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Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington - Williams 1 Darryl Williams C Liegh...

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Williams 1 Darryl Williams C. Liegh McInnis ENG 105-06 4 April 2010 Critical Analysis of Up From Slavery Slavery is one of those subjects that one wants to forget because it usually reminds people how inhumane humans can actually be. Consequently, while one is trying to forget slavery’s horrible past, they also forget the many great people who overcame its oppressive tendencies and rose to seats of successfulness. One of the most recognizable people who accomplished this great feat is Booker T. Washington. Washington’s strong will to become more than just an uneducated ex-slave is simply astounding as he tells his story in his autobiography, Up From Slavery . Washington explains the major and most memorable moments in his life with intriguing detail. Through his book, he expresses how eager he is to educate himself and also teach others to do the same. He also conveys the story of his life while explaining the importance of education, determination, and equality. Education, determination, and equality are choice foundations to build a successful life. Education molds a person intellectually; determination is needed to achieve seemingly unattainable goals; and the belief that everyone is equal strengthens one’s morals while opening doors of opportunity. Washington values education above all things, and he uses that as an underlying theme throughout his autobiography. Washington’s thirst for knowledge derives from the lack of education, which he was not allowed to have as a slave. When he finally becomes a free citizen of the United States, the first thing he wants to do is attend school, because even as a child he knew that “If you can't read, it's going to be hard to realize dreams.” Ironically, one of his dreams
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Williams 2 is to go to school, which he does. Washington devours any information he can get his hands on. After years of learning the basics, such as reading, writing, and numbers, he attends Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Washington turns learning into an adventure and advises everyone else, especially other people of color, to do the same. Everything Washington did he did to advance the African American community, so when he is asked to teach in Tuskegee University, he accepts the offer. Washington realizes that the students there are already capable of memorizing very extensive texts, but they do not know how to apply what they have learned. He then wishes for everyone learn a certain trade, because knowledge is useless if one does not know how to apply it to life situations. For example, if one is an expert of agriculture, but never grows anything, what use are they to society? This shows society that education is important, but if it is not applied to anything worthwhile then all one has is trivial knowledge. If everyone in the community puts what they learn in school to good use, instead of storing it and never taking advantage of of this knowledge, then society as a whole will be capable of capitalizing on what it is already doing and perform these tasks more efficiently. Washington not only utilizes labor as a
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