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.