Imagine being in a position that gave you the power to inspire a race and gainthe respect of another. Booker T.
Washington, a prominent and extremelysuccessful African-American had that opportunity. This opportunity came in thetimes of the emancipation of slavery. And when given the chance he excelled. Inhis book, Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington exposes readers to the hardshipshe faced from the time he was a slave, until the times he became a leader amongAfrican-Americans.
His book gives detailed accounts of his life, from a first. It speaks of slavery, racism, triumph, and struggle, which all couldn’toverpower handwork. Hard working was something Washington believed in and was. The most in unheard voice at the time of slavery both past and present, was thatof the African-American women. During these periods, female accomplishments werenot recognized. These accomplishments have been brought forth for people to viewthem in one of many books.
The book, Voice from the South, by Anna Coopercombines works of fiction, poetry, autobiographies, and biographies. Cooper wasone of few black woman of her time to earn a Ph. D. She was a feminist whobelieved that women’s voices shouldn’t go unheard. The book displays greatmoments of triumph that conquer over hard bearing obstacles.
The book is quiteinteresting one that focuses on black women’s writings in the nineteenth andtwentieth century. The context however seems to jump around from subject tosubject, which could often confuse the reader. This book seems to be drunk onsyntax blind to semantics. In other words this book tended to use words thatwent around the subject. These books try to focus on all aspects of thestruggles of both women of color and of African Americans as a whole.
A bigdifference between these books is the fact that one of the voices was heardwhile the other silenced. Though in times of racism, black males still receivedmore respect then women. My goal is to compare and contrast these two books. Washington spoke a lot about his life through out his book.
But the main pointhe was trying to show was gaining education for the black race. As this was thepurpose in the Voice from the South. It was a long, tough road, for both Blackmen and women alike. “I have learned that success is not measured not somuch by the position one has reached in life is, but by the obstacles he hasovercome while trying to succeed.
” (Washington p. 23) This is a quoteWashington lived by. Born a slave in Franklin county, Virginia. After theemancipation, he and his family moved to West Virginia where his stepfather hadfound work in the coalmines.
The mines were to be the starting point forWashington as he began his quest for education. He first started with a bookthat taught the basics. Soon after that Washington set out to attend the HamptonInstitute in Virginia. There he would work as a janitor to pay his way throughcollege. He studied under a man by the name of General Armstrong, whom headmired the most. After receiving his degree, he briefly went Armstrong, whom headmired the most.
After receiving his degree, he briefly went home only to becalled back to Hampton to teach. What he had learned from Hampton what could beaccomplished when you never give up. During this time at Hampton, Washington wasin charge of educating Indians with the help of his students, both male andfemale. But what he really wanted to do was educate his own race.
And with thisidea he received word from some men in Alabama, that there a request put in fora teacher to come teach a school in Tuskegee. Booker T. Washington saw thisopportunity and accepted it. He then moved to Alabama to begin what would becomea legacy.
The school was built by the students that attended, which would payfor part of their tuition. Washington believed that it was better to earn atrade than it was to study things such as Greek and the arts. “I have foundtoo that, that it is the visible, the tangible goes a long ways in softeningprejudices. The actual sight of a first-class house that a Negro built has builtis ten times more potent that the pages of discussion about a house that heought to build, or perhaps could build. “(Washington p. 72) This view wouldbe later argued by another prominent black figure, W.
E. B. Du Bois. So Tuskegeebecame an institute of trade.
Though in the midst of racism, Washington facedtriumph gaining the support of the whites in the Du Bois. So Tuskegee became aninstitute of trade. Though in the midst of racism, Washington faced triumphgaining the support of the whites in the community. To earn money for theschool, Washington set out across America in order to gain money for the school. His campaign promoted teaching the Negro a trade as opposed to book knowledge.
Whites actively supported the teaching of a trade, feeling that the Negro wouldnever be first class. In Atlanta he gave his famous Atlanta Exposition Address. Both races applauded the words spoken by him. But in it he seems to put black onthe bottom of the scale. “It is at the bottom we mustbegin. “(Washington pg.
101) This is the very statement that many educatedblacks such as Du Bois argued against. W. E. B. Du Bois believed in bookknowledge.
This was the knowledge that would help the black man excel. In AliceCooper’s, Voice from the South, she believed in starting at the top. The objectwas to recognize the female for her role in the rise of the race. But her bookshows females as the unheard part of the African American race. Cooperstates,” The colored women of to-day occupies, one may say, a uniqueposition in this country.
In A period of itself transitional and unsettled, herstatus seems one of the least ascertainable and definitive of all the forceswhich make our civilization. ” (Cooper pg. 134). In the context with”Voice from the South”, Cooper strived to raise the voice of the blackwomen. Men actually agreed with Cooper saying, they want females to learn asmuch as they did.
” We are ready to make any modifications in thoserelations which will satisfy the woman’s just aspiration for personalindependence, for intellectual and moral development, for the physical culture,for political activity, and for a voice in the arrangement of her own affairs,both domestic and national. ” (Cooper pg. 67) With in marriage, they feltthat women would make a better half if educated. All Cooper would hope toaccomplish would come in time. Her efforts were recognized by many in the UnitedStates. She would be one of the first to put the African American female in thenational spotlight.
In my opinion the two books focus on strong points. Thesebooks attempted to show readers that black faced hardships to gain an education. Even tougher was gaining education for Black females. Both Authors were leadersin the African American Communities. Booker T. Washington and Anna Cooperbelieved in the education of blacks being the stepping stone for the rise of therace.
The biggest difference between these two books was Washington focused onthe African American races as a whole, while Cooper focused on elevating thefemales. In the case of Booker T. Washington, I feel given the situation and thetime at which it occurred, I would have probably followed along the lines of hisidea of education than that of Mr. Du Bois. Anna Cooper’s efforts to raise theeducation of the black women hasn’t gone unnoticed.
It brought a sense of prideand respect form The African American women As did Washington’s campaign.