Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:45 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
DWill wrote:
After the war, slaves became Americans. Before this, they were not. That generation of slaves (out of how many generations on U.S. soil?) presumably had the opportunity to become equal with whites.
Formal legal equality, which only partly existed with freedom from slavery, does not by any means connote cultural equality. Discrimination, illiteracy and the whole host of other forces keeping blacks down mean that pointing to technical freedom is just the first step on a very long and still ongoing path towards real equality.
DWill wrote:
The failure of Reconstruction in the South, and racism in the North, prevented that from happening.
I have not studied the history of the period in detail, but would be surprised if anyone seriously thought that government action could generate racial equality in their lifetimes in the nineteenth century. The useful thing about reading Booker T now is that he shows a hard headed appreciation of the real difficulties of advancement, and does not put spin above substance, but looks to a gradual and incremental path.
DWill wrote:
Regardless of bad conditions in Africa (to what degree caused by colonial powers?), it isn't true, IMO, that slaves were better off than Africans who had avoided capture.
True, but the current descendants of slaves today are much better off in the USA than the majority of people in Africa. That was Booker T’s point about providence, that despite the suffering, even in his day the opportunities for blacks in America were greater than for blacks in Africa.
DWill wrote:
The Africans had the basic human rights to have their own culture (again Europeans disrupted that) and families. Living in a dynamic economy did slaves no good at all, and for freed blacks it was a blessing not realized.
And Booker T’s point was that realizing equality is an extremely slow process. He may simply be realistic. If you adopt the approach to pretend there is equality when in fact there is not, by accepting lower standards for blacks through quotas and affirmative action, then there is of course the argument that the different levels of performance have to be adjusted to reflect how discrimination conceals merit. It is difficult to assess the consequences and merits of the rival approaches regarding positive discrimination for minorities, but there is certainly some unease about the relationship between diversity and standards of excellence. Many African countries would be far better off as UN protectorates. Self Government is often a disastrous recipe for tyranny.
DWill wrote:

past and even continuing injustice cannot hold down the individual.
Maybe that should be “every” individual, since in fact injustice does hold people down, for example through wrongful imprisonment and its broad social ripple effects.
DWill wrote:
Washington doesn't want anyone to wallow in victimhood. As you say, making the leap over large cultural barriers asks of people a degree of determination and strength that we in the privileged classes can't imagine.
This is where I consider Christianity has much to offer, especially the idea from John the Baptist that forgiveness is conditional on repentance. Love is unconditional, merited simply by existing, but respect must be earned. Forgiveness is able to dissolve the bitterness of feelings of hatred, but it usually requires that those who are forgiven understand that what they did was wrong. The astounding thing in the case of Booker T was that he forgave white America for its unrepentant bigotry, as he saw more tactical advantage for blacks in accepting compromise on matters such as segregation than in putting energy into removing egregious injustice. My view on this is that forgiveness for unrepentant evil is only ever a form of tactical regrouping, since otherwise there is an element of blessing something you know to be wrong, a strategy which will always fester in tension and eventually explode into conflict.
DWill wrote:

The potential for freedom and sharing in the American Dream that freed blacks had in 1865 also doesn't come close to making the previous 200 years of slavery a fortunate circumstance.
Racial equality in the USA is still a work in progress, but has obviously advanced considerably over the last century and a half. The critical point here is whether equality can be achieved through government insistence, or if it requires deeper cultural change. Obviously the latter, which opens the challenge of questions like black participation in business management. http://www.kauffman.org/~/media/kauffma ... s_2015.pdf analyses census data to show that racial composition of startups from 1996 to 2014 saw Whites slip from 77.1% to 59.1%, Blacks grow slightly from 8.4% to 9.2%, and the real advancement occurring with doubling rates among Latinos from 10.0% to 22.1%, Asians from 3.4% to 6.8% and Others 1.0% to 2.7%. Figure 3A Changes in Composition of New Entrepreneurs by Race (1996, 2014). I wonder if more respect for Booker T Washington today would mean that black number could be higher.
DWill wrote:
It is possible to imagine circumstances under which, like any immigrant populations, Africans could have enjoyed the basic right to immigrate, either to the U.S. or to other countries to seek better lives.
Unfortunately, that imaginative dream bears little connection to any realistic alternative history. The gross inequality of pre-industrial times meant that blacks were treated like animals without rights or dignity, due to whites having the power of guns and writing. Where people have the power to enslave others they will do so. It is quite hard to imagine circumstances of an alternative history in which this power of white coordination would have been unable to control and exploit a subaltern black population, until after the looms could spin themselves.
DWill wrote:
You also appear to view African societies as inherently hopeless and without positive characteristics, a large generalization that needs to be examined.
No, far from it, I admire African culture and am directly interested in the vexed question of how Africans can escape from poverty. The core issue is that development depends on personal responsibility and honesty, not charity. Community development projects do provide help, but only on a small scale, and never at the level of cultural transformation that is required to institute modern values of good governance and overcome grand corruption. I pointed in the thread I started on Equality to the amazing change in China from a command to a market economy as the single decisive historic event that delivered the Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty between 2000 and 2015. Meanwhile all the handwringing projects of the United Nations saw Africa stagnate in that time, due to a failure of leadership and vision. The profoundly depressing conclusion of the United Nations Development Program in their MDG completion report for Africa published at http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/hom ... ction.html was that “Although overall poverty rates in Africa are still hovering around 48 percent, according to the most recent estimates, most countries have made progress on at least one goal.” This appalling failure of a continent of a billion people to make progress amidst such global technological opportunity demonstrates that the inability to hear the home truths of the Booker T’s of this world condemns the poor to a bleak future.
DWill wrote:
The quick, natural demise of the slave economy would be easier to believe in if it had already been in decline at the outbreak of the war, but it was ascendant, with more slave labor than ever. Another thought experiment is to speculate how many decades more it would have lasted had Lincoln let the South go its own way.
Yes, if Lee had achieved partition the result would have been that the Confederacy would now be much much poorer than the can-do Yankees. Nations of rentiers are stagnant. The south was very lucky that Lincoln saved them from their own blinkered stupidity.

Here is an interesting seven minute talk about a museum of slavery. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NToQ3iwz7LQ


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:03 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6302
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1825
Thanked: 2004 times in 1521 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
You make good points and defend them well. I still have to be most impressed by the extremely roundabout method of giving human rights to blacks by subjecting them to centuries of slavery. America of course did not invent slavery, but circumstances here led to a hardening of the slave system at the same time when it had waned or disappeared in the rest of the West. The huge numbers of former slaves who were still subject to just as much ill feeling as they had been when enslaved, then created a barrier to betterment that legal emancipation didn't do a lot to lift. South Africa's experience would be interesting to compare with ours. I just have hearsay evidence that there as well, equality for blacks in post-apartheid S.A. is still a long ways off.



Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:53 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Quote:
I must have walked the streets till after midnight. At last I became so exhausted that I could walk no longer. I was tired, I was hungry, I was everything but discouraged.
I find this hard to believe. Arriving in Richmond Virginia without a cent, unable to find lodging, no food, sleeping on the street. But not at all discouraged. That is the power of positive thinking.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:05 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6302
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1825
Thanked: 2004 times in 1521 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Robert Tulip wrote:
Quote:
I must have walked the streets till after midnight. At last I became so exhausted that I could walk no longer. I was tired, I was hungry, I was everything but discouraged.
I find this hard to believe. Arriving in Richmond Virginia without a cent, unable to find lodging, no food, sleeping on the street. But not at all discouraged. That is the power of positive thinking.

It's just one of those mysteries of human variation, how the rare person can have so much belief in himself. It's not explainable by anything, in my opinion. If he had siblings, they probably were closer to average, like the rest of us.



Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:05 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Freshman

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 206
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Thanks: 81
Thanked: 151 times in 119 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Canada (ca)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
DWill wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
Quote:
I must have walked the streets till after midnight. At last I became so exhausted that I could walk no longer. I was tired, I was hungry, I was everything but discouraged.

I find this hard to believe. Arriving in Richmond Virginia without a cent, unable to find lodging, no food, sleeping on the street. But not at all discouraged. That is the power of positive thinking.


It's just one of those mysteries of human variation, how the rare person can have so much belief in himself. It's not explainable by anything, in my opinion. If he had siblings, they probably were closer to average, like the rest of us.


Washington was certainly a man of exceptional talent and strength of character, but I do wonder how much of the autobiography might be exaggeration or even made up given what we are told by William L Andrews in the introduction of BTW's desperate need of funding for his beloved Tuskegee:

"The second autobiography was designed to appeal to 'a class of people who have money and to whom I must look for money for endowment and other purposes".

And a few pages later:
"The overall impression that Washington's style left on his white readers - that of an almost saintly self-forgetfulness balanced by a businesslike worldlinesss in the art of getting things done - went a long way towards creating the myth of the Tuskegeon as a uniquely gifted African American leader, the Moses of his people in the twentieth century".



The following user would like to thank LevV for this post:
Robert Tulip
Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:49 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
To illustrate the volatility of this material, here is an article I found when someone used the term "whitesplain".

Quote:
http://www.newyorkbeacon.net/files/be2112s_1_.pdf

Paul Ryan claims Black men are lazy and cause of poverty

By: Justin Baragona

March 2014

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was on the conservative radio show ‘Morning In America’, which is hosted by Bill Bennett. Bennett is the former Secretary of Education under President Reagan. He is also known for gambling away millions of dollars while at the same time preaching about living a virtuous life. Anyway, Bennett had Ryan on to discuss Ryan’s recent ‘War on Poverty’ report, where Ryan stated that anti-poverty programs developed under President Lyndon Johnson and after were actually the root cause for the continued existence of poverty in this country. During the interview, Ryan used thinly-veiled ‘code’ language to claim that black men do not want to work and are satisfied with being poor. He also stated that antipoverty programs create a culture of laziness and that what we really need is for affluent white people from the suburbs to spend more of their time mentoring those in the inner-city. Obviously, the answer for those living in abject poverty in a jobless environment is to have someone come down from their lofty perch and whitesplain about how to lift yourself up by your bootstraps. Below is an excerpt from Ryan’s conversation with Bennett: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with…you need to get involved, you need to get involved yourself, whether through a good mentor program or some religious charity, whatever it is to make a difference. And that’s how we resuscitate our culture.” This is Ryan’s way to justify that all social programs need to be gutted. Basically, rich, white people will fill in the gap and provide mentoring to the poor, inner city black folks that they moved far, far away from. At the same time, there is no need to raise the minimum wage in this country and we also need to destroy unions, since they drive away jobs due to their demands for a living wage for their members. In the end, Ryan’s solutions are for there to be no social safety net and the driving down of median wages. But, no worries. The free-market and basic human decency will provide all the solutions needed. What is especially disgusting here is the notion that all poverty is centered around inner-city black men and that nobody else utilizes the social programs that Ryan demonizes. He is making sure to stoke the racist flames already ablaze within the Republican Party by going down this route. Ryan is essentially doing the same thing that Reagan did when he brought up the ‘welfare queen’ myth. To make matters worse, Ryan cited Charles Murray, who is the author of The Bell Curve. Murray has argued that intelligence is genetic, and that whites are naturally more intelligent than blacks. He has also claimed that all social welfare programs will inevitably have a negative effect on a society. Overall, Murray’s studies have been used by many to justify their notions of white supremacy. Ryan has long been touted by the Republican Party as extremely intelligent and a real ‘wonk.’ I guess the fact that he uses numbers a lot to make his points makes him appealing in that regard. It gives the appearance of being knowledgeable and exact. However, he is just using smoke and mirrors to push forward a Randian vision of how America should be. Basically, the wealthy should be coddled at all times and they will decide how much to trickle down upon the masses.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:47 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Continuing on this theme of 'whitesplaining', here is a piece of blaxplaining published in The Australian newspaper today, of some relevance to race relations elsewhere too.
Quote:
End Aboriginal cult of victimhood and focus on what matters
ANTHONY DILLON
THE AUSTRALIAN
APRIL 19, 2016
link

Too many Aboriginal people in this country suffer and languish — not due to a lack of energy, effort or resources, but misplaced priorities.

Take the recent stories generated by the 25th anniversary of the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. We’ve seen stories and heard speeches all centring on the theme of “25 years later, Aboriginal people still die in custody”. The usual suspect, racism, is fingered as the underlying cause of these deaths.

At this point, I want to make a disclosure: I write this piece as someone whose research interests include how best to promote the holistic wellbeing of Aboriginal people. Further, I write as a part-Aboriginal Australian. I do not ­believe that this ancestry makes my opinion more valid than anyone else, but in a world dominated by political correctness, it does provide me with the freedom to discuss matters that many are afraid to discuss for fear of “blaming the victim” or being labelled racist. Ultimately, I believe Aboriginal ­affairs is all our business, and we as a nation must work together.

Drawing attention to an issue like Aboriginal deaths in custody is misplaced, for the simple reason that while Aboriginal people are over-represented in custody, they are not over-represented in deaths in custody. In fact, an Aboriginal person in custody is less likely to die than a non-Aboriginal person in custody.

Stating this another way, there is an over-representation of non-Aboriginal deaths in custody. However, the narrative of elevated black deaths in custody is emotive, and that gets attention.

Consider The health of Australia’s prisoners 2015, a publication by the Australian ­Institute of Health and Welfare. It states: “With just over one-quarter (27 per cent) of pri­soners in custody being indigenous, and 17 per cent of deaths in custody being ­indigenous, indigenous prisoners were under-­represented.”

This is something that activists should never lose sight of. Yet Greens indigenous affairs spokeswoman Rachel Siewert is quoted on an ABC website as saying: “It has been 25 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and Aboriginal people are still dispro­portionately dying while in incar­ceration.” At least she got the 25 years right.

At the same time as the deaths in custody furore, Melbourne ­Aboriginal actor Uncle Jack Charles was again refused a taxi ride. This was immediately ­ascribed to racism.

It is possible, maybe even likely, that racism was the motivating factor for the ­refusal. However, such racism may not be as common as some people would like to think. I am guessing that each week thousands of Aboriginal people across the country must catch taxis without incident.

As such, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’s response that racist taxi drivers are not welcome in Victoria seems like an over-­reaction, or playing to the gallery. If it is the case, the other premiers and chief ministers should perhaps prepare for a huge ­invasion of racist taxi drivers from Victoria.

No doubt Premier Andrews will be hailed by some as the man who took a courageous stand against racism. But how does this help Aboriginal people?

Certainly addressing racism against Aboriginal people where it exists is worthwhile. But this should not take the place of ­addressing those issues that have the most negative impact on Aboriginal people — like unemployment, poverty, alcohol abuse, child sexual abuse, violence and unsafe living environments.

These problems require government input — but also personal responsibility. But when people are continually told that they are victims of ­racism, personal responsibility is quickly forfeited.

My friend Dave Price, husband of Northern Territory Minister Bess Price, says: “It is enormously difficult to convince your Aboriginal loved ones bent on self-­destruction that they have the power in themselves to take ­responsibility for their lives and solve their own problems when the rest of the world tells them that they are victims with a capital ‘V’. The whole debate needs to change. Let’s start by getting rid of the pernicious victim stereotype and the stultifying viciousness of political correctness gone mad.”

Shouts of racism may help politicians and academics with popularity contests, but they come at a high price for too many Aboriginal people.

I agree with Dave: unless the debate changes, the outcomes will not change. Let’s keep applying the same effort but direct it ­towards addressing the real causes of Aboriginal suffering.

Anthony Dillon is a post doctoral fellow at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:23 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Quote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... oure-poor/

Why becoming an adult means something very different when you’re poor

Poor black teens in Baltimore in "Coming of Age in the Other America," a new book by sociologists Stefanie DeLuca, Susan Clampet-Lundquist and Kathryn Edin. The researchers tracked the lives of 150 teens in Baltimore, who were born into derelict public housing projects and raised amid startling violence, as they were entering their 20s.

"All society sees is you're twenty-three and you should damn well have it together by now, you know what I'm sayin'?'" Terry, who does not yet have it together, tells the researchers.


This context for the bad karma of racial prejudice and poverty further makes me wonder the extent of fiction in Up From Slavery, whether it is an imaginary ghost-written tale from a white perspective of how a black could prosper in the USA. Nonetheless even if it contains exaggeration it seems to be based on facts, including the willingness of Booker T to fend off the 'crabs in the bucket', a phrase used in this Washington Post article and also in the one above from The Australian.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Last edited by Robert Tulip on Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:27 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Booker T Washington, Chapter 3 wrote:
The sweeping of that room was my college examination, and never did any youth pass an examination for entrance into Harvard or Yale that gave him more genuine satisfaction. I have passed several examinations since then, but I have always felt that this was the best one I ever passed.
In this story, Booker T has arrived at his college with no money, and by extreme diligence in sweeping is able to get employment as a janitor to be able to pay his way through. It is an interesting moral lesson, about exceeding expectations against a strict white glove dust test.

He has a constant expectation of arbitrary failure, but an equal determination to do everything he can to prevent the cruel hand of fate from casting him aside as happens to so many blacks due to some minor failure. There is very much a ‘make your own luck’ agenda here, based on Seneca’s idea that luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

What I find hard to see in Booker T is how he prepared for his opportunities. In the example I provided yesterday of the recent study of the slums of Baltimore, the bleak and hopeless culture seems to provide no avenue of escape. Similarly for Booker T, born a slave and not having a father, seemingly condemned to illiterate servitude, he nonetheless pulls himself up by his own bootstraps (of course this is physically impossible) to become the most popular black man in the USA.

His meeting with Miss Mackie at Hampton, the dust exam described above, is something hard to imagine many young men in Booker T’s situation having the foresight to pass. So there is an element of fairy tale here, a moral fable with the lesson that cleanliness is next to godliness and that extreme thoroughness and diligence in exceeding performance in requested arbitrary tasks is a path to success.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:55 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6302
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1825
Thanked: 2004 times in 1521 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
It's not my intention to detract from the achievement and apparent uniqueness of this person, but it should be okay to say that he was part of a movement, that he alone did not create new horizons for former slaves. Just as with great inventors or great writers and artists, the individual achievement owes a lot to the contributions of others and constitutes the tip of a wave.

President Obama got himself into trouble a few years ago by saying to business entrepreneurs, "You didn't build that." His point was that entrepreneurs don't build the very foundations of their success. The self-made man is a myth.



Last edited by DWill on Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:32 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book Discussion Leader
BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 2067
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks: 77
Thanked: 776 times in 601 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Quote:
One may get the idea , from what I have said, that there was bitter feeling toward the white people on the part of my race, because of the fact that most of the white population was away fighting in a war which would result in keeping the Negro in slavery if the South was successful . In the case of the slaves on our place this was not true, and it was not true of any large portion of the slave population in the South where the Negro was treated with anything like decency. p. 4 (?)

Another difficult passage to deal with. Perhaps this is indeed true, due to the Stockholm Syndrome and centuries of enduring the situation slaves came to fully accept it. But I really doubt it. The book was published in 1901. I don't see the author able to write otherwise at that time, he would have been threatened. And he certainly would not have been able to speak to white audiences and obtain donations to develop the school. There are quite a few passages like this coming up.



Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:50 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book Discussion Leader
BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 2067
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks: 77
Thanked: 776 times in 601 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Quote:
Ever since I have been old enough to think for myself, I have entertained the idea that, notwithstanding the cruel wrongs inflicted upon us, the black man got nearly as much out of slavery as the white man did. p.6

Oh c'mon now.... He goes on to describe how white families did not learn any skills such as cooking, sewing, or house repair. So whites were damaged goods due to slavery, while blacks learned those skills. Some of this sounds like telling his white audience what they wanted/needed to believe about that period.



Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:09 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6302
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1825
Thanked: 2004 times in 1521 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
LanDroid wrote:
Quote:
One may get the idea , from what I have said, that there was bitter feeling toward the white people on the part of my race, because of the fact that most of the white population was away fighting in a war which would result in keeping the Negro in slavery if the South was successful . In the case of the slaves on our place this was not true, and it was not true of any large portion of the slave population in the South where the Negro was treated with anything like decency. p. 4 (?)

Another difficult passage to deal with. Perhaps this is indeed true, due to the Stockholm Syndrome and centuries of enduring the situation slaves came to fully accept it. But I really doubt it. The book was published in 1901. I don't see the author able to write otherwise at that time, he would have been threatened. And he certainly would not have been able to speak to white audiences and obtain donations to develop the school. There are quite a few passages like this coming up.

The qualifier is "where the Negro was treated with anything like decency." That being treated in the same humane way that an owner might treat a cow or horse is "decency" is an extremely sad commentary, but nonetheless it could nave had the effect that Washington describes of engendering a kind of sympathy for one's masters. The rationales he gives for slavery--that it strengthened blacks and was a "school" for them--I find to be strained and perhaps political, but I don't find strong reason to doubt Washington that in many cases a feeling of community existed on the plantations. Chalk this up to the adaptability of humans. Stockholm Syndrome and resignation to fate also have something to do with it.

Washington says that the slaves had good information as to the progress of the war. He was only a child, so his own memories are bound to be hazy. I wonder what the effect was of the Emancipation Proclamation that Lincoln issued in Jan. 1863, declaring slaves in the rebelling states to be free. Washington says that when the masters told the slaves they were free, presumably shortly after Lee surrendered in April 1865, something was read, which Washington presumes was the Emancipation Proclamation--old news by this time, if Washington is correct. The Thirteenth Amendment wasn't ratified until late in 1865.



Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:34 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Booker T Washington wrote:
Chapter 3: The older I grow, the more I am convinced that there is no education which one can get from books and costly apparatus that is equal to that which can be gotten from contact with great men and women.
One trouble with learning from books is that we choose the books we read, and so can be quite selective in what we encounter. As well, spending time in person with other human beings forces us to react and engage in ways that mere book learning does not do. Great people have the wisdom of experience and insight that can cut through the problems a person is facing and provide mentoring and recommendations and contacts and opportunities in a way that book learning cannot.

My own bias has been toward book learning, and I think that has made it harder for me to engage constructively with people in person. But this is quite a dilemma. Booker T Washington probably achieved his political success as an institutional leader and community leader as a result of being able to engage face to face. There are other types of success which rely on book learning. I am sure that Booker T is not in the slightest denigrating book learning with this comment, just calling for balance. But there are people who succeed in the world of wits and interaction who see the world of ideas as irrelevant, and this causes a diminishment of social values.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:51 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5804
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2257
Thanked: 2192 times in 1659 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Quote:
I have spoken of my admiration for General Armstrong, and yet he was but a type of that Christlike body of men and women who went into the Negro schools at the close of the war by the hundreds to assist in lifting up my race.
For Booker T to compare General Armstrong to Jesus Christ in this way could be a surprising and confronting comment. Usually Jesus is imagined as so vastly superior to ordinary people that there is an element of craziness in any comparison. He seems to be describing a quality of saintly idealism among the generation of Civil War northerners who considered the moral stain of slavery required them to help former slaves fully enter American life.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Wed May 04, 2016 7:00 am
Profile Email WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Announcements 

• Promote Your Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:33 pm

• Promote Your Non-Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 pm



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank