Success means many things to different people. For some, it’s the amount of money or material things they have acquired, and for others, the happiness of family, friends, a church community, and good health. You first need to know what success means to you, before you can have a plan at achieving that success. Achievement is not being in what others consider to be the most prestigious position; the personal obstacles you overcome measure Success. Whether it is poverty, disability, overcoming adversity, or racial discrimination, success is personal progress.
Booker T. Washington thought that by approaching things differently in a more passive manner, the African American would have more success in achieving the end result of equality in jobs, education, and basic rights. He asked black Americans to give up three things: political power, insistence on civil rights and demanding higher education for Negro youth. He strived to make the Negro a businessman and business owner. He insisted on self-respect, but counseled on silent submission to civic inferiority to achieve the final goal.Order now
I am in agreement for peacefully working toward equality, and what an individual defines as success. However, I have a hard time feeling like one should be willing to give up basic rights, even temporarily for the greater result. Modern day slaves are an example of how little some things have changed, and how different types of injustices plague America. The Hispanic people, like the African Americans, have endured much discrimination. They are another example of a race that has worked as domestic help and laborers for little money, and in very inferior conditions.
Flor Molina is a woman from Mexico who was lured to the states, with promises of a better life for her children. Instead she became a slave for a factory owner. She worked long hours, and subjected to physical abuse. She escaped one day and contacted the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. Even in 2013 people in desperate need of money to care for their families, fall into the hands of those abusing them to produce much work, for very little pay and no health benefits. Human trafficking is another example of how people are exploited for money.
There are numerous stories of young women in search of jobs to help their family financially, that are taken advantage of by those hoping to get rich by selling them or having them work as prostitutes. These young girls view success as food, shelter, and safety for their families, but instead get humiliation, physical, mental and sexual abuse. Success in my family has been the accomplishment of a generation of all aunts and uncles with either a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.
Cousins have graduated from higher learning institutions’ such as UT Austin and Texas A&M University. The professionals in the family now include family nurse practitioners, engineers, computer science majors, and many more. Success for me is measured in the many sacrifices made by generations before me, such as my grandma who worked as a maid to provide her children an education in America. This opportunity allowed their children, and now me an opportunity at success and happiness, which is measured by the comfort of a home, food, clothing and family.
Booker T. Washington claimed he wanted equality for the black, but did not fight for the rights the 14 amendment provided. He stated African Americans should accept social segregation as long as the white man allowed them economic progress, educational opportunities, and justice in the courts. Is it success to attain partial acceptance as an equal? I cannot agree with this. W. E. B. Du Bois was angered at Mr. Washington’s belief that blacks were only suited for vocational training. As a young woman my mother experienced this kind of discrimination.
She spoke to her high school counselor about her desire to pursue a nursing career. The counselor proceeded to encourage her to maybe try and be a nurse aide or LVN, instead of on an RN. Despite her ranking in the top five percent of her class, she was not encouraged to pursue the highest degree possible. Was race the reason? That is why it was the hard work, as maids, gardeners, field hands and laborers that my ancestors endured that define true success for me. I come from a family of honest, hardworking people that strive and meet goals.
Few of them have a three-figure salary, but some do. It is the family’s integrity and hard work that the community knows, and that defines the Leal and the Garcia families a success. We do not settle for mediocrity. My mom chose to pursue her master’s degree and show people she was smart enough. Had she allowed someone’s lack of confidence in her to limit her goals, she would not be a professional today. Therefore, the maids, the gardeners, the field workers and laborers in my family are the success stories that encourage me to work hard and not settle for less.