”The American Negro” by Booker T. Washington Essay Sample

”The American Negro” by Booker T. Washington Pages
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1.Ida B. Wells wrote the primary source Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. This article was published in October 1892. On the Encyclopedia Britannica Online I read that Ida B. Wells attended Rust University, which was a freedmen’s school, in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She started teaching when he was only 14 years old! Later she moved to Memphis, Tennessee and she taught there as well. While living and teaching in Tennessee she attended Fisk University, which is in Nashville, she was taking summer classes. Those classes later helped her write for a small newspaper. She called herself Lola. The articles she wrote were important for the education that was there for African American children. After writing for the newspaper she did not renew her teaching license and that is how she became a journalist. Booker T. Washington wrote one of the primary sources, The American Negro.

This speech was given in Atlanta, Georgia on September 18, 2895. On the online database, Encyclopedia Britannica Online, I learned that Booker T. Washington was born a slave and later after he was emancipated he moved with his family to Malden, West Virginia. He thought that he couldn’t go to school so he decided to start working right away. He worked at a coal mine. Later he decided he needed to go to school. To help pay for school he was a janitor. He went to Hampton Normal and Agriculture Institute, which is in Virginia. He became a teacher and taught both children and adults. 2.I think that Ida B. Wells and Booker T. Washington were both fighting for everyone to be treated equal whether it be about race or sex. The Women’s Era had helped women to become more equal. “Though a network of women’s clubs, temperance association and social reform organizations, women exerted a growing influence on public affairs,” (Foner, pg 654)

The information in Foner helped me understand the primary sources a little bit better because it showed me the importance of everyone being treated equal. Women had to do a lot on their own to get the changes made. Foner helped explain how unfair it was to be a women or black. It helped make Ida B. Wells and Booker T. Washington’s documents stronger because of the examples he gave in chapter 17. 3. Ida B. Wells was a journalist. This biographical detail was a strong influence on who she was. When she writes she uses strong powerful words and also is very forward with what she is talking about. Her background helps her write too. Booker T. Washington was a teacher. That could have affected the primary source that he wrote. Being a teacher influenced his writing because he was educated as a teacher, teaching both children and adults. He got a lot of different views because they were different age groups. 4.In both of the documents I think they really wanted us to understand they knew first hand how black and white people used to be treated differently and realizing that that is changing and trying to show that it be accepted by everyone.

In Ida B. Wells’ document gives a lot of painful but true details. “Even to the better class of Afro-Americans the crime of rape is so revolting they have too often taken the white man’s word and given lynch law neither investigation nor condemnation it deserved,” (Wells. Para 6). Well’s is showing that both black and white men are having to deal with both races and the issues as one, not two. Booker T. Washington is also trying to be accepted with the white race and black race. “Drawn us so near to you of the white race, as this opportunity offered by the Exposition; and here bending, as it were, over the altar that represents the results of struggle of your race and mine,” (Washington, Para 10). Washington is trying to connect both races as one, not two separate.

5. I think that both Washington and Wells were trying to show that yes most people have an issue with blacks and whites interacting together, but it is time to get past that. Washington writes to the president and gentlemen of the Board of Directors and Citizens. He has parts in his document where he is addressing the whites and he also writes to the Afro-Americans. He tries to connect by telling the story about needing water, with the end being that they each were willing to help each other. Wells’ document focuses on the lynch law. She also shares a story about having the Afro-American men being taken from jail and lynched. 6. One concert difference in the two documents is that Washington is direct to the president and gentlemen of the Board of Directors and Citizens in his letter. Wells has her document in the New York Age Press. Wells document is more personal to her also, the three men that were killed were close friends and she was a godmother to one of the men’s daughters. They both had a lot of similarities and also differences.

Sources Consulted

The American Negro by Booker T. Washington
Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All It’s Phases by Ida B. Wells Give me Liberty by Eric Foner

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