Monday, April 23, 2007

Booker T/

"Booker T. Washington's Autobiography" An Analytical Essay by Mitch Asinoff

Washington was born a slave in Virginia, in 1856. His family was dirt poor. Yet, like those who choose to follow the trail he blazed, he pulled himself up from nothing to become a great asset to his country. He was, and always will be, an example not just to poor black people in the U.S., but to people everywhere. He rose up to rub elbows with President Grover Cleavleand.

He was nothing but a poor black man in the South after the Civil War. Yet was able to pull himself, his brothers, and many slaves up from the dirt without being a demagogue. He never had the need or desire to put white people down in order prop himself or his race up. Too bad we cannot say the same about many leaders today, like the Reverends Sharpton and Jackson, Sonny Carson, and Dr. Leonard Jeffries to mention a few. Dr., Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who fought for and help won civil rights for blacks without ever having put anyone down, made an eloquent speech in which he said, "Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the nature of his character!" There are words that will continue to live on for years after his very tragic death. This was an attitude that he practiced all of his life.

Dr. Charles Drew, a noted scientist who discovered blood plasma in the 1950's, is another prime example of a black person who never felt that he needed to tear white people, or any other people, down in order to prop himself up. George Washington Carver was also a black scientist who succeeded in gaining fame on his own merits, without having to tear anyone else down to do it. General Colin Powell, a native of the Bronx, who went on to lead the largest army in the world to victory, during the Gulf War, and was able to do so without blaming white people for his troubles. Clarence Thomas, a man who rose from nothing to be nominated a Supreme Court Justice by President Bush, was able to do so without tearing anyone down to do it. Possibly, the most important person of all was Malcolm X. He said, "Stop blaming the white man for all our troubles, we're doing it to ourselves!" That philosophy probably help get Malcolm X assassinated. This is primarily the ideology that Washington, and all these who were smart enough to follow him did. It paid off quite well for them all.

Washington was a lump of clay, and the people who helped in various invaluable ways were the sculptors. Much like myself, talk radio, my counsellor, English tutors and mainly my English Professor, help to shape and hone me as a person and a writer. Mrs. Ruffner gave him his first break by hiring him as a servant in her home. She taught him many things like the importance of cleanliness and honesty that would prove to be invaluable to him throughout his life.

Miss Mary Mackie, the head teacher at the school allowed him a chance to enter school by cleaning a recreation room. If not for her, he might never have gotten into school. The kind -hearted captain of the ship allowed him to work for the money to buy breakfast. The captain must have taken one look at him after spending the night under the sidewalk and his heart filled with pity for Washington.

General Sam Armstrong, who would prove to be a source of great inspiration to Washington and many others, time and again he helped to develop the character of all of his students by leaving a lasting impression. In order to allow younger students to enter the school, he and many older students slept out on the front lawn in the winter. The students slept under tents that kept blowing over from the bitter cold winds. This was a terrible hardship on the boys and an act of unselfishness few would do. Yet, it was done without a single complaint. Few men could inspire that kind of loyalty in their followers.

Mr. S. Griffits Morgan of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who paid most of his room and board was another example of divine intervention. If not for this unusual act of generosity, he would have had to drop out and might have never been able to save up enough to pay for school.
Washington also learned that human nature is the same for all people when he saw the Indian students respond the same way to respect as the blacks students did. He turned out be a man of substance, character, honor, integrity, loyalty, courage, perseverance, compassion, sincerity and gratitude. He never forgot where he came from or how he got there.

It is divine intervention that allowed him to overcome all the hurdles that were put in front of him. If any one of these people did not care enough to help, he could not have become the man he did.

It took a lot of courage for him to tell the world about the sacrilege he had uncovered in the Methodist church. He knew he would get a lot of criticism from people when he reported all the corruption. Yet he persevered with nothing but the truth on his side. He knew it would not be easy to tell the truth when no one wanted to hear it, but he did it anyway.

Many people of all races would do well to use Washington as a role model. Unlike many black leaders he knew the meaning of the word gratitude. People such as Dr. L. Jeffries who accuse the white man of taking all the affirmative action jobs, but neglects to tell his followers that he was not just granted tenure, but made chairman of his department by the City University of New York. Both of these were conditional on his accepting the position at C.U.N.Y.

Washington would never have been an instigator or omitted part of the truth to make himself look better to the public. Society can use a man like him for president of the U.S.

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