Ttyybooker T. Washington Essay

Submitted By MatiasA730
Words: 617
Pages: 3

TtyyBooker T. Washington’s commanding presence and oratory deeply moved his contemporaries. His writings continue to influence readers today. Although Washington claimed his autobiography was “a simple, straightforward story, with no attempt at embellishment,” readers for nearly a century have found it richly rewarding. Today, appeals to a wide audience from early adolescence through adulthood. More important, however, is the inspiration his story of hard work and positive goals gives to all readers. His life is an example providing hope to all. Up From Slavery The complexity and contradictions of his life make his autobiography intellectually intriguing for advanced readers. To some he was known as the Sage of Tuskegee or the Black Moses. One of his prominent biographers, Louis R. Harlan, called him the “Wizard of the Tuskegee Machine.” Others acknowledged him to be a complicated person and public figure. Students of American social and political history have come to see that Washington lived a double life. Publicly he appeased the white establishment by remaining cautious in his charges and demands. Privately he worked tirelessly to undo the effects of institutional and cultural racism. Although he seemed to have made a grand compromise, first with the white south and then with white America, he worked in deepest secret to undermine the compromise and advance the social and economic position of blacks. No doubt exists as to his greatness. He founded Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, the National Negro Business League, and National Negro Health Week. No one doubts his power. After all, he had the ear and praise of several Presidents. Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft especially sought his counsel. He counted Andrew Carnegie, the industrial baron, as his friend. As a speaker on the world stage, Washington gave valuable, well-received advice on racial, economic, and educational matters. Above all, Up From Slavery makes two points quite clear. One, Washington began life as a mulatto slave, father unknown, yet he rose to worldwide prominence. Two, he had an agenda-to get money for his mission. Booker T. Washington had no false shyness in keeping company with the wealthy and powerful. Because of this he was supremely successful in achieving his financial goals. The immense complexities of the economy of slavery and the long term economical, psychological, spiritual, moral, and ethical effects of pervasive institutional racism only begin to suggest why