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Bookertee - Essay Example

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He rose into prominence by his 1895 Atlanta Exposition Speech that asked the Blacks to accept a more subordinate position and make themselves useful to the White citizens (and themselves) by learning a practical…
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Download file to see previous pages He stressed that Blacks were not ready for the traditional form of education; rather they should take up an occupation or a skill by which they can support themselves. Washington showed a path to the struggling Negroes by which they can create their basic identity and be self sufficient in the long run.
However, there were negative aspects to this plan as future academics such as Du Bois pointed out. Washington had stressed that the Blacks needed selective education, that they were not ready to be educated in the traditional form. But, according to Du Bois the African Americans deserved the same form of education as the Whites. He believed in the philosophy that Fast and Fury wins the race. According to him unless and until the Blacks made a struggle to educate themselves they would limit themselves to the lower segment of society prone to be harassed by the Southern Whites. Another negative aspect of the plan was Washington’s stress that the Blacks adopt a subordinate role towards the Southern Whites. He is actually asking the Blacks to let go of their struggle against Whites and continue to be backward and underprivileged member of the society. IF the Blacks had continued to follow his advice, there would not have been many prominent African Americans in the country.
According to me Washington was right in asking the Blacks to take an academic route to liberate them from White oppressiveness. He asked the members of his community to stick to education and acquire any useful trade so as to gain economic independence. A steady income would help in supplementing all the essential elements of life. Education would open their mind to newer possibilities in life and make them come out of their shell. This policy is still followed by a number of African American of today who have shifted to trade and commerce to acquire richness in life and move ahead in the economic ladder.
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