This is the essay for the 60th lesson in the Autobiographies course from the Ronpaul curriculum. In this blog post, I will be covering the question of: What are some memorable images from the narrative?
The narrative referred to in the question comes from the autobiography made by Booker T. Washington. called “Up From Slavery”, which has many memorable images from the narrative. I will point out the ones I found memorable and interesting.
What I believe to be the most memorable image is, how the Tuskegee school started from almost nothing. When the school started all they had was one run-down church. When it rained, one of the students had to hold an umbrella to make sure the school session was able to continue. Luckily over time, things got better. Eventually, Booker T. Washington bought a run-down plantation for a very little amount of money. However, Washington got into debt because of this, which he was strictly against. One of his co-teachers Olivia A. Davidson tried to earn money for the school by holding festivals and hoping that people would donate something towards the school. The donation didn’t even have to be money, it could be some food or something else. This worked and she was able to receive enough money to pay off the debt. At the plantation Washington and his students also planted crops. They did this to have food to eat, it was a necessity. Another example of the growth of the school came in the form of the animals. The first animal the school owned was an old blind horse that was donated. When the book was written however the school owned 200 cows, horses and other such animals like mules. They also owned 700 pigs and some sheep as well. Washington worked extremely hard to make the school successful even in very extreme situations.
Another memorable image is of the Indians. Before Washington started the Tuskegee school he was asked to be in charge of the discipline of 75 Indians. He was also supposed to make sure their clothes, rooms and some other things, were in good shape. At one point one of the Indians got sick and he had to bring the Indian to Washington D.C. to be sent to a reservation. This is where Washington learned that discrimination was not a matter of color but of race. The Indian was allowed into the dining room, while he was not and the Indian was allowed into the hotel while he was not. What most people don’t know today is that the Indians also had black slaves. The Indians didn’t respect black people, although Washington got his class of Indians to respect him. The Indians even resented blacks for not being their slaves anymore.
The donations that Washington received were also memorable. If Washington had not received a lot of these donations the school would’ve gone bankrupt at some point. Some of the donations came just in the nick of time. These donations came from several different races. All of the people who donated wanted the school to succeed. There were blacks and northern whites who donated. There were even southern whites who donated. Of course, there were some southern whites who were against the school, but that wasn’t exclusive to the southern whites. There was one donation that stood out in particular. This donation came from a widow. Washington found the donation special because the widow gave all she had left, which was six eggs.