Booker T. Washington
“Up from Slavery”
I detected a message in the first chapter of “Up from Slavery” other than the horrors of slavery, even though that message was painfully clear. The other message that I detected is that a shallow and indulgent existence deprives a person of developing rugged individualism, character and common sense. I felt this because of the sentences, “the black man got nearly as much out of slavery as the white man did. The hurtful influences of the institution were not by any means confined to the Negro.” “The slave system on our place, in a large measure, took the spirit of self-reliance and self-help out of the white people. My old master had many boys ...view middle of the document...
His positive attitude is evident when he states that “Negroes who went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful condition than black people in any other portion of the globe.” He does not mean in any way to advocate slavery; only to point out “how Providence so often uses men and institutions to accomplish a purpose.
“The Atlanta Exposition”
I think the speech made by Booker T. Washington displayed great insight and as mentioned much “liberalism” towards whites considering the way blacks had been treated by whites for so many decades. The quote “Cast down your bucket where you are” is one example of Washington’s insight. I believe that he was saying to the blacks to be responsible for themselves and their success and do not expect anyone else to do it for you. I think this is what he was saying in the passage “Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labour and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life;” “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.” By this last sentence he meant that his race could not succeed if they looked back with bitterness and anger.
To the whites his message was that acceptance of Negros would be mutually beneficial. He expressed this eloquently in “The laws of changeless justice bind Oppressor with oppressed; And close as sin and suffering joined We march to fate abreast.”
Charles W. Chesnutt
“The Wife of His Youth”
I believe that the “Blue Vein Society” is a group of light skinned Negros or half breed Negros that pretend that their members have achieved a character and culture not common to other blacks at that time. However, I think the truth about the society is that they are prejudiced towards dark skinned blacks. I think the point that Chesnutt makes in “The Wife of His Youth” is that some blacks are not proud of their race and perhaps have...