taking advice from wardens on how to destroy the prison

In an effort to avoid retreading the ground that some of you have already covered, I’d like to focus on considering the way that Washington’s narrative in Up from Slavery describes how that his actions reinforced and supported structural inequality.

On Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery

I’m not sure where to begin a journal entry about Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery. Of course the text has many issues and tensions that could lead to longer, more in-depth analyses than I could delve into through a journal entry. Therefore, I’ll begin my entry by laying out some of the contradictions I found in the text, that is to say the ones I found most intriguing.

Institutions of Slavery, Race, and Schools

Not many pages into reading Booker T Washington’s autobiography Up from Slavery, you first come across the word “institution.” And it’s not the last. Throughout this text, Washington consistently uses the word “institution” or a similar word to refer to slavery, race, as well as schools. In fact, it was used so many times in such varying contexts that I wanted to know why that word? What meanings or connotations does institution bring to mind that it would seem like such a conscious choice?

Trust and Testimony: Booker T. Washington's use of anecdote

In making arguments we tend to take a hard line between verifiable claims and personal experience. Although both have their place in rhetoric, we place data above anecdotal evidence that can only support stronger, “factual” information. Booker T. Washington takes advantage of the unique character of storytelling in his autobiography, Up From Slavery, which helps to focus his experiences as both a narrative and a platform for his beliefs.

The Boss of Black America

Let me start by saying that as someone who grew up visiting Tuskegee every summer, I have always had mixed feelings about Booker T. Washington's autobiography. No, that’s not quite accurate. I’ve always hated it. Let me explain.

Diagnosing from Text

During slavery, blacks often attracted the racist attention of the mental health field. For example, Samuel A. Cartwright diagnosed slaves who attempted to run away as suffering from “drapetomania,” a type of “mental alienation” (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h3106t.html). In this journal entry, I will endeavor to “diagnose” a black former slave and his peers as suffering from a negative psychological condition.


All of our accounts should now allow for the posting of blog content to the course site. As a refresher just go to the left column click "Create Content" --> "Blog post" and then write to your heart's content. Remember journal entries are on the subject of your choosing and should be at least 250 words long to count for the week. But it takes at least that much to get an idea out solidly...right?

Journal entries are a place to think out your ideas, tell us what you think, what you disagree with, or just demonstrate your brilliance in general :-)



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