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Group Read > Up From Slavery ~ February 2011

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message 1: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 25, 2011 12:42PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments February 2011 Group Read:


Up from Slavery by Booker T. WashingtonUp from Slavery


Author: Booker T. Washington Booker T. Washington

When: Book discussion will begin on February 1, 2011. However, feel free to post about the book before or after that date.

Where:
Post right here in this thread.

Spoiler Etiguette:
The book has 17 chapters and each chapter has a title. If you are giving away a major plot element, please cite the chapter and chapter name at the top of your post and then the words: SPOILER
or
use the new GR spoiler feature. To find out how to do this see my post #9 in this thread.

Book Details:

Paperback: 207 pages
genre: autobiography

Synopsis: Contains spoilers
Amazon.com Review
Nineteenth-century African American businessman, activist, and educator Booker Taliaferro Washington's Up from Slavery is one of the greatest American autobiographies ever written. Its mantras of black economic empowerment, land ownership, and self-help inspired generations of black leaders, including Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. In rags-to-riches fashion, Washington recounts his ascendance from early life as a mulatto slave in Virginia to a 34-year term as president of the influential, agriculturally based Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. From that position, Washington reigned as the most important leader of his people, with slogans like "cast down your buckets," which emphasized vocational merit rather than the academic and political excellence championed by his contemporary rival W.E.B. Du Bois. Though many considered him too accommodating to segregationists, Washington, as he said in his historic "Atlanta Compromise" speech of 1895, believed that "political agitation alone would not save [the Negro]," and that "property, industry, skill, intelligence, and character" would prove necessary to black Americans' success. The potency of his philosophies are alive today in the nationalist and conservative camps that compose the complex quilt of black American society.

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Slavery-Autobio...


message 2: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments I couldn't find any on-line discussion questions. If you find any please feel free to post them.

I started the book yesterday and I'm enjoying it.
I'm happy to finally be reading this classic.


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Here are a few quotes from Booker T. Washington



I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.
~~~Booker T. Washington

Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
~~~Booker T. Washington

I let no man drag me down so low as to make me hate him.
~~~Booker T. Washington

If you can't read, it's going to be hard to realize dreams.
~~~Booker T. Washington


If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
~~~Booker T. Washington

There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
~~~Booker T. Washington


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Thanks for reminding me; just ordered my copy from the Library.

Donna


message 5: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 23, 2011 01:06PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments As we discussed in another thread, the use of time lines can be quite helpful in placing events in context. I’ve cobbled together this one from various sources. With all the cutting/pasting I am sure I made some errors.

Here is a simple time line. I hope this is of help to you.

1856- Booker T. Washington is born on April 5 in Hale's Ford, Virginia.

The president is James Buchanan.

Gustave Flaubert publishes Madame Bovary, a novel of frustrated romanticism in a provincial French context

1857 -The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.

The Haughwout Store, a five-storey building in New York, instals the first Otis safety elevator

1858 - Minnesota becomes a state

Abraham Linclon comes to national prominence through his debates on slavery with Stephen Douglas, his rival for an Illinois seat in the Senate

1859 -John Brown and 21 followers capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W. Va.), in an attempt to launch a slave revolt.

1860- Lincoln elected president (#16)

1861- The Confederacy is founded when the deep South secedes, and the Civil War begins.

South Carolina becomes the first southern state to secede from the Union in response to Lincoln's election

Mail is carried by horse relay from Missouri to California, travelling 2000 miles in ten days in the service known as the Pony Express

Charles Dickens begins serial publication of his novel "Great Expectations" (in book form 1861)

1862 Victor Hugo publishes his novel Les Misérables, an immensely complex story about the adventures of ex-convict Jean Valjean

The Homestead Act grants 160 acres in the west of the USA to any family farming them for five years

1863- President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

President Lincoln, in honouring the Union dead at Gettysburg, captures in three minutes the essence of American democrac1863- battle of Gettysburg

1864- Lincoln re-elected .. Nevada becomes a state

The Federal government confiscates the Arlington estate of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and turns it into a war cemetery

1865 - Lincoln assassinated. Succeeded by President Andrew Johnson-- Civil War ends- 13 Amendment to constitution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteen...

The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates (May).

Black codes are passed by Southern states, drastically restricting the rights of newly freed slaves.

Gregor Mendel reads a paper to the Natural History Society in Brno describing his discoveries in the field of genetics

Lewis Carroll publishes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a development of the story he had told Alice Liddell three years earlier

1866 Dostoevsky publishes Crime and Punishment, a novel narrated by Raskolnikov, a St Petersburg student and murderer

1867 Nebraska becomes a state

A series of Reconstruction acts are passed, carving the former Confederacy into five military districts and guaranteeing the civil rights of freed slaves.

Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel patents dynamite

Confederate Gen. Lee surrender to Union Gen. Gran. American Civil War ends.

Secretary of state William Seward negotiates a price of $7.2 million for the purchase of Alaska from Russia, in a deal that some consider 'Seward's Folly'

The first collection of 'Negro Spirituals' is published in book form in the US as Slave Songs of the United States

1868- Ulysses S. Grant elected president.. 14 Amendment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteen...

US author Louisa May Alcott begins serial publication of her book for children, Little Women (in book form 1869)

1869 The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads meet at Promontory Summit in Utah, completing the first transcontinental line

Young French artists Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir paint together in the open air at La Grenouillère, developing the Impressionist style

1870 - 15 amendment-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifteent...

John D. Rockefeller and his partners establish the Standard Oil Company of Ohio

1871 Whistler paints his mother and calls the picture Arrangement in Grey and Black

1872 The US Congress establishes Yellowstone, with its famous geysers, as the world's first national park

1873 San Francisco merchant Levi Strauss receives a patent for denim jeans, soon to be known as Levi's

1875 Leo Tolstoy publishes the first volume of his novel Anna Karenina, in which the heroine develops a fatal love for Count Vronsky

1876 Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, in which Tom and his friends find excitement in a small town on the Mississippi

Colorado becomes a state
Alexander Graham Bell makes the first practical use of his telephone, summoning his assistant from another room with the words 'Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you.'

George Custer leads a US cavalry attack on the Sioux at the Little Bighorn river, with disastrous results

1877- Rutherford B. Hayes inaugurated president #19

1880- James Garfield elected president #20

1881--Booker T. Washington founds the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. The school becomes one of the leading schools of higher learning for African Americans, and stresses the practical application of knowledge.

Currently the school is now Tuskegee University, an institution that currently enrolls more than 3,000 students.

Garfield was mortally wounded by Charles J. Guiteau. Chester Arther becomes president.

1883- Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, is opened between Brooklyn and lower Manhattan

1884- Grover Cleveland elected president #22
Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms

Huck Finn and his friend Tom Sawyer continue their exploits on the Mississippi in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1886 The Statue of Liberty, after crossing the Atlantic, is erected on Bedloe's island in the approach to New York harbour

Robert Louis Stevenson introduces a dual personality in his novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

1888- Benjamin Harris elected Pres. #23

1890 Idaho & Wyoming become states

Hundreds of Sioux Indians are killed by US troops in a massacre at Wounded Knee Creek

1891 Oscar Wilde publishes his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray in which the ever-youthful hero's portrait grows old and ugly

1892 Ellis Island in New York Bay opens as the point of reception for arriving immigrants

1893 Mahatma Gandhi, travelling with a first-class ticket, is forcibly ejected from the carriage at Pietermaritzburg because of his colour

1895 Stephen Crane succeeds handsomely with his second novel, The Red Badge of Courage, set in the American Civil War

1896 Utah is admitted to the union as the 45th state, after the Mormons agree to give up polygamy

Plessy v. Ferguson: This landmark Supreme Court decision holds that racial segregation is constitutional, paving the way for the repressive Jim Crow laws in the South.

22-year-old Guglielmo Marconi takes out a patent in Britain for the invention of radio

1897 William McKinley 25 president He was the last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected to that office. He was the last President of the 19th century and the first of 20th.

1898 Marie and Pierre Curie isolate the element radium, working without any protection because

1900 McKinley re-elected. McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist, in 1901, and succeeded by his Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.

Frank Baum introduces children to Oz, in his book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Theodore Dreiser's first novel, Sister Carrie, receives no publicity because his publisher, Frank Doubleday, considers it immoral

Wilbur and Orville Wright test a biplane glider at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina

1901 Theodore Roosevelt #26

1905 - W.E.B. DuBois founds the Niagara movement, a forerunner to the NAACP. The movement is formed in part as a protest to Booker T. Washington's policy of accommodation to white society; the Niagara movement embraces a more radical approach, calling for immediate equality in all areas of American life.

Edith Wharton publishes the novel that brings her fame and fortune, The House of Mirth

1906 Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, a hard-hitting novel about the Chicago meat-packing industry

1907 Oklahoma becomes a state

1908 Lucy Maud Montgomery's first novel, Anne of Green Gables, brings her instant fame and fortune

1909-- Henry Ford begins production of inexpensive cars.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York by prominent black and white intellectuals and led by W.E.B. Du Bois. For the next half century, it would serve as the country's most influential African-American civil rights organization, dedicated to political equality and social justice

1912- Woodrow Wilson President #28
Titanic Sinks. F.W. Woolworth founded.

1913 16 amendment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteent...
17 amendment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventee...

In O Pioneers Willa Cather finds her major theme, life on the frontier

In Pollyanna Eleanor Porter introduces an immensely successful character, the irrepressibly optimistic orphan Pollyanna Whittier

1914- Archduke Ferdinand of Austria assassinated.

World War 1 begins.

1915 - Booker T. Washington Dies November 14 at the age of 59 in Tuskegee, Alabama.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) This was fascinating to read. Thanks, Alias! I loved reading about all the wonderful books that were written during this time period and now my interest is piqued by the novel Sister Carrie. I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray.


message 7: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 23, 2011 01:46PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Thank you, Marialyce. :)

I haven't read Dreiser's Sister Carrie, but I do want to read An American Tragedy~~Theodore Dreiser

I have a copy of the book in paperback form. Unfortunately, I don't think I can deal with the small print for 900 pages. There is no trade size of the book. :( So I'm keeping an eye out for a cheap hardcover when I visit used book stores.


message 8: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias Reader wrote: "As we discussed in another thread, the use of time lines can be quite helpful in placing events in context. I’ve cobbled together this one from various sources. With all the cutting/pasting I am ..."

Fun to read and remember. Thank you.

deb


message 9: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments GR has added a spoiler feature.

Here is GR post about it.

-------------------------
I added support for spoiler tags in group discussions as well as reviews. This is handy in group discussions about books because then you can just (view spoiler)[tag specific sections of your post as spoilers (hide spoiler)] instead of just self-censoring yourself completely.

This also works in reviews if you don't want to mark the entire review as a spoiler. (view spoiler)[This way, people can view your review, but still have to click on the spoiler to see the no-no parts. (hide spoiler)]

How to use the spoiler tags? The spoiler tags look like regular html tags but say spoiler and /spoiler. Click the "some html is ok" link to view a list of tags we support, including spoilers.
--------------------

You can click above the reply box where it says- Some html is ok to see what to type.

You type it just as you would any other HTML for example when you try to bold, underline etc.

it is the word spoiler in front and back of the word put brackets < and > type the spoiler info for the book then type
< / spoiler > don't put any spaces when typing HTML I did it so it would appear in this post.

(view spoiler)


message 10: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Hmmm. It'll be interesting to see if many people take the time to remember to use this. I hope so!


message 11: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 60 comments It'll be interesting to see how feasible it is. i usually don't just mention a spoiler, I raise it to discuss it, so putting SPOILER at the beginning of the post or paragraph might work better for me.

But first I have to order Up from Slavery!!!

atMadrano wrote: "Hmmm. It'll be interesting to see if many people take the time to remember to use this. I hope so!"


message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 28, 2011 07:56AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: But first I have to order Up from Slavery!!!
-----------------

I have Deborah's name and your name at the first page of my book. You must have mentioned that you wanted to read it.

The book is very different than what I expected. It seems as if the book was written with an eye towards raising money for his school. Therefore he paints a very rosy portrait of slavery. This is a jarring contract to what we know slavery to have been. I believe W. E. B. Du Bois,(NAACP) criticized Washington for his conciliatory tone. On the other hand, Washington wouldn't have been able to accomplish what he did if he was more strident.

I guess I should read a book The Souls of Black Folk~~~W.E.B. Du Bois to get the other point of view.

From the Wiki web site: "Du Bois rose to national attention in his opposition of Booker T. Washington's ideas of accommodation with Jim Crow separation between whites and blacks and disenfranchisement of blacks, campaigning instead for increased political representation for blacks in order to guarantee civil rights, and the formation of a Black elite that would work for the progress of the African American "


message 13: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias Reader wrote: "
The book is very different than what I expected. It seems as if the book was written with an eye towards raising money for his school. Therefore he paints a very rosy portrait of slavery. This is a jarring contract to what we know slavery to have been. I believe W. E. B. Du Bois,(NAACP) criticized Washington for his conciliatory tone. On the other hand, Washington wouldn't have been able to accomplish what he did if he was more strident...."


This is about what i expected, as i was aware of the attitude Du Bois and others. I found myself wondering if today's world might have suggested this was akin to the Stockholm Syndrome? It's not that i cannot imagine what he is writing about the attachment between slaves and former masters, only that he seems to indicate that was a more prevalent attitude.

deborah
PS If you DO read Du Bois's book, please let me know, as that is on my (sorta) DL list for this year.


message 14: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 28, 2011 08:26AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Deborah: I found myself wondering if today's world might have suggested this was akin to the Stockholm Syndrome? It's not that i cannot imagine what he is writing about the attachment between slaves and former masters, only that he seems to indicate that was a more prevalent attitude.


PS If you DO read Du Bois's book, please let me know, as that is on my (sorta) DL list for this year.
----------------

I don't think it was Stockholm syndrome. As I have to doubt he bought into the rosy picture he paints. Of course I could be wrong. My guess is he wrote the book to raise money for his school. Many of the donors were white. So he didn't want to say anything to offend them. He posits that it is up to the individual to raise himself up. This is certainly inspiring. And he can point to himself as an example. As well as the many who attended his school. This picture however leaves out the societal racism that often blocks even the most determined.

I see there is an inexpensive version that has a lot of features that I would like.
The Souls of Black Folk (Enriched Classics Series $5.50. This link explains all the extras.
http://www.amazon.com/Souls-Black-Fol...

I am currently reading Major Pettigrew. I will probably finish that this weekend. Then I am going to read Sarah's Key for a F2F book group. That will probably take me a week or two. So I think I will read Souls of Black folks after that. So maybe around Feb 15 give or take a few days. I can be more sure of the date as I begin to read Sarah's Key.

I want to read it in Feb. when we are discussing Up From Slavery so I can compare/contrast while we are having the discussion.

I would love to have you and anyone else who wants to read this as a companion to our group read.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Alias and Deborah, I, too, am finding Up from Slavery to be "odd" in its view. It is kind of a censored book in a way, I think.


message 16: by Bobbie (last edited Jan 28, 2011 12:43PM) (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments It is quite apparent that Up From Slavery was written before the civil rights era, at a time when separation or should I say segregation was practiced. At the time civil rights was being fought for there were still many people both black and white who thought that Negroes should stay in their place and be more patient. So it would not be unusual for him to not want to say anything to offend. I guess even if he wasn't raising money for his school he probably figured that he wouldn't sell many books if he was strident.

I don't find this book surprising and can't say that I am not happy that it is a short book. Interesting in terms of being curious about his writing. Otherwise -- Not So Much.


message 17: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Marialyce wrote: "Alias and Deborah, I, too, am finding Up from Slavery to be "odd" in its view. It is kind of a censored book in a way, I think."

Interesting way to put it, Marialyce, and i like it because our exchange has me wondering if he censored himself for a perceived "greater good." As Bobbie wrote, even if he wasn't trying to raise money, this may well have been his position. Most issues have (need?) radicals from both sides to engender active change, imo.

Bobbie, agree with the "Not So Much" comment. I'm glad we are reading it together because, thin as it is, i think the writing & attitude might have turned me off otherwise. However, i think it's an important book to read to understand how people arose and thrived in post-slavery US.

deborah


message 18: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Madrano wrote: However, i think it's an important book to read to understand how people arose and thrived in post-slavery US.

---------------

That's my feeling, too. I always see this book on lists. So I feel to be well read, I need to read it.

Also since I plan on reading,
The Souls of Black Folk~W.E.B. Du Bois next month. It has spurred me on to read another classic. I love when a book does that. :)


message 19: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments I started this book yesterday. I was afraid the language would be difficult to read given the date since it was a grouping of essays. I am finding it easier to read then expected. The ideas are intriguing and I never would have thought anyone would think this way. I always think of deep rooted bitterness. I am more surprised that instead of "I" feel this way, he makes more blanket statements of "we" feel this way. Especially since he know the arguments of his peers (WEB DU Bois). I will say this, I want to read the above book even more. I am really interested to see life through the eyes of those who lived through a revolutionary time in our countrys history.

Alais, i loved your time line and I read through it again after i finished the first chapter


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Thank you, Elaine. I'm glad you found the time-line helpful. I am so happy you are joining us for this read.

Your post got me to thinking about something. I wonder if Washington's positive attitude, instead of what I think most of us would feel, bitterness and hate, is what got him through all of the horror.

To be honest I don't think I could create that attitude within me. Not after the hunger, sleeping under streets and lack of education. To end up where he did in life is really a miracle and a testament to his fortitude.

One thing that I noticed in chapter one and in the following chapters is how he uses the word "victim". In fact, I underlined it as I read. He applies it not only to the slaves but also to the slave owners. At first, I didn't get this at all. And in a way it made me angry. Now I can see that in a way we all are a product of our environment. And only a very few dare to question the status quo. So, in a sense we are all a victim of the society we live in. That is not to say we must accept what we feel is wrong, but it is another way of looking at things.

I think this book, after some reflection, has a lot to say for it.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I so agree, Alias. If for nothing else, I had to respect Mr Washington for his wonderful attitude and his "gung ho" position as regards his school. He surely was/is an inspiration to all and should be shown to those believe that life owes them a living as an example that nobody owes you anything except yourself. He believed that you owe it to life to be productive and fulfilled. He was a very remarkable man.


message 22: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Spoiler Chapter 4 end::

The last paragraph in chapter 4 intrigued me, and left me having to dicuss it with my husband at night. He says that he mentions the KKK to let everyone know that this is in the past and people no longer feel this way. I was surprised by this. I know he is not naive, as he is well educated and such. Is he trying to convince us the audience? I was proplexed, maybe I know to much of the future with the civil rights movement and the continued existence of the KKK, and later neo nazis and skin heads. What does everyone else think?


message 23: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Elaine wrote: "Spoiler Chapter 4 end::

The last paragraph in chapter 4 intrigued me, and left me having to dicuss it with my husband at night. He says that he mentions the KKK to let everyone know that this i..."

---------

Elaine we are both thinking the same thing. I underlined the date he mentions in that chapter, 1875. The next chapter is titled The Reconstruction Period which was around 1865-77. The last paragraph of chapter 4 I had put a big question mark. So I am as confused as you are. His statements just don't seem to fit with what what I thought or what I found on the Internet.

Here are a few links.

http://cjwww.csustan.edu/hatecrimes/k...

http://www.enotes.com/major-acts-cong...
The Enforcement Act (17 Stat. 13), commonly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act or the Civil Rights Act of 1871, was a response to extraordinary civil unrest during the Reconstruction period. This unrest threatened the lives and the political and economic rights of all newly freed slaves. Although closely tied to the era in which it was enacted, portions of the statute remain extraordinarily important to modern civil rights enforcement.

Wiki:
In existence
1st Klan 1865–1870s
2nd Klan 1915–1944
3rd Klan1 since 1946


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_...


message 24: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Elaine wrote: "Spoiler Chapter 4 end::

The last paragraph in chapter 4 intrigued me, and left me having to dicuss it with my husband at night. He says that he mentions the KKK to let everyone kno..."


Interesting links...I will need to read on. I am at the end of chapter 6.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I thought many of the things Mr Washington said to be truly inspirational. However, there was much within the book that I questioned as well, particularly the Klan and the Southern acceptance. Was this book written as a type of plea for funding for his beloved school I wonder? Did he gloss over the truth a bit in order to cajole the people into supporting his efforts?

On the other hand, I was pleased to read of so many good people who helped Mr Washington achieve success. It was just very puzzling to read since my concept of what went on in the South was totally different from what I was presented with in the book.


message 26: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments My impression is that this was his truth, not necessarily everyone's truth. I feel that in the same way that we should not stereotype into thinking that everyone was evil not everyone was good either.

Happily for him, he found a supportive environment. Not everyone could or can. If he was in an area without much Klan activity he would think that it wasn't a problem. We also tend to think of this as a Southern issue. I didn't know until I lived on Long Island that one of the main HQs of the Klan was in Hicksville,NY. There were archives found there.

I found his discussion regarding parents who wanted their children to be taught only booklearning. He was very against that. Do we have that attitude today? Everyone is supposed to go to college. Is that reality based?


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) That (among many) was one of the things I admired about Mr. Washington's approach to education. He was well grounded in his belief that all people need education of both the mind and the body. I wish that was the attitude today where everyone is expected to go to college and there is little respect given to people who work with their hands.

I so liked his belief that the students must work for what they were receiving. Can you imagine now the uproar there would be if we would require students to work within their school, cleaning up, helping out, and tending to the grounds?

It is sad and I think if the children were truly involved in their school and made to provide for the building's upkeep, they might appreciate it more and respect what is being provided for them


message 28: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Elaine wrote: "Spoiler Chapter 4 end::

The last paragraph in chapter 4 intrigued me, and left me having to dicuss it with my husband at night. He says that he mentions the KKK to let everyone know that this i..."


I think it's safe to say this is an example of why some African Americans were disappointed with Mr. Washington. He portrayed his experiences as being too wide for those with the opposite experiences. I wonder if we could make a comparison with Nelson Mandela, his imprisonment and subsequent actions upon release? There were those who passionately disagreed with his conciliatory words.

deb


message 29: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Marialyce wrote: "I so liked his belief that the students must work for what they were receiving. Can you imagine now the uproar there would be if we would require students to work within their school, cleaning up, helping out, and tending to the grounds? ..."

We had friends who sent their children to a Quaker-run "Friends" school, i've forgotten now if it was in PA or WV. However, part of enrollment was signing an agreement that the family would help keep the building & grounds clean & in repair. They really liked the idea behind the commitment, feeling it invested the entire family in the school.

deb


message 30: by Alias Reader (last edited Feb 03, 2011 09:05AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Marialyce wrote: On the other hand, I was pleased to read of so many good people who helped Mr Washington achieve success.."
------------------
message 26: by Bobbie57
My impression is that this was his truth, not necessarily everyone's truth. I feel that in the same way that we should not stereotype into thinking that everyone was evil not everyone was good either.
--------

I guess I am a bit of a skeptic. It crossed my mind that some people helped him because they wanted to further the myth that Washington was espousing that everything is just fine. Move on, nothing to see here. The onus is now on the individual to help himself. Nothing is wrong with society. It's all in the past.

It left a bad taste in my mouth. I guess one could ask does the ends justify the means? If Washington got what he needed to build and run his school and that was helping the people who went to the school was it ok to fabricate what the situation really was? Did that fabrication help further the racism by hiding it and giving it a cover?

I find it hard to believe that a man who traveled as widely as he did, and talked to a wide variety of people could have this rosy "reality". As I said before, I think he did it to raise money for the school.


message 31: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "I didn't know until I lived on Long Island that one of the main HQs of the Klan was in Hicksville,NY..."

Boobie, I lived in huntington for a while and worked at the B&N cafe on rt 110, I was shocked to find Neo-Nazis coming everynight for a "study" group. I always felt so uncomfortable, but we were not allowed to ask them to leave. They even put pamphlets in various books. I would just hide my star in my shirt if i happened to wear it that day (as a single woman that is very frightening). I think that is why Washingtons thought the Klan was a thing of the past. Maybe he was wishful (and only we could see the future?) I think that maybe coming out of slavery he beleived that the country would keep progressing and the world around, to the point where people would not be so hateful?


message 32: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Elaine wrote: "Bobbie57 wrote: "I didn't know until I lived on Long Island that one of the main HQs of the Klan was in Hicksville,NY..."

Boobie, I lived in huntington for a while and worked at the B&N cafe on ..."


and i meant Bobbie not boobie...sorry


message 33: by J (new)

J (blkdoggy) | 131 comments A couple of things about the book –

At first I too was thinking Washington did not seem to be resentful or have any anger at being a slave. I first thought that maybe his master treated him and the other slaves well and he had a different frame of mind. Then I started thinking he was living in the south and he was asking the ‘white’ people for help, possibly he wrote the book in a subdued tone as to not anger anyone. But as I keep reading through the book something which he wrote struck me . In chapter 11 he writes –
‘I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love , and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.’

I honestly think he felt that way and he was a very big man in forgiving all that was done towards the AA race, I think also because he saw all the ‘white’ people that wanted to and helped them with the school. It’s different to hear of ‘white’ people that helped black people in the south, since what is usually heard of is the amount of racism that there was and still is.

There was also at some point a comment of some people that depended on the government for everything and were not too motivated in doing things for themselves and working to move ahead. People sitting around just waiting for the government to give them something because of who or what they are. Sadly that is still the case today with some people depending on Government help without making any effort to fend for themselves, just giving excuses as to why they can’t do this or that. Unfortunately those people just make it harder for those that actually do need the help.

I find it sad that he and Dubois were actually after the sort of same goal but disagreed as how to get there. It only brought them both down that they should quabble and have words against each other. I do agree with Washington’s comment that it was great to Dubois to say anything he wants and incite the people in the south and then go back up north to not sit around and suffer the consequences of their actions. Don’t want to comment too much on Dubois since I have not read anything on him as of yet.

I am about the 13th chapter of the book and it is starting to feel a little like he wrote it for the school as to get the word out for more people to get more funding. Not that it was not going to a good cause, there was no better way back then to reach the masses, but it’s starting to feel like one of the PBS drives.

I’ll probably have more comments on the book, I’ll stop for now not to make the post too long.


message 34: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Elaine wrote: B&N cafe on rt 110, I was shocked to find Neo-Nazis coming everynight for a "study" group. I always felt so uncomfortable, but we were not allowed to ask them to leave.
-----------

Good heavens,why not ? B&N is a book store not a meeting hall. I would think they wouldn't want these nuts in their store. Didn't it scare away the customers once they caught on what was going down?


message 35: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments i have no idea. I guess they tried to kick them out several times, after they handed out pamphlets but they have the law on their side, as long as they buy something and stopped handing things out. Most people really didnt know what was going on, just the employees because it was a big cafe and there was four to five of them.
I guess the corporate offices got invovled but legally they had rights...ugh!


message 36: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Jorge wrote: I find it sad that he and Dubois were actually after the sort of same goal but disagreed as how to get there. It only brought them both down that they should quabble and have words against each other."
---------------

I think you need all types to help move things forward. So even though Washington and Dubois saw things differently, I think, in the end, that may have been a positive.

That is why I feel later on you needed MLK and Malcolm X. Both came at things differently and I think that helped. I don't know that just one way would have worked or if it did it might have taken even longer to reach some semblance of equality. And each day that you are oppressed is one day too many.


message 37: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments Elaine wrote: "Elaine wrote: "Bobbie57 wrote: "I didn't know until I lived on Long Island that one of the main HQs of the Klan was in Hicksville,NY..."

Boobie, I lived in huntington for a while and worked at t..."


That's OK -- some days I am a boobie.


message 38: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments That is why I feel later on you needed MLK and Malcolm X. Both came at things differently and I think that helped. I don't know that just one way would have worked or if it did it might have taken even longer to reach some semblance of equality. And each day that you are oppressed is one day too many.

I agree with so many of the posts that have been written but I have chosen to repost this one.

Espousing that everything was fine and calling for patience wasn't getting anywhere for most people.

Saw a terrific documentary on PBS last night where some of the "children" who had integrated the public school system spoke about the culture that they were used to. One of the women spoke about not being able to go in any place and get a drink of water. One of the men spoke about needing to bow to a white man if they passed on the street. Also about the opening of an amusement facility where as a member of a boyscout troup where his father was the leader they were turned away because they "should have known that they didn't let any n------ in" and how he felt when his father couldn't do anything about it.

"Don't worry be happy."


message 39: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Bobbie57 wrote: " Also about the opening of an amusement facility where as a member of a boyscout troup where his father was the leader they were turned away because they "should have known that they didn't let any n------ in" and how he felt when his father couldn't do anything about it. ..."

Imagine the pleasure in anticipation for the troop, followed by that. How such experiences do not lead to bitterness is a lesson we could all use. Thanks, Bobbie.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1...

Above is a comparison of Mr. Washington and Mr Du Bois's beliefs. It was sent to me by a book friend.


message 41: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Marialyce wrote: "www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1...

Above is a comparison of Mr. Washington and Mr Du Bois's beliefs. It was sent to me by a book friend."

----------------

Thanks, Marialyce ! This will be most helpful.


message 42: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Marialyce wrote: "www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1...

Above is a comparison of Mr. Washington and Mr Du Bois's beliefs. It was sent to me by a book friend."


thank you so much for this link. I am enjoying this topic so much. I know so little of reconstruction and this time period in american history.


message 43: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments Madrano wrote: "Bobbie57 wrote: " Also about the opening of an amusement facility where as a member of a boyscout troup where his father was the leader they were turned away because they "should have known that th..."

Not only was there general disappointment but there was the additional realization by this young boy that his father could not do anything about it.


message 44: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments One quote that I liked a lot from the book was from chapter 2.

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments Another quote I liked was from chapter 14.

In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contract with other souls-with the great outside world.


message 46: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments chapter 17

What did you think of the students school schedule? The one that begins at 5 AM and ends at 9:30 PM. It seems as if every second of the day is accounted for.

Can you imagine such a strict schedule for students today ? Heck, I don't think people in prison they have such a strict schedule !


message 47: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Another quote I liked was from chapter 14.

In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not tra..."


i highlighted this one!


message 48: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Feb 06, 2011 09:08AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Chapter V

I broke each chapter down with my thoughts so I hope you don't mind me writing of this one.

I was surprised by the want of the colored people to learn Latin and Greek and to hold public office. I think Booker was able to see clearly that many of the people were not able or should not be able to be in the positions they were in because of a lack of education and the willingness to go back to their former homes and improve the people living there. I guess even then people were looking for the easy way. I had to laugh a bit at his description of the calling to the clergy. It must have been a bit odd to see the people fall on the floor in church and be "called" into the religious life.

I also thought it was interesting that Booker recognized that it was wrong for his race to be wanting the government to be taking are of them. Humming, it sounds like current times somewhat. Being educated without being responsible seemed to irritate Booker. One needed to pass to others what they had learned, to learn was to teach.


message 49: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments He also indicated that people shouldn't be allowed to vote if they weren't literate and didn't own property. Literacy became a way to keep people from voting as the standards became pretty strange and then of course there were poll taxes -- paying a fee for the privilege of voting.

How many of our fellow citizens know Latin and/or Greek? And many of our fellow citizens can read and write very well but never pay any attention to what is going on around them.

So -- not so simple is it?


message 50: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19999 comments At that point in time I think you also had to be male to vote.

Literacy tests (which were a sham. They were not standardized. When a black person was given the test they made it something crazy that no one would know.), poll taxes, and having to be a property owner, were all just ways to keep black men from voting and also to keep the power in the hands of the wealthy.


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