Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington -- is he excessively weak in this book?Considering other books that have been written based on slavery Booker t. washington's "up from slavery" is very...

Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington -- is he excessively weak in this book?

Considering other books that have been written based on slavery Booker t. washington's "up from slavery" is very neutral. do you think that booker did a bit of ass kissing towards the whites in this book
??!! ( just a thought i had!! )

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that you have to consider the audience.  You can speak to the whites in a respectful way to ensure that they listen.  Sometimes the most persuasive arguments are the ones who sneak up on you.  It could be that Washington wanted to directly address whites, and convince them without seeming overly harsh in a way that would make them listen.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are always firebrands and more conciliatory people in any movement.  You could argue that Martin Luther King, Jr. was too conciliatory when you compare him with the early Malcolm X or with people like Stokely Carmichael from the Black Power movement.  Some people simply think that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

No, I don't think Booker T. Washington's book, Up From Slavery, is anything but a book based on his real beliefs.  He was conciliatory, believing that more was accomplished by black people living a peaceful life without the turmoil of stirring up the status quo. He wanted to help with his research into nutritional, cheap ways of people feeding themselves and also promoting education as the way to success. Violence and rebellion were not really part of his vocabulary.  That may seem naive and out of touch, but I think Booker T. Washington had his place in the progress of his people. 

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