveling to acquire his at any cost. Upon reaching at Hampton in 1872, Washington was required to take somewhat of an entryway trial. The trial consisted of him cleaning a recitation-room. He passed it with winging colourss due to geting this trade for Mrs. Ruffner. About this trial Washington writes, & # 8220 ; I have passed several scrutinies since so, but I have ever felt that this was the best 1 I of all time passed, & # 8221 ; ( 57 ) . This statement shows the regard Washington had for both a book and industrial instruction. To acquire into Hampton, the establishment that gave him his book instruction, he needed the cognition of the proper manner to clean a room. At Hampton, Washington received a broad assortment of cognition from math to the Bible. He paid for his instruction by working as a janitor. Every hr he spent was either working or analyzing. It was at Hampton where he learned to analyze the Bible. This was taught to him by a Miss Nathalie Lord. Lord besides taught him the art of public speech production, which became a big portion of his ulterior life. Washington writes, & # 8220 ; Whatever ability I may hold as a public talker I owe in a step to Miss Lord, & # 8221 ; ( 64 ) Another individual Washington met at Hampton was General Samuel C. Armstrong. Armstrong became Washington & # 8217 ; s wise man and so the greatest influence on his life. Just reading a few descriptive lines about Armstrong, one can easy see the several tone. & # 8220 ; He worked about invariably dark and twenty-four hours for the cause to which he had given his life. I ne’er saw a adult male who so wholly lost sight of himself. I do non believe he of all time had a selfish idea, & # 8221 ; ( 58 ) . In June of 1875, Was
hington graduated from Hampton on the honour roll. This allowed him to have the distinguished honor of speaking at the Commencement ceremonies. After Hampton, Washington held a waiter position in Connecticut. This lasted only a short time due to the fact that he wanted use his knowledge to teach others. For this he went home to Malden. There he taught day and night school for two years. Washington felt that he could reach the black community on a much lager level. He would later get this opportunity. In May of 1881, Washington received a letter from General Armstrong stating that two men were looking for someone to start a school in Tuskegee, Alabama. This provided Washington with the forum he needed to teach the full education he felt black students needed. On July 4, 1881, Washington’s school in Tuskegee opened. Admission was open to anyone over fifteen years old with some sort of educational foundation. His educational mission can be summed up in a paragraph excerpt: “We wanted to teach the students how to bathe; how to care for their teeth and clothing. We wanted to teach them what to eat, and how to eat it properly, and how to care for their rooms. 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. We wanted to teach them to study actual things instead of mere books alone,” (96). This could perhaps be the most important passage in Washington’s entire autobiography. It states not only his standards for education, but also the standards for what he felt every person should live by. Starting the school was rough. Funds were small and teachers were scarce. For this Washington sent a Miss Olivia A. Davidson around the country. Davidson literally went house to house looking for money. She did this while Washington oversaw the daily operations at the school. Once financially able, Washington took on the project of adding another building to the school. This was done solely by students. Even the bricks used to construct the building were made by students. Many objected to this saying that the children were there to receive an education, not work. Washington argued that this was part of their education. Besides architecture, construction, and brick making, students also learned such industries as landscaping, farming, and laundry. Overtime Tuskegee secured itself as one of the top schools for African-Americans. During his time at Tuskegee, Washington had made somewhat of a name for himself, which allowed him to speak publicly about his views from time to time. Public speaking was somewhat of a hobby for Washington until the National Education Association asked him to speak at their national convention in Madison, Wisconsin. He unexpectedly praised the South and talked of the importance of the Negro being involved in the community. Many important people throughout the country heard the speech, which opened doors for other speaking opportunities. Washington talked to many groups on many different subjects, but the speech he is truly remembered for took place at the opening of the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition. The audience was filled with influential people throughout the country. Washington knew that if he got his message across, he might be able to secure an enormous amount of money for Tuskegee. Washington overwhelmed the crowd. The core of his speech dealt with the fact that black men, after education, should do their part in the progression of their community. He used the metaphor, “Cast down your bucket where you are,” requesting black men to not look for a community to better service their needs, but to help the place where you are at, (147). This request also extended to white men to whom Washington asked not to move from a community to which blacks integrate, but to work with them to form a healthy relationship on which the town can build. Everyone loved it. President Grover Cleveland even sent a letter of congratulations to Washington. The Atlanta speech made Washington so famous that he received many speaking opportunities to which that he had to regretfully decline. Public speaking consumed most of Washington’s time for the rest of his life. This was possible because he had left such a strong foundation at Tuskegee. This gave him the opportunity to meet many people such as the President of Harvard, the Postmaster General, the Secretary to the President, many United States ambassadors, and Presidents Cleveland and McKinley. Although he failed to mention much information on the subject, Washington was married twice, first to Miss Fannie M. Smith, and second to the earlier mentioned Miss Olivia A. Davidson. He had three children. Their names were Booker, Ernest, and Portia. Booker T. Washington had two goals in his life. These were to receive an education of both books and industry and to utilize this education to teach others. Through his teachings, the school he started, and that of his speeches, he gave both blacks and whites the insight of living in a successful community. For this, his legacy will not soon be forgotten.