The Right Audience

Today’s essay will be explaining who my target audience should be for my autobiography. Whenever someone writes an autobiography they would hope that it could speak to all different kinds of people, but other writers could decide to target a certain audience to help inspire and influence them more than it would for others. If I were to write an autobiography, I would target our country’s youth. Mainly because it would be about my success, and if I “manage” to be successful, I can show the young people of today that they have the potential to be just as successful.

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The Human Race

I can safely assume that anyone reading this has had a thought about the future, and has thought about what it would be like. But have you ever wondered what people living in the 19th century thought about the future? Did they think we were going to be where we are today, or did they desire a less complicated future? My previous essays have been about the life of Booker T. Washington, and about the struggles of black people back then. So the question I will be answering today is,”Was Washington’s view of the future also my view of the future?”

In order to understand this question fully, we have to see what Washington’s view was. Ever since Washington was just a boy he always hoped that one day whites and blacks could live together, this is what drove him to start programs for black’s social acceptance. Often he would remind both the children and adults in the town where he lived that physical labor wasn’t wrong and that hard work pays off, but for people who had been slaves for most of their life, that might have seemed a bit counter intuitive. What I believe Washington wanted to see the most was black people and white people walking on the same streets together and living life with each other with no animosity between them.

The main problem with this question, is that we’re living in a completely different time than Washington. During the time when Washington was alive he wanted to help all blacks gain social acceptance, but during this time far in the future, that’s not that big of an issue anymore. Sadly, that doesn’t mean every black man and woman across the world is accepted, there are still some people who can’t and won’t move on from the old ways. What I mean is that in larger and more populated cities and countries, the chances of blacks being treated differently that whites is close to zero.

After Washington passed away, racial issues in America didn’t exactly get any better. There was an ever popular word that is often associated with racial inequality: segregation. This is the part Washington wasn’t around to see. Everything was segregated (or separated in a way) from schools to restaurants, even bathrooms! The view of the future these people had was a future where there was no segregation and blacks and whites could go to the bathroom in the same building.

My view of the future is based off of past events in history. Since we know now that racial equality is a bit better than what it was, and how segregation isn’t and issue anymore, I can create a plausible view of the future. In the future, I hope for things to stay the way they are, and for us to help the regions of the world where people don’t want things to change. I hope in the future that everyone realizes that there is really only one race, the human race.

The Elitist Program?

In 100 words, I am to explain whether Booker T. Washington’s program for gaining social acceptance for blacks an elitist program. The definition of elitist means a person or class of persons considered superior by others, or by themselves. In this case themselves. Obviously the answer is a straight up no, and here’s why. After the slaves were freed the black people didn’t have the kind of racial equality we have today, so Washington’s goal was to achieve Equality between the two races, instead of making themselves the dominant race. This is why Booker T. Washington was such an inspiring man.

Mixed Culture

The autobiography of Booker T. Washington has been a very interesting book to read, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. For those who don’t know, Booker was a man who was born a slave, but later found freedom and would spend the rest his life helping his fellow man. But this would not be an easy task for him, due to the fact that he was black; and as we all know people weren’t as accepting back then. Thankfully, Booker looked to God in his times of trouble and always found a way; no matter what life threw at him. So the question for me to answer today is,”What are some memorable images from the narrative? Why are they memorable?”

Books that cover the topic of freedom after slavery always depict the environments black people used to live in after their “release.” Since Booker was assigned to take charge of a school project in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1881, he was able to see first hand the living conditions of these freed slaves. But after being able to finally live their lives as a normal people, you would think the black people would be able to find a decent home right? Well, some of the families Booker encountered had every member sleeping in one room, fed everyone with only one fork, and didn’t have much land surrounding their small house.

The small town of Tuskegee wasn’t made up of just black people, there were a few white families there as well, although they were outnumbered 3/1 approximately. Though some of those families didn’t mind Booker helping to build an education system, others were less fond of colored education because they feared the lack of domestic servants! (some people still wanted “slaves” per say) On one occasion a white man donated a blind horse to Booker and his team during the beginning of their project, later he would look back on that horse and see that a white man helped pave the way for the collection of hundreds more animals in the future. It proved that the white man could still be involved and help black people. Later on in the year, an ex-slave owner arrived in Tuskegee who later become one of Booker’s main supporters!

The issue of slavery has always been a touchy subject and still is in certain parts of the world, but most of us have learned to move on. If any of you are wondering how Booker’s school came out, before he decided to build one himself he would often teach people in the local churches log cabins, but even those buildings were dilapidated. Even though many of the black people there were uneducated, they had a good work ethic and were ready to help in any way they could. So just remember, if you bring up the topic of slavery it’s not racist, it can serve as the reminder of this mixed culture and how people came together after years of getting to know the other person.

The “Prison”

For the past few weeks I’ve been reading the autobiography of Helen Keller for my English class, and it has been fascinating! For those of you who don’t know who Helen Keller was, she was blind and deaf her entire life but despite her circumstances learned how to read, write, and communicate with others. I’ve enjoyed seeing how Helen dealt with things you and I wouldn’t think twice about, and how she still managed to live a full life. But before she learned how to do all this, she would often refer to her circumstance as a ‘prison’, being trapped in darkness unable to escape. So the question I will be answering today is,”Which were the key incidents that led Helen Keller out of her ‘prison.'”

The first game changing thing Helen learned to do was spell. Her teacher’s name was Anne Sullivan, and she had very clever teaching methods indeed. If Anne wanted to teach Helen a new word, she would get Helen to touch what it was and then spell the word out in the palm of her hand. Water was one of the first examples, she would run water over Helen’s hand and then spell the word letter by letter in Helen’s hand so she could link what she felt, with a word. Sadly this didn’t work with everything, Anne had trouble teaching her more abstract concepts like love; because unlike water it’s an idea and not an object. The concept of spelling out words sparked Helen’s interest in learning, and helped further her understanding of the world around her.

What truly helped Helen feel more enabled was learning how to write. But before you learn to write you have to know how to read. So utilizing the concept of raised letters, she learned how to read books. (Raised letters are letters that jump off the page of a book about the height of cardboard, so when she ran her fingers over the page she felt the shape of the letters) As she began reading books she observed how people wrote stories, so with the help of Anne, Helen learned how to draw letters on paper and began to write her own stories. Being able to write was probably one of the most exciting things Helen ever experienced, because now not only could she express her inner thoughts on paper but with other people too. (hence her autobiography)

In the first paragraph of this essay, you read the word incident. This is a word commonly used to describe something negative happening, but it is quite the opposite. Incidents are “individual occurrences or events” that happen in our lives. Helen Keller’s whole life was made up of life changing incidents that helped her better understand the world, things you and I normally take for granted. Imagine not being able to see, hear, or talk to anyone everyday! Helen Keller in my opinion is arguably one of the most inspiring people who ever walked the face of the earth.

The Failed Assignment

I’ve been reading an autobiography for my English class all about the life of a man named Sergei Kourdakov. Kourdakov was a Russian Communist soldier who lived a pretty tough and confusing life, but was highly favored by the Communist Party. The question I’ll be answering today is, “Describe the choices that led Kourdakov to the failed assignment.” This may sound a bit odd out of context but It’ll all make sense in a moment.

I feel that a little backstory would help you understand what I’m talking about. When Kourdakov was only 7 years old he began attending school for 1st grade, but what he didn’t now was what he’d be learning. Later he realized that children were taken away from their parents to attend the school. As the years went by all of his friends from school became criminals, but Kourdakov was a good student and was actually interested in the concept of Communism he was learning about. His choices were: Crime or Communism?

Kourdakov eventually chose the path of Communism. One day he was asked to train 1,200 young cadets in the ways of Communism, after joining the Communist party. After months of training he gathers 20 of his larger cadets and is assigned by his superiors to help breakup brawls and street fights around the city. But they actually had a secret hidden agenda, in other words their real job was never mentioned. Eventually Kourdakov found out what their actual job was: They were recruited to persecute Believers.

Now obviously you have no idea what a believer is so let me clarify; a believer was a person who believed in God and Christianity and was therefore a threat. When the group first found out about this they weren’t to upset, if anything they were upset about not knowing beforehand. Kourdakov had seen believers before, walking into houses in large groups for prayer gatherings and such. When they first encountered believers after discovering their true motives they were confused. The believers were unarmed, not hostile in the slightest, and didn’t even run away when a group of Communist soldiers walked in. At this point they didn’t have any reason to like the believers, but they didn’t have any reason to hate them either. The believers also reminded them that they have the legal right to worship God, so this made Kourdakov’s job even harder. They decided to return to the police station without touching a single believer. Their chief was not happy, and gave them a lecture on why the believers are their number one enemy.

If we answer the question now it will make a whole lot more sense. The choices that led Kourdakov to “the failed assignment” were choosing to obey the law that the people who established it were trying to break; and choosing to see the true unjust nature of their job. This just goes to prove that you can train someone to do horrible things, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have a soul.

The Turning Point

This essay is supposed to be all about some of the “major turning points” in my life. Now most people when they hear the phrase turning point used like this they might think of a person having a near death experience, or someones life after being addicted to something. But I think everyone has gone through a major turning point, and that’s what I’m going to be talking about today.

You might not have realized this, but this turning point in our lives begins when we turn 13. Now what I’m referring to is the process that occurs in the human body that we all know and love: Puberty. Growing up you probably relied on your parents for almost everything, your food, the changing of clothes, even just brushing your teeth. Obviously as you get older you begin to pick up on all the things your parents helped you with, and become a more independent person. So when you begin to go through your teen years the world becomes a different place, and while that might not be the case for everyone it is for most. At this point in your life you can mostly take care of yourself, and your parents barely need to lift a finger to help keep you alive now; but you still need them.

As you go through puberty many hormones rush through our bodies, these hormones effect many different areas of the body. The ones I’ll talk about are the ones in our brain. During this time many teens have something called mood swings, which is when you can feel happy at one point, but then all of a sudden can feel depressed. You also might begin to see your parents a different light now that you barely need their help. This obviously isn’t what happens to every teenager, but the phrase “moody teen” comes from this effect. This may lead to more serious things like depression or having an identity crisis if you had no assistance from your friends or family. While you may see your parents as strict and unfair dictators as a teen, as you get older and start to seek their advice, you begin to realize why they did what they did. They might not have let you listen to certain music because of the horrible lyrics, or let you go out alone for fear of kidnapping. You should try to see things thingĀ  from their perspective, as a parent, and could even use some of their tactics for when you become a parent.

In conclusion, we’ve all had a major turning point in our lives; even if it had nothing to do with a near death experience. As we grow older, the way we see our parents changes dramatically. It can go from needing them to help tie our shoes, to needing their wisdom and advice on relationships. This might not be the case in your life, but again it probably will be for the rest of you; including myself.