Booker T. Washington: Up From Slavery

(booker t washington)
(booker t washington)
"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 do not know the month or the day. The earliest impressions I can now recall are of the plantation and the slave quarters—the latter being the part of the plantation where the slaves had their cabins. p.1

Slaves were not able to read and write, so it was difficult for them to comprehend the date and month of when they were born. No one else was able to tell them either. Their owner would not allow the slaves to learn about themselves in any way because it was against the rules of the owners, so the slaves of this time were not very intelligent.
(craig/bookert2)
(craig/bookert2)
The son of a slave, Booker Taliaferro Washington worked his way out the salt furnaces and coal mines to develop the esteemed Tuskegee Institute. This autobiographical work demonstrates his forceful and potent voice in the fight for African-American equality in turn-of-the-century America.
"In some way a feeling got among the coloured people that it was far from proper for them to bear the surname of their former owners, and a great many of them took other surnames. This was one of the first signs of freedom. When they were slaves, a coloured person was simply called “John” or “Susan.” There was seldom occasion for more than the use of the one name. If “John” or “Susan” belonged to a white man by the name of “Hatcher,” sometimes he was called “John Hatcher,” or as often “Hatcher’s John.” But there was a feeling that “John Hatcher” or “Hatcher’s John” was not the proper title by which to denote a freeman; and so in many cases “John Hatcher” was changed to “John S. Lincoln” or “John S. Sherman,” the initial “S” standing for no name, it being simply a part of what the coloured man proudly called his “entitles.” p.45

Most slaves had to take on the names of their overseers, but when the slaves began to take up their own names this showed a sign of freedom and independence for the slaves. The last name of the owner signified that they were owned by someone. Some of the slaves finally figured out that they did not have to keep these names, and Booker was one of these people who figured this out because of his new found intelligence and ability to read and write.
"ONE day, while at work in the coal-mine, I happened to overhear two miners talking about a great school for coloured people somewhere in Virginia. This was the first time that I had ever heard anything about any kind of school or college that was more pretentious than the little coloured school in our town." p.102

Blacks were not able to attend school, or be able to learn. This hearing was very significant for Booker because he now wanted to attend school and be somebody. This was a big chance for Booker to become able to read and write. He realized that the key to success was to be smart and educated, and if he had not overheard to conversation of these people, he would not have been able to be as successful as he was.

(/washstory/washifp)
(/washstory/washifp)

"DURING the year that I spent in Washington, and for some little time before this, there had been considerable agitation in the state of West Virginia over the question of moving the capital of the state from Wheeling to some other central point. As a result of this, the Legislature designated three cities to be voted upon by the citizens of the state as the permanent seat of government. Among these cities was Charleston, only five miles from Malden, my home. At the close of my school year in Washington I was very pleasantly surprised to receive, from a committee of white people in Charleston, an invitation to canvass the state in the interests of that city. This invitation I accepted, and spent nearly three months in speaking in various parts of the state. Charleston was successful in winning the prize, and is now the permanent seat of government. p.76

This moment was significant for Booker because it gave him power in the government and he was an African American. This was significant because he was not expected to become what he was. This factor was significant for Booker because he was the person that made this possible for Charleston. With his speech and ability to capture people by his words was to success factor in this decision of the government.
(dubois/ms0312-0411)
(dubois/ms0312-0411)

The reputation that I made as a speaker during this campaign induced a number of persons to make an earnest effort to get me to enter political life, but I refused, still believing that I could find other service which would prove of more permanent value to my race. Even then I had a strong feeling that what our people most needed was to get a foundation in education, industry, and property, and for this I felt that they could better afford to strive than for political preferment. As for my individual self, it appeared to me to be reasonably certain that I could succeed in political life, but I had a feeling that it would be a rather selfish kind of success—individual success at the cost of failing to do my duty in assisting in laying a foundation for the masses." p.86

Booker became a great speaker of his time because he could influence many people to do what he wanted and to follow him in his cause. He realized that the way he got to people was to use his words and his ability to speek. He was very influencial to the people in and around his community.
Booker T. Washington was a major contributor to the world in his time. He had to overcome many obstacles in his life, but he did it with his head held high and his mind with him. Booker was a man who many people could look up to and come to for advice and many people remember him today for his acts. His book inspired many people today and will continue to inspire young adults.

"IN 1893 I was married to Miss Margaret James Murray, a native of Mississippi, and a graduate of Fisk University Nashville, Tenn., who had come to Tuskegee as a teacher several years before, and at the time we were married was filling the position of Lady Principal. Not only is Mrs. Washington completely one with me in the work directly connected with the school, relieving me of many burdens and perplexities, but aside from her work on the school grounds, she carries on a mothers’ meeting in the town of Tuskegee, and a plantation work among the women, children, and men who live in a settlement connected with a large plantation about eight miles from Tuskegee. Both the mothers’ meeting and the plantation work are carried on, not only with a view to helping those who are directly reached, but also for the purpose of furnishing object-lessons in these two kinds of work that may be followed by our students when they go out into the world for their own life-work." p. 96

His wife was the love of his life. She was one of the people that continued to make him into what he was. She stood by his side through most of his life and continued to make him be all that he could be.
(margaret james murray)
(margaret james murray)

BTW
BTW
This volume is dedicated to my Wife, Margaret James Washington, and to my Brother, John H. Washington, whose patience, fidelity and hard work have gone far to make the work at Tuskegee successful.
Booker T.
Washington


(Great-Black-Americans-...)
(Great-Black-Americans-...)

"This time I am in Richmond as the guest of the coloured people of the city; and came at their request to deliver an address last night to both races in the Academy of Music, the largest and finest audience room in the city. This was the first time that the coloured people had ever been permitted to use this hall. The day before I came, the City Council passed a vote to attend the meeting in a body to hear me speak. The state Legislature, including the House of Delegates and the Senate, also passed a unanimous vote to attend in a body. In the presence of hundreds of coloured people, many distinguished white citizens, the City Council, the state Legislature, and state officials, I delivered my message, which was one of hope and cheer; and from the bottom of my heart I thanked both races for this welcome back to the state that gave me birth." p. 158

Booker was one of the first blacks to complete his life with a very successful life.
Washington, Booker T. Up from Slavery: An Autobiography. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1901; , 2000.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfsA2blILSA

NEW YORK: DOUBLEDAY, PAGE, 1901
NEW YORK: BARTLEBY.COM, 2000


http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com/2007/02/black-history-month-booker-t-washington.html

http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Great-Black-Americans-Booker-T-Washington-Posters_i386900_.htm

http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/exhibits/dubois/page6.htm

http://northbysouth.kenyon.edu/1998/edu/home/btw.htm
http://miphgl.org/mi/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=39&Itemid=2

www.historycooperative.org/ btw/gallery/v2_12.html

docsouth.unc.edu/ neh/washstory/frontis.html