Defense for Booker T. Washington

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Defense for Booker T. Washington Booker T. Washington is innocent of sycophancy and complacency. The meaning of sycophancy, as we know it, is a self serving flatterer. By far, I do not think that Mr. Washington is one of these. Mr. Washington’s second charge, complacency, according to the online dictionary of Merriam – Webster means, self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. Again, this is far from what Booker T. Washington is guilty of, in fact, Mr. Washington is gravely misunderstood and it is the people’s point of view that has to change to prove this man’s innocence. In his autobiography, “Up From Slavery” Washington describes his life as a slave and rising above poverty and oppression. His reason for this autobiography was to tell the world that he too suffered abuse, oppression, poverty and belittlement. He shows that he was able to sacrifice and suffer to get to where he accelerated to be a prominent educator. His purpose of this book was to educate others of his own race. Washington grew up in the South. Southern baptism was the dominant religion. People were having the calling to be ministers in every congregation. Having all of this religion around you instills attitudes of guidance from the bible. I feel that Booker T. Washington was heavily influenced by the bible whether he knew it or not. It states in the bible, “turn the other cheek, forgive one another and seek treasures of comfort from heaven, when someone is mean to you be kind to them and coals of fire will burn on their heads.” We have all heard these phrases throughout our life time. Could these ideologies be in stowed in Booker T. Washington’s mind set? Of course, it was. This is why Mr. Washington sees that forgiving the white race and to move on is justified. He’s trying to help his own race by trying to take away the hate and vengeful feelings towards the white race so that his own race is clear to move forward and eventually perhaps become equal. The first step in mental health to move forward is to forgive and forget the past. This was one of the ideologies Washington was trying to promote. Washington believed that education was an important tool for moving up the social and financial ladder.
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