Sunday, December 29, 2019

Inadequate Social Change of Booker T. Washington Essay

There has been much debate over Booker T. Washington and the effectiveness of his work at Tuskegee Institute. Some believe that he was a pioneer for black education in a time when few had the opportunity. Others believe that his conformity to the white ideal of what a black man should be hindered his ability to create real social change for his race. In his autobiography, Up From Slavery, Washington maps out his life from its humble beginnings as a slave up through the success of his school, Tuskegee Institute. He is quick to drop names of the important white businessmen and prominent citizens to ensure their support for his school. However, he is also quick to push his students to be productive members of their society. Through†¦show more content†¦This philosophy came from his belief that if the Negro could be viewed as economically essential first, then they would able to gain the respect needed to be socially and politically equal. Washington believed in slow and natural growth (Washington, 163) and that baby steps, beginning with industrial skill, would eventually bring America to egalitarianism. He sought to lay a foundation of the race through a generous education of the hand, head, and heart (Washington, 59). In order for the black race to first make an impact economically, they had to provide a service so essential to life that this action would demand respect. This respect for their economic value would then bleed into other aspects of life, socially and politically. Washington sought to provide the basis of this esteem that would lead to social equality. This philosophy looked perfect on paper, but it had a number of problems. The students did not learn the importance of analysis and of thinking as an individual. They were not taught to examine a subject with a degree of scrutiny and make their own opinion on the subject. They did not learn about politics or the processes of voting. They did not learn of the history of the cou ntry in which they lived, worked and raised their children. These skills teach a student to think for themselves, form their own opinions, and force change, whether it being socially (for example, a race issue), economically (a new invention that wouldShow MoreRelatedBooker T. Washington Vs. Theu.s. B. Dubois : The Discussion Of Conformity910 Words   |  4 PagesBooker T. Washington vs W.E.B. Dubois: the discussion of conformity At the early turn of the 20th Century United States, there was a large debate about how the average American viewed African Americans or Negroes. As a result, white consensus geared toward putting Africans in a type of caste system, where they would consider below whites, women, and immigrants. By this point, most African Americans were just conforming to this way of life and did not seek to change this. While this occurred, manyRead MoreThe Appropriateness of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. 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