Yesterday I finished reading Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington. Throughout the book, Washington made his idea on how he wanted the future to look like was very obvious. In this essay, I am going to talk about what those ideas were.
Like I said in my last essay, Washington wanted blacks to be considered equals to whites without being judged by the rest of the world. He recognized that it would be at least 50 years before this would be possible though. Washington believed that working hard and being kind to others would make you successful life (I agree with this belief whole-heartedly), but he also believed that “something will turn up, if you pray and be patient.” He justified this belief by using his school in Tuskegee as an example.
In the earlier chapters of the book Washington talked about how poor the school was when it was first started. They did not have enough to money to make dorms for the students, and the lodgings they could provide were less than ideal. But somehow the school stayed afloat and became successful. How? Washington mentioned how the school always seemed to receive enough money for whatever they needed whenever they needed it.
One day the school had a speaker come to talk. Since the school did not have an auditorium, the speaker had to present his speech out in the open. However, while the speaker was presenting a storm passed through and it started to rain hard. The school did not have a shelter to provide for him and he had to continue to present his speech in the rain. Washington noted how the speech was still very good despite being performed in the rain. Afterwards, the speaker told Washington it would be nice to have an auditorium, or at least a building for speakers to present in. The next day the school received a generous donation from two women for an auditorium. Coincidence? I think not.
As you can see, Washington had a very optimistic outlook for the future for black people. I really enjoyed reading Up From Slavery because of Washington’s character. He was a God fearing man who believed in hard work and honesty. He had a positive idea for the future, but stayed realistic and acknowledged that he would probably not live to see equality between the two races.