Up From Slavery Review

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:History

Document 1

In the book, Washington also showcases his desire to introduce education reforms to the black community. The purpose of doing so is to enable the African American folks to improve their economic wellbeing to ensure that they may be able to actively interact with other community members in a manner that is free and fair. The events presented in the book allow the reader to learn about how Washington played a leadership role in the vast African American community in the United States. All these events take place in United States li the period nearing the civil war. Part One This section attempts to paint a clear picture about Washington’s early life as a child. It is at this time that the reader gets to learn his various memories living in slavery. Similar to any other African American child born during the civil war, Washington is forced to deal with the effects of slavery. He shares about how his family was forced to provide casual labor in various white dominated plantation farms. According to the author, Washington seems to be impressed by the living conditions that his family is in. His mother is assigned the duty of being a cook on the plantation. The busy schedule deprives his mother adequate time to take care of him as a child. It is from this lifestyle that he can learn about the hardships of living in slavery. This enables him to derive relevant life lessons that would later allow him to fight against racial discrimination.

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Working on the plantations for the most part of his life enables him to realize the significance of labor work. It is from this that Washington becomes aware of the relevance of advocating for a society where the black community can experience both industrial and economic development. His current situation prevents him from gaining access to formal education like the other children. This made him even to yearn more for going to school if he ever gets such an opportunity in his life. He continuously familiarizes himself with the various activities resulting from the civil war from a book his mother had stolen from her workplace. He believes that such reading practice will make it easy for him when he finally gets educated in his later in his life. In the first chapter, he also goes a step further to share his views on slave mistresses and masters.

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He notably acknowledges the help he was able to gain from working at Miss Mackie. It is from this that he was able to learn more about the essence of patience, labor, and hard work. Additionally, he seems very grateful to all the people who facilitated his being in school at Hampton Institute. He shares about how he would obtain help in paying his tuition, clothing, books and even daily supply of food at the institute. From this, Washington is confident that the unity between the white and black community would enable the southern society to grow in general. While at work (at the coal mines), he hears talks about the existence of a school where all races are allowed to join. Since he does not know where such a school is located, he is still determined to join Hampton Institute.

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He offers to work for Mrs. Ruffiner as a house servant so that he would be able to raise enough money to support his learning objective. Although his employer is strict and demanding, Washington ensures that he can meet Ruffiner’s expectations. Washington believes that becoming an excellent public speaker could prove to be an essential thing in improving the relationship between the two races. Washington honors the help of the white people in facilitating the development of the Tuskegee school which enables more people from the black community to learn. The introduction of the Tuskegee school results from a speech he delivers in Atlanta. The five-minute public address draws immense attention from white leaders. He utilizes this advantage where he continues to raise concerns of enhancing the well-being of the black community.

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Although his teachings were particularly applicable in the early 20th century and late 19th century, some of Washington’s education ideas may not be useful in the modern academic field. This is mainly because most students in the contemporary society are already aware of the significance of labor and education. Traditionally, people would learn on the various ways they would be able to survive in a white-dominated society. Since the students often lack adequate resources to enhance their education, Washington becomes eager to lend a supportive hand to them. This encourages all learners to gain a broader perspective on how to survive in the society. This, therefore, goes to show that students in the modern times should attempt to focus on growing better at what they are passionate about as opposed to learning for the greed of earning more money in the future.

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Based on the issues discussed above, one can learn that the application of Washington’s ideas in modern may prove to be a difficult task. Students in the contemporary society are more inclined towards focusing on education fields that are likely to guarantee them better positions in future so that they may earn more money. Counselors today have failed to guide the students on the steps they should take to ensure that they can become successful people in the future. Additionally, counselors often tend to issue misleading information to students making it impossible for them to gain essential life skills.

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