Booker T. Washington Motif (:
By samano7, Updated
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Theme Statement: This is like life because Booker T. Washington's principles strengthened the African American race by encouraging them to fulfill the expectations of the Caucasian people so that they can achieve their aspirations.
Cast down your bucket where you are.” Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides.
This conveys the importance of Washington’s ideology while intertwining the idea that each ethnicity should be “separate but equal” because like the fingers of our hands they are each different, yet they create an essential body part. This demonstrates that the black people are willing to receive the assistance of the white people so that they can rise as a population.
“About eighty-five years ago they were told that they were free, united with others of our country in everything pertaining to the common good, and in everything social, separate like the fingers of the hand”(15).
This quote is of great significance because it highlights Washington’s ideology of how the African American ethnicity should obtain their prosperity through the assistance of the Caucasian ethnicity. This demonstrates that the black people were working hand in hand with the white people so that they could obtain a quality education. Furthermore, this shows that the whites and blacks had similar aspirations and that they were willing to work together to make them happen.
“But your great founder did. He was my friend and I believed in his vision. So much so, that sometimes I don’t know whether it was his vision or mine” (39).
This shows that the African American people are abiding by the ideology of Washington even though the white people believe that they are superior to them. This shows that the black people are willing to follow the white people around and listen to them even if they are humiliated only to pursue their aspirations.
Let us go, young man.
“To you he is a mark on the scorecard of your achievement, a thing and not a man; a child, or even less-a black amorphous thing. And you, for all your power, are not a man to him, but a God” (95).
This demonstrates that even though the white people view the black people as less worthy, the black people have taken advantage of the power given to them that they show and tell them only what they want them to know or become aware of.
“We take these white folk where we want them to go, we show them what we want them to see” (102).
This demonstrates that black people are willing to comply with the expectations of the white people- to a certain extent, yet they know that they are capable of acting for themselves; the black people are also capable of controlling the actions and thoughts of the white people.
“The only ones I even pretend to please are big white folk, and even those I control more than they control me. This is a power set-up, son, and I’m at the controls” (142).
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