10/14/12 From a slave to a teacher In his autobiography titled “Up from Slavery” Booker T. Washington tells the story of his journey from being a slave to an educator. He writes that the best way for a person to lift him or herself up is by lifting someone else up. It was his dream and goal to see members of his race live such useful and successful lives that they would not just be put up with rather they would be a necessity and would be of great value to their communities. Washington believed that the African American people needed to realize the value of education, labor, and of civility. He understood that these aspects were absolutely necessary in order for the people of his race to uplift themselves in society. Washington was born into slavery and lived as a slave for some of his childhood years. When freedom was finally granted to the Negro race, the thing Washington longed for the most was a good education. He went through many struggles to acquire this education but after many years of work he was successful in doing so. He spent many years as a teacher before moving to Alabama to start the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial institute. This institute quickly became known as one of the largest and most successful of its kind. Washington could have chosen to use his knowledge and resources to benefit himself but he sacrificed all personal gain so that he would be able to provide benefit to others. The common view of the white people was that they were superior to the colored. Washington sought to eliminate this thinking by establishing within his people an understanding of self help. At the Tuskegee institute students had to chose an industry which they had interest in and they would be taught this industry. This was so that when they left the institute they wouldn’t have to rely on anybody for work and could start their own businesses. Students were taught the worth and importance of labor. And where...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document