Up from Slavery: An Authoritative Text, Contexts and Composition History, Criticism
Upon its publication in 1901, Up From Slavery became the most influential book written by an African American.
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Introduction by Louis R. Harlan
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Please click the link below to read a brief biography of Booker T. Washington's life. Washington strove to create a public persona of himself that contrasted with his private beliefs and philosophies. (This annotation contains a link)
Washington is best known for his creation of the Tuskegee Institute. This was modeled after the Hampton Institute. In the text, it is referred to as a "normal" school. Normal schools were schools where one would be educated to become a teacher. Washington's inspiration and role model was a man named General Samuel Chapman Armstrong. Click on the link below to view Armstrong's biography from Hampton University's (formerly Hampton Institute) webpage. (This annotation contains a link)
There are many differences and discrepancies between Washington's two autobiographies. When you read Up from Slavery, consider Washington's audience and his purpose. He was writing for post-Civil War white Americans and trying to help advance the African American cause in the United States. Critics of this piece claim he was acquiescing to the Southern whites, but Washington defended his statements and beliefs. He did not think that the perception of African Americans would change simply because the Civil War ended and slaves were declared free. He believed that African Americans needed to demonstrate their abilities to change their reputation and the stereotypical views of the Southern white population. Based on these facts, do you think you should be circumspect of some of the text? Do you think Washington may embellish some details or omit others to help the African American cause? How else may he reshape history in order to influence white readers?
Consider the highlighted statement as you read. If Washington was able to "gain the endorsement of conservative southern white leaders, the money of northerners, and the patronage of southern blacks," do you think he promoted an idea that may have been viable? Consider this when you determine the central idea or central claim of the text.
This is an extremely important quote from Washington's speech and perhaps is the impetus for writing this text. Within in the text, he explains his intent of his analogy and the logic behind his beliefs that African American men and women must be educated before than can expect to be accepted by the Caucasian population.
Frederick Douglass was a former slave who became an adviser to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. While he did not support some abolitionist ideas such as the dissolution of the Union, he did believe in a end to slavery throughout the United States. After writing his autobiography, The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, he became internationally associated with the abolitionist movement. Please click the link below for a brief biography of Frederick Douglass. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p1539.html (This annotation contains a link)
It is important to remember there are two Booker T. Washington's (figuratively speaking): there is the Washington that adheres stringently to his belief system and is viewed by many as a martinet because of this belief system. His entire adult life is dedicated to the advancement of the African American people, and he expects the same dedication from his students and other associated with his cause. The other Booker T. Washington is the man he chooses to present to the public. An example of this is the Washington that gives the "Atlanta Compromise" speech that intimates segregation is an acceptable way of life, but privately, Washington supported Supreme Court cases and other legal battles that fought to insure African American rights. He was a man who knew that his private agenda and his public persona were two different entities. He understood how he was perceived by Southern whites and needed to change that perception in order to effect sweeping changes across the nation.
Washington's influence and institution at Tuskegee was known as the "Tuskegee Machine." Note the language used to describe this entity. The machine is described as having "tentacles" and a "political arm ... to bind to him those blacks most inclined to criticize his conservative racial policies." This is in contrast to the humble and forthright portrait he paints of himself in the text.
W.E.B Dubois is known for his political activism and as a "polemicist." This is a term for someone who promotes controversial views in order bring attention to those ideas.
When reading this text, it is important to understand the historical and cultural context in which it is written. To try and read the text and not know any of the historical references is like reading every other page of a detective novel; you will miss half the detail and most of the meaning. The Atlanta race riot in 1906 was a result of mounting tensions between the emerging class of unemployed, working class African Americans, "black elite" and the white members of the community. Due to a combination of fear, ignorance, and mistrust, the idea that allowing African American men to vote meant a destruction of the "white way" of life. There was political encouragement to maintain segregation and to limit the rights of the African American population so they would not "threaten" the white population. In addition to those sentiments, there were false stories and rumors of an increase of crimes against white women committed by African American men. As a direct result of one of these stories, an angry mob of white men gathered and began attacking black men and women throughout downtown Atlanta. African American owned businesses were destroyed and men and women were beaten in the streets. Once the mob disbanded, a group of 250 African American men were arrested by the state militia and their arms were seized. An indirect result of the 1906 riot was the restrictions on African American voting rights in 1908 (Mixon, Gregory, and Clifford Kuhn. "Atlanta Race Riot of 1906." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 05 June 2014. Web). (This annotation contains an image)
Click on the link below to view an 1911 editorial written about the acquittal of the two men who beat Washington in New York. (This annotation contains a link)
The publisher of Washington's biography wanted the biography to effect change and advance "the good cause." This supports the idea that the autobiography was written to promote African American rights and equality rather than as a anecdotal piece about a prominent figure.
Either Washington used a ghost writer or somebody wrote the text based on Washington's dictation. Why do you think the introduction includes this information? Do you think the introduction is trying to imply that Washington's voice is not heard throughout the text?
Read carefully through the praise Washington's text received and why people regarded the text with such acclaim. As you read the text, decide if you agree with the praise it received or if you are more critical of the context and point of view of the text.
Whether a person appreciated the text or not, critics agreed that the text was influential. According to the introduction Washington's autobiography was compared to Benjamin Franklin's The Autobiography in style, "as a paean to self-help, and as capturing the quintessential American spirit."
As you read the critics' reviews, you must consider the context in which they are written. During the Reconstruction period of the United States, the social structure and stratification of the United States was mutable. Prejudice and racism did not disappear once slavery ended.
The negative criticism Washington did receive was primarily from other African American writers and scholars. They believed Washington's account was contrived and did not include "the compromises Washington had made in order to secure white approval." This is important to consider when you read the text. Do you think Washington purposely omits details in order to reach a broader audience?
The Latin phrase "per aspera ad astra" means "a rough road leads to the stars."
Marcus Garvey is best known for urging African Americans to return to Africa. Ironically he is inspired by Washington, but Washington was not a proponent of the back-to-Africa movement. Washington discusses this in Chapter 16.
Andrew Carnegie wanted to meet with Washington after reading his autobiography because he believed Washington "exemplified the work ethic and social Darwinism that Carnegie endorsed." This is an important statement because this captures one of the most important elements of Washington's belief system: hard work. Washington's approach to education was aimed at educating the whole student. He did not believe that learning could only be derived from texts and classrooms. He required all of his students perform manual labor and learn trades as well as be traditionally educated.
The introduction describes the whites of the late nineteenth century feared the African American's desire for "social equality, the right to engage in the higher pursuits, or strong voice in politics." Consider the historical context of the piece and the tone of the piece. Do you think Washington believed the African American movement should have limitations? As you read the text, consider this question.
Do you agree with the author of the introduction that the highlighted passage reflects modern day sentiments?
Reread the second paragraph of the preface, what tone does Washington want to convey to the reader?
There are two things you need to consider as you read about Washington's life. The first is his central claim and his argument. What is trying to convey and how does his story help to convey this message or achieve his purpose? The second is Washington's home and early years compared to your own. Washington was born into slavery and has no knowledge of his history or ancestry. There is nothing historical that defines him. Can you relate to this in any way? Or do you have an expansive knowledge of your family history and lineage? Does this help to define who you are today?
Washington's life as a child revolved around work and life on the plantation. There was little time for relaxation and rest. As a result, many of Washington's early memories of his mother involve eating dinner at the end of the day. In one instance, he remembers a chicken dinner but cannot recall how she got a chicken for dinner. He refuses to state that she stole the chicken, and instead he rationalizes her actions by describing her "a victim of the slavery system." What does he mean by this statement?
Washington begins his autobiography by focusing on his youth. He purposely mentions and discusses the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery for two reasons: it was a monumental time in history, and it marks a change in status of the African American from slave to free. Washington's autobiography is not simply a series of events in his life, but also it traces the development of the African American life post Civil War/ Reconstruction period in America.
Based on Washington's description of the life on the plantation during the Civil War, you can infer that
In terms of structure of argument, when a person states the degree or probability associated with the claim, this is called a qualifier or modality. Usually, there is an exception or a limitation to the claim, and this makes the argument more reasonable. Washington explicitly states, "As a rule, not only did the members of my race entertain no feelings of bitterness against the whites before and during the war"? In addition, Washington describes several occasions where slaves acted out of compassion and care for their masters. This seems ironic because the slaves were endeared to people who were fighting to keep them in slavery. Why do you think Washington includes these examples? In terms of the structure of his argument, do you think that the use of the qualifier helps to strengthen or weaken his argument?
Washington refers to the institution of slavery in America as "the school of American slavery." What does he imply through the use of this metaphor?
Washington argues that the institution of slavery helped the African Americans because it afforded them the opportunity to learn trades and prepare them for lives off of the plantation. He also claims that slavery hurt the white man as much as it hurt the African American because by allowing slaves to do the majority of their manual labor, crafts and trades were not taught to the masters' children. As a result, the children were incapable of maintaining a farm without slave labor and did not have a skill to earn a living. Do you think that the majority of African Americans were grateful for their time enslaved? Or do you think Washington may have included this opinion to appease and win over his audience?
All of the following were new problems that faced the freed slaves except
Try to imagine what life would be like if you had to leave everything you knew and start over. You may have moved in your life, so you may have an idea of what this is like. Now imagine that you must walk to where you are going, and you will have no idea what to expect once you get there. This was the life of a newly freed slave. Washington emphasizes the uncertainty that faced many freed slaves, and the quality of life for a freed slave was not much better if any than their lives in slavery. In addition to trying to establish new "free" lives, African Americans faced many political and legal obstacles during the Reconstruction Period of the United States. The southern states enacted what were known as Jim Crow laws that legalized segregation and prevented African Americans from voting, holding public office, or sitting on juries. Click on the link below and view the video from History Channel to see an overview of the problems that the country faced during the Reconstruction period. (This annotation contains a link)
Washington states, "From the time that I can remember having any thoughts about anything, I recall that I had an intense longing to learn to read." Unfortunately "there was not a single member of [his] race anywhere near [him] who could read." He includes this anecdote to illustrate
The demand for education that Washington describes was a great concern throughout the United States during the Reconstruction period. The federal government formed the Freedman's Bureau which did not provide funding for public education but "assisted the aid societies in meeting the burgeoning African American demand for education. It rented buildings for schoolrooms, provided books and transportation for teachers, superintended the schools, and offered military protection for students and teachers against the opponents of black literacy" (Butchart, Ronald E. "Freedmen's Education during Reconstruction." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 05 June 2014. Web). The Freedman's Bureau provided a small amount of help for a widespread need. As a result, much of the educational needs were met by the freed slaves. They raised funds, housed teachers, and tried to create a system to help educated all African American men and women. Below is a picture circa 1890 of African American schoolchildren from Georgia. (This annotation contains an image)
Washington admits that he "yielded to a temptation" and tampered with the mine clock in order to spend more time at school and less time at work. Why does Washington admit to this indiscretion?
In this chapter, Washington references times in his life when he could have and sometimes did "yield to temptation." The purpose of including these anecdotes is didactic. He is trying to convey lessons about how to live one's life based on his experiences. The first "temptation" was to turn the clock at the mine back so Washington had more time to spend at school rather than work in the mine. This demonstrates how much he valued education. The second "temptation" was to have a store bought cap in order to fit in with his classmates. His mother would not yield to this temptation because they simply could not afford to do so. She made him a hat instead. It taught him a valuable lesson about pride. His mother was not too proud to make him a hat and not too proud to send him to school with a homemade hat. Washington's mother taught him that pride was found internally and not through external means. The third "temptation" concerns Washington's name and lineage. He decides that if he had the privilege of belonging to a race where his ancestry was known and traced, he may have been "inclined to yield to the temptation of depending upon [his] ancestry and my colour to do that for me which I should do for myself." What does he mean by this statement? Can you think of any present day people who rely on their family name to provide fame or fortune as opposed to working to develop their own fortune?
Washington describes how he would "have to walk several miles at night in order recite [his] night-school lessons." This is grounds to support which claim or argument?
An argument's structure is based on a claim or central point the arguer is trying to make. Claims maybe factual, judgments of values (these state opinions and subjective evaluations), or policies (these advocate a course of action be taken). The claim is supported by the grounds. Grounds are evidence or proof the arguer offers to support his claim. Grounds can consist of statistics, quotations, reports, findings, anecdotes, or various forms of reasoning. Grounds may be based on authority, testimony, evidence, and reasoning.
In order to fully understand Washington's point of view, it is important you understand and highlight this portion of the text. Washington values and places a great emphasis on diligence and surmounting obstacles in order to achieve true success. He believes that due to the "Negro youth's" struggle, he "gets a strength, a confidence, that one misses whose pathway is comparatively smooth by reason of birth and race." A critic mentioned in the introduction uses the Latin phrase "per aspera ad astra" to capture the essence of Washington's character. The phrase means "a rough road leads to the stars." This sentiment is not appreciated by all African American activists of this time period.
What quality do Mrs. Ruffner and Washington share?
When Washington leaves for Hampton school, he does not have his admission secured and has barely any money to reach his destination. In fact, his mother believes he is "starting out on a 'wild-goose chase.'" Washington has the support of the elders in the community and leaves on his journey. This demonstrates his determination and the value for education. These details are grounds that support his claim that African Americans must seek an education in order to deliver themselves from the institution of slavery and afford themselves the same rights as white citizens.
Based on Washington's interaction with the innkeeper, you can infer that though the Civil War ended slavery, it did not end the
It is evident that Washington's journey to Hampton school is as important and meaningful to him as his time at Hampton school. The journey was physically arduous and tested him mentally as well. A less determined man may have given up his hopes to attend Hampton school.
Which of the following statements is grounds for Washington's central argument?
The highlighted portion of text is one of Washington's central claims in the text. The Tuskegee Institute is built on this belief. Do you think your education is based on books and texts, or does it also have a "real world" approach to learning? Which one do you think is more effective?
Washington has unending praise for General Armstrong and all that he helped accomplish for the "Negro race." Washington describes Armstrong as "a type of that Christlike body of men and women who wnet into the Negro schools at the close ofthe war by the hundreds to assist in lifting up my race." Based on this simile, one can infer that Washington believes Armstrong's acts are based in
Washington contrasts his life prior to Hampton and his life after Hampton through the use of anecdotes about simple everyday tasks and practices that we may take for granted. He discusses sleeping in a bed with sheets for the first time and not knowing how to sleep on it. He also values the cleanliness and hygiene required by the school to maintain enrollment as a student. At a first read, these ideals may seem superficial, but Washington values these ideals because he believes it requires an individual to have self-respect. This is a foundation for others to respect you; respect yourself.
Washington's poverty is a prevailing motif throughout the text. Why do you think he mentions it so often? Do you think it helped to shape his beliefs and actions? Lastly, do you think it is an important part of his overall argument about how to improve the status of the African American in the United States of America? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Washington describes how he found a ten dollar bill while working during the summer. He was in debt to the school for sixteen dollars, so this would have helped him immensely. He does not take the money, but he turns it in to the owner of the restaurant, who then keeps it. Why do you think he includes this anecdote about his honesty? Do you think he is trying to promote his own character? Or do you think it is grounds in support of his argument? Could it be both?
Throughout his time at Hampton, Washington is able to afford his education, visits home, and other items he needs primarily due to his diligence and
The story of Washington's mother's death is sad. Some critics may argue that he utilized the story of his mother's death to promote the idea of African American education. He describes how he is saddened by his mother's passing because "one of the chief ambitions which spurred [him] on at Hampton" was to care for his mother and make her "comfortable and happy." He also claims "she had so often expressed the wish that she might be permitted to live to see her children educated and started out into the world." This desire supports Washington's argument that education is key to the African American people changing their status in the United States. Washington uses pathos or an emotional appeal to the audience in order to win you over to his side.
Based on the highlighted passage, all of the following quotes accurately elucidate Washington's feelings about manual labor except which?
Washington's work ethic is not exaggerated. He can be described as "Puritanical" in his desire to work hard and prosper from his hard work. His diligence was a means to an end for Washington; if he worked hard, then he could help his fellow freedmen become educated. Lastly, consider the audience Washington is writing for. Why is it important that he portray himself as persistent and persevering? Do you think that Washington was trying to dispel some notions that Southern whites had about African Americans?
The Klu Klux Klan was formed by group of Confederate soldiers during the Reconstruction period in the United States of America. Known as "the invisible empire of the South," the Klan recruited southerns who were bitter about the loss to the Union in the Civil War and who believed in the institution of slavery. The Klan's brutal actions were often not prosecuted by local authorities for various reasons, so in 1871 the Force Bill was passed. This allowed Klu Klux Klan members to be federally prosecuted. For more information about the formation and development of the Klu Klux Klan, please click on the link below.
Washington claims, "To-day there are no such organizations [such as the Klu Klux Klan] in the South, and the fact that such ever existed is almost forgotten by both races." Is this statement true? Research and find evidence that disproves this statement. If the statement is false, why would Washington include it in his text? Does this cast doubt on other statements he makes?
The Reconstruction Period is the period of time following the Civil War where the United States sought to readmit the southern states to the Union. This was a very delicate time in US history because the political division between the Union and the Confederacy exacerbated an already tenuous bond between the two groups. Under Lincoln's leadership, the Confederate states would be readmitted to the Union under specific terms. The terms impacted every facet of the southern way of life. The Reconstruction Period of the United States was an attempt to unify a divided nation and effect great change, but the attempt ultimately failed as evidenced by the rise of the Klu Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, and segregation that would not be defeated until the mid twentieth century. Click on the link below for more information and details about the Reconstruction Period. (This annotation contains a link)
Washington includes the example of the dishonest or immoral men who claimed they were "called to preach" and his claim that he believes "that within the next two or three decades a very large proportion of the unworthy ones will have disappeared" in order to
Let's breakdown Washington's argument about Reconstruction. Washington believed the Reconstruction movement was hollow in many ways because it did not provide the means for the freed slaves to become citizens. The term citizen does not simply refer to status, but it refers to the duties of a citizen as well: have the ability to vote, to own land, to hold public office, to help create laws. There was no provision for the freed slaves to be educated, so there was really no expectation that they would participate in government as citizens. Washington also believes that African Americans were thrust into the political realm as a form of punishment for the southern whites; this augmented the southern whites' terrible perspective of the African Americans.
Reread Washington's comparison and contrast of the school he attended in Washington DC and the Hampton School. Washington includes this comparison in order to suggest
Washington contemplates whether or not girls should receive public educations because "book education had weaned them away from the occupation of their mothers." He speculates that if the girls had received training from their mothers, they would not go "to the bad." The question of female education is still debated today. In Nigeria, girls as young as nine are eligible to be married. Due to the large poor population, accepting a dowry for a daughter to be wed is a financial gain. The father no longer has an additional mouth to feed and no longer must pay for school. This results in many young girls leaving school once they are married because their husbands do not want to marry educated women; they are afraid that they will be too smart to stay and accept their substandard life. The combination of a myriad of factors results in a high number of divorced teenage girls who are seeking an education. Do you think that men and women, boys and girls should be educated equally? Or do you think that girls should be educated to do more traditional tasks? Click on the link below for more information. (This annotation contains a link)
Why do you think Washington includes the anecdote about the slave wanting to learn guitar? What is he trying to imply about the men and women who express interest in attending college to become a lawyer or Congressman or a music teacher?
Washington contends that the Hampton Institute differed from other schools because it did not give in to the temptation to "run each individual through a certain educational mould, regardless of the condition of the subject or the end to be accomplished." Do you think the school you attend is similar to the Hampton Institute? Or are you educated in a general matter and prepared to move forward to a vocation or university? Do you think one way of educating individuals is better than the other?
Washington mentions the incorporation of the Native American students in the Hampton Institute in order to convey
Throughout the text, Washington interjects testimony in the form of short anecdotes in order to illustrate his point of view. This helps to support his claim because it is evidence of his point. A prime example of this is Washington's belief that "to test a true gentleman is to observe him when he is in contact with individuals of a race that is less fortunate than his own." He illustrates this with a story of "George Washington." The downside to using anecdotal evidence is that we are not sure if this is a true story or not. We must accept it as true.
The students who attend night school exhibit which quality that Washington reveres?
The Tuskegee Institute is an important element in Washington's life. He is able to promote his virtues, values, and educational beliefs that were ingrained in him at his time at the Hampton Institute. Through his work developing and growing the Tuskegee Institute, Washington becomes an important figure in African American rights and roles in the post-Civil War United States. The Tuskegee Institute is still in existence today and is now known as Tuskegee University. For more information about the history of Tuskegee, click on the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
Tuskegee was an ideal location for a school for all of the following reasons except
It is important to highlight and note Washington's interjections and statements that are all-inclusive. He admits to tensions between the white and African American communities in terms of voting. He explains how the local African Americans determined how the white men were voting and then voted "'xactly de other way." Washington states that this type of behavior is "largely disappearing," and "the race is learning to vote from principle." Though this may be true, generalizations in argument weaken the overall argument because they provide fodder for rebuttal.
Washington is amazed that people who are barely literate and cannot tell time are studying antiquated subjects and purchasing unnecessary items such as an organ but do not own enough plates or silverware for the entire family use. Washington's reaction supports which claim?
During this time in history, African Americans had to be careful that they were not being taken advantage of while they sought to become recognized as citizens. Many people sought to exploit the freedmen with promises of deliverance and education. Washington is careful to note this. He contrasts the work at the Hampton and Tuskegee Institutes to the rural schools lead by people who were "poor in moral character."
Quiz #1: Preface, Chapters 1-5
The image of an "educated Negro with a high hat, imitation gold eye-glasses, a showy walking-stick, kid gloves, fancy boots, and what not" is an example of a
Read the highlighted passage. Based on what you know about Washington's beliefs about education and his central argument, why would the saddest thing that he saw in his initial month at Tuskegee be a young man, somewhat educated, sitting and studying grammar with grease on his clothing?
Which textual excerpt explains why Washington includes biographical information about Miss Davidson's life prior to Hampton?
Washington strives to "teach [the students] to study actual things instead of mere books alone." This is important and contrasts the attitude of African Americans at the time because a return to an agricultural way of life usually meant being a share-cropper. Many freedmen believed that education would help to elevate them out of the farms and become more cosmopolitan. Washington rebuts this belief because the freedmen needed to "make a living after they left" Tuskegee.
When Washington needs money in order to purchase land to build the Tuskegee Institute, he asks for a loan from the Hampton Institute but secures a personal loan from the Treasurer of the Hampton Institute. The Treasurer's willingness to lend Washington the money is a testament to which element of Washington's character?
Washington incorporates the story of the elderly woman "clad in rags" donating six eggs in order to help raise funds for the school in order to provoke an emotional response or pathos. The story also serves a didactic purpose and is an allusion to a biblical parable known as "The Widow's Offering." In the parable, people are donating to the temple. As Jesus watches from afar, wealthy people are donating large amounts and a poor widow donates the only money she has, which is less than a penny. Jesus remarks, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on" (Mark 12:41-44). This exemplifies that giving what one can is what is valued, not the dollar amount. It is also demonstrates a faith in the institution to do what is proper with the money.
Washington is disappointed that the Christmas season is marked by drinking and other crass behaviors. The behavior Washington describes may seem surprising to you as well. Historically speaking, these celebrations are not uncommon. In England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Christmas celebrations rowdy. People would walk from house to house demanding food, drink, or money. The lyrics to "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" reflect this sentiment. The celebration of Christmas was one of the many elements of English life the Puritans objected and was impetus of their migration to New England. In many ways Washington's mentality is similar to that of the Puritans. Click on the link below for the lyrics to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." (This annotation contains a link)
Reread the highlighted passage. Does Washington contradict himself? Go back and reread what Washington previously stated about community voting. Do you think this impacts his overall argument? Why or why not?
Throughout the text, Washington mentions Tuskegee's benefactors' deeds, but he does not mention most of them by name. Do you think this is purposeful?
Miss Davidson's actions exemplify which element of her character?
It is important to highlight or note Washington's valid fear: if the institution fails, "it would injure the whole race." The formation of the Tuskegee Institute is different from the Hampton Institute because it is led and developed by African Americans. This is a burden for Washington as well as reward.
Washington's states that his first wife "was completely one with me in every interest and ambition," and she passed away "before she had an opportunity of seeing what the school was designed to be." This tone and sentiment is similar to Washington's description of
There is an axiom that states, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." This means that there is value in learning the technique versus accepting a handout. From Washington's perspective, allowing the new students to move into a building full of amenities does help the students understand the value of those amenities. Do you agree?
Washington includes the anecdote about pawning his watch to demonstrate
The highlighted passage is important because it outlines Washington's approach to his work at Tuskegee and to writing this text. Washington does not make an assertion without including relevant testimony to support his claim.
How does Washington's experience finding lodging in the North contrast with his prior experiences? Why do you think he includes this description? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
The early years at Tuskegee are best captured by one world: faith. Benefactors had faith their money would be used wisely, students had faith they would receive a valuable education, and people had faith that Washington would develop a institution that would help advance the African American cause. Washington is surprised by this because "people seemed to have more faith in [him] than [he] had in [himself]."
Washington celebrates and cherishes the initial struggles he and the other developers of the Tuskegee Institute endured because he believes it prevented them from becoming "stuck up." Based on the context, the idiom "stuck up" most nearly means
Washington's observations of General Armstrong serve a didactic purpose. Through Armstrong's actions, Washington is trying to demonstrate to the reader the willingness that the African Americans and Northerners have to work with the Southern whites. Though this may not be entirely true, Washington understands his audience and does not want to alienate the reader by stating there is an explicit bitterness towards the Southern whites. He also condemns the oppressive acts of the Southern whites through this example. He states that he "learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak."
Once Washington helped to establish a boarding school at Tuskegee, he did not have proper accommodations for the students. There were no beds or mattresses, students resided in "shanties," and shared blankets. Even though these conditions were deplorable, the students remained at the school. One can infer that Washington includes this example to demonstrate the students' determination and dedication to their education. This is an example of __________ for Washington's claim.
In the Toulmin Model of argument, the structure of an argument can be divided into three separate parts. The claim is the argument the arguer presents, the grounds are the evidence that support the claim, and the warrant. The warrant is the inference a reader or audience member can make based on the evidence presented. Consider this statement, "I have a high fever, I must have an infection." The inference you can make from that statement is that a fever is a sign of an infection. This is not explicitly stated but implied by the evidence presented. The warrant is related to or supports the claim the arguer presents as well. The dynamic between the claim, grounds, and warrant is depicted in the image below. It is a sample argument that includes about the Vietnam War. It is basic, but exemplifies the structure of argument. (This annotation contains an image)
Washington's statement, "I can say that during the nineteen years of my experience at Tuskegee I never, either by word or act, have been treated with disrespect by any student or officers connected with the institution" is an example of an absolute statement. The statement is absolute because of the term "never." In argument, this type of statement weakens an argument because it allows an opponent an opportunity to disprove or find fault in the argument easily. In addition, consider the point that Washington is trying to disprove. He states that he has "heard it stated more than once ..... that colored (sic) people would not obey and respect each other when one member of the race is placed in a position of authority over the others." Do you think Washington's evidence disproves this statement? What does his evidence prove?
Washington believes his role at Tuskegee is not an "overseer" but is a "friend and adviser." How does he convey this to the students?
Washington is extremely concerned with the cleanliness of the institution and of the students. He is well aware that "people would excuse us for our poverty, for our lack of comforts and conveniences, but that they would not excuse us for dirt." He knows that superficial impressions are important; they may not reflect the character of an individual, but the African Americans are being judged by their appearance and hygiene. Minstrel shows known as "black face" became prevalent. In these shows, a white man would transform himself into an African American with the assistance of makeup. His character would be a stereotypical representation of the racist perception of African Americans at the time. In addition to painting their faces "black," actors would also wear rags or dirty clothing. Below is an image from one minstrel show. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2: Chapters 6-11
Which claim does the highlighted passage support? In terms of the structure of his argument, is there a problem with the grounds or the statements that Washington makes?
Once again, Washington includes an anecdote about General Armstrong as an exemplar of how to live one's life. He also uses the work done by General Armstrong to illustrate his point that there are whites who wish to help the African American's plight for advancement within society.
Based on his observations, Washington offers advice to his audience about how to be a successful man: "never grow excited or lose self-control" and always remain "calm, self-possessed, patient, and polite." Why do you think Washington states, "I think that President William McKinley is the best example of a man of this class I have ever seen"? You may need to research the relationship between Washington and McKinley in order to answer the question fully.
Washington argues that he is not a "beggar." He asserts that people donate because they believe in his cause. He also states that "the most useful and influential people" in the world are "those who take the deepest interest in institutions that exist for the purpose of making the world better." Remember: the text is an autobiography with a purpose. These assertions are meant to inform, teach, and persuade his readers to assist or in the least, not detract from the advancements of the African American community.
Which adage best describes the lesson Washington is trying to convey through the anecdote about the eventual benefactor?
Washington's tone is firm and frank when he writes, "Some people may say that it was Tuskegee's good luck that brought to us this gift... No, it was not luck. It was hard work. Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work." This captures Washington's ethic perfectly.
Washington includes his story about pursuing a donation from Andrew Carnegie for ten years to illustrate his belief that
Based on Washington's description, do you think there is a link between Christianity and the African American activism in the late nineteenth century? Based on your knowledge of history and religion, why do you believe the Christian churches would support this movement?
Washington mentions Dr. Curry, a native of the south and ex-Confederate soldier in order to appeal to the reader's sense of logic, or
Washington's value of hard work is evident is his assertion that "no matter how much money he may be able to command, is permitted to go through school without doing manual labor." Some of Washington's critics chastised him for this emphasis. He is sure to mention that they "do not neglect or overlook in any degree the religious and spiritual side" of the work.
Washington explains that the impression that many white Southerners had when they heard him speak was surprise because Washington did not "abuse" the South. This demonstrates which commonly held view of Washington?
One of the prominent graduates from the Tuskegee Institute was George Washington Carver. He was a botanist and is known for the discoveries for the uses of the peanut. Click the link below to view a video for more information about George Washington Carver. (This annotation contains a video)
Though Washington was criticized by his contemporary African American activists for his speech in Atlanta, which excerpt explains Washington's motivation for delivering it?
Reread the highlighted passage. Do you think that Washington's intent is logical?
If you were a critic of Washington, what would be a possible explanation as to why Washington was chosen to speak at the Atlanta Exposition?
Consider the point that a passing farmer makes to Washington. He assesses the situation accurately, that Washington will be speaking in front of a amalgamation of people: Northern whites, Southern whites, and African Americans. It is a difficult audience to address because their motivations and desires for the future of the United States vary widely. Consider what would have happened if Washington was more combative and accusatory during his speech. Do you think he would alienate his audience?
The members of the audience in Atlanta are in attendance for all the following reasons except
Please click on the link below for the audio clip of the actual speech Washington delivered in Atlanta in 1904. (This annotation contains a video)
What does Washington mean when he directs the people of the South to, "Cast down your bucket where you are"?
Washington became synonymous with the statement, "In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress." His critics believed that he was acquiescing to the demands of the Southern whites that African Americans should not be afforded the same rights as white citizens. In modern day terms, Washington may be labeled a "sell-out" by his critics. Do you think that Washington was wise in his choice of words? Based on Washington's statement in the previous chapter about his concern about addressing the audience, do you think he could have taken a different approach to this speech?
In response to his critics, Washington contends that, "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing." In your own terms, summarize Washington's rebuttal to his critics.
Based on the positive critical response, do you think that Washington was able to create a platform that would allow a future dialogue between African Americans and the Southern whites?
Based on the highlighted passage, which term best describes the people of the world who never travel, read books, or allow themselves to come in contact with people of other races?
Amid all of the criticism, Washington does not apologize for his sentiments because he believes he is right and with time, people will understand he is right.
This is the second time in the text that Washington states that the African Americans will gain all political rights when they have the "ability, character, and material possessions" to "entitle" them to. He does not believe "artificial forcing" will help them achieve this goal. Which of the following is evidence to support this belief?
Washington addresses the rebuttals to his argument through the use of logical or logos appeals. He states that it is ironic that African Americans in the South will take advice from Southern white people in order to amass "thousands of dollars' worth of property, but who, at the same time would never think of going to those same persons for advice concerning the casting of their ballots." He also reasons that "the white man who begins by cheating a Negro out of his ballot soon learns to cheat a white man out of his." Washington's logic is excellent grounds to support his claim.
Washington includes an account by a war correspondent to describe the tone and mood of the his speech. In your own words describe the tone and devices the writer uses to capture to mood. Do you think the writer exaggerates any of the aspects of the day in order to increase readership? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Washington describes his method to successful public speaking as finding the person in the audience who is critical or "cold" and try to thaw him out. He contends that he believes his speeches are most effective by telling a story. Does he exemplify this quality in his writing as well?
Washington's list of colleges and universities where he has delivered his speeches in included to present him as a(n) ________ on public speaking.
In order to answer other arguments that the African American race as a whole is debased, Washington makes assertions such as "there never was a baser falsehood uttered concerning a race," but does not provide accounts that contrast the beliefs. He does however use logic to argue that you cannot judge an entire group of people based on a small percentage of the population. He argues, "One might take up the life of the worst element in New York City, for example, and prove almost anything he wanted to prove concerning the white man, but all will agree that this is not a fair test."
Washington incorporates the written account of his speech at the dedication of the Shaw monument in order to illustrate
Washington includes the positive review of his speech in order to rebut the critics who believed that he was contradicting his statement in the Atlanta Compromise speech. In the Atlanta speech, he stated that socially, whites and African Americans would be separate like fingers, but in this speech, he stated that he wished to see an end to prejudice in "commercial and civil relations." He alienated some of his supporters with this statement.
Washington describes the network of individuals that are needed for the Tuskegee Institute to run efficiently and effectively in order to illustrate that
Washington's mentality is considered "Puritanical." This terms means that he is a believer in hard work and "being the absolute master of one's work." This mentality allows him to accomplish many of his goals in life. Unfortunately, it does not allow him for much free time or a life of leisure. This does not seem to bother Washington. He is advocate for his type of lifestyle.
Do you think that Washington's dislike of fiction or any leisure activity is a negative aspect of his philosophy to living? Do you think that everyone needs to put work aside sometimes to simply have a good time and enjoy life? Use examples from literature and life to support your response.
Each of Washington's wives and children are all associated with the Tuskegee Institute in some way. They either work for the Tuskegee Institute or attend the Tuskegee Institute. Can you surmise a reason behind this? Do you think Washington would have been disappointed if his children did not have a high regard for the Tuskegee Institute? Below is a picture of Washington and his family. (This annotation contains an image)
As Washington describes his anticipation for his trip, he reflects on his youth. Washington's trip to Europe emphasizes
Washington is apprehensive about his trip abroad because of what he has heard about other African Americans' experiences overseas. Do you think that Washington is treated differently than other African Americans because of his accomplishments, reputation, and status?
Washington's tour of Europe led to international acclaim. He made several speeches in front of prominent audiences that included Queen Victoria and Mark Twain.
Washington mentions the African American painter Tanner as evidence to support his belief that
William Lloyd Garrison was a journalist and an abolitionist in the early nineteenth century. He is known for his newspaper The Liberator. Garrison was more liberal than other abolitionists of his time; he did not simply demand an end to slavery but a rewriting of the Constitution. Garrison believed that the Constitution was an inherently pro-slavery document. Below is an image of one of the front pages of Garrison's paper, The Liberator. (This annotation contains an image)
Washington is known for his dedication to service, public works, and charity. Not surprisingly he was impressed with all of the following attributes of English society except
Washington includes the correspondence he receives from his hometown in order to convey that many people lauded his actions and supported his point of view. This is important because many of Washington's critics believed that he tended to ignore and not comment about the racial tensions and hate crimes that were occurring throughout the South during this time.
Read the highlighted statement. Based solely on this text, do you think Washington lived his life by this standard? Use textual evidence to support your response.
What is your most elusive goal? What do you dream about achieving some day? No imagine how you would feel to achieve that goal. When Washington is given an honorary degree at Harvard, it represents his surmounting obstacles and overcoming adversity to achieve success.
In order to capture the mood of the event, Washington employs which literary device?
Because this was the first time "a New England university had conferred an honorary degree upon a Negro," this event is extremely significant in the African American's plight to achieve equal status as a citizen. Though some of his contemporaries were critical of Washington, his achievement represented an achievement for all African Americans at that time.
For what purpose would a visit from the President of the United States serve Tuskegee?
According to Washington, McKinley was concerned about race relations. According to Washington, McKinley ultimately decides to visit Tuskegee because of his determination "to show his interest and faith in the race, not merely in words, but by acts." In this way he seems very similar to Washington. Do you think this characterization is purposeful? How would similarities between the President and Washington help Washington's argument?
Washington believes and contends that the white people of the region offered their assistance to prepare for President McKinley's arrival because they thought highly of Tuskegee. Based on the historical facts, do you agree with this claim? Form a rebuttal to this claim and use at least three historical facts as grounds for your rebuttal.
Click on the link below for more historical background information about McKinley's visit to Tuskegee. How did his visit help to further his political agenda? (This annotation contains a link)
Washington outlines the school's achievements and developments over the past twenty years in order to prove
Though Washington offers economic grounds to demonstrate the school's success, he summarizes his argument by noting that the true value or "worth of the school is to be judged by its graduates." This is important because it is an impetus for the school to be perpetually developing in order to meet the needs of its students. Its success is evident because Tuskegee University is still in existence today.
Washington includes evidence that he "wrote an open letter to that body pleading for justice for the race" in response to the lynchings in Louisiana in order to
Quiz #3: Chapters 12-17