Up from slavery chapter 1. Up From Slavery Chapters 1 2022-10-03
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Up From Slavery is an autobiography written by Booker T. Washington, one of the most influential African American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The book tells the story of Washington's life, from his childhood as a slave to his eventual rise to prominence as an educator and civil rights leader.
In Chapter 1, Washington begins by describing his earliest memories of life as a slave on a plantation in Virginia. He remembers being separated from his mother at a young age and being forced to work long hours in the fields. Despite the harsh conditions, Washington was determined to learn as much as he could and spent his free time reading and studying whenever he could.
As a young man, Washington was able to attend school and eventually received a scholarship to attend Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, a college in Virginia. He excelled at his studies and eventually became a teacher at the school. From there, he went on to become the first leader of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama, a school that provided education and vocational training for African Americans.
Throughout his life, Washington worked tirelessly to improve the lives of African Americans and to promote education and economic opportunity for his community. He believed that by focusing on practical skills and self-improvement, African Americans could rise up from slavery and achieve success in a society that was often hostile to them.
In Chapter 1 of Up From Slavery, Washington's determination and resilience in the face of adversity are evident. Despite the many challenges he faced, he never lost sight of his goals and worked hard to overcome the obstacles that stood in his way. His story serves as an inspiration to all those who aspire to overcome adversity and achieve success in life.
Up From Slavery
The fact that my flesh was soft and tender added to the pain. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. Washington insists that this is a result of the general earnest and trustworthy nature of slaves. Her addition to the slave family attracted about as much attention as the purchase of a new horse or cow. So far as I can now recall, the first knowledge that I got of the fact that we were slaves, and that freedom of the slaves was being discussed, was early one morning before day, when I was awakened by my mother kneeling over her children and fervently praying that Lincoln and his armies might be successful, and that one day she and her children might be free. Deserting soldiers returning to their homes were to be seen every day.
Booker T. Washington. Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
Of course as the war was prolonged the white people, in many cases, often found it difficult to secure food for themselves. But there was no feeling of bitterness. The great responsibility of being free, of having charge of themselves, of having to think and plan for themselves and their children, seemed to take possession of them. It was chilly in winter and uncomfortably hot in summer. They had no strength with which to earn a living in a strange place and among strange people, even if they had been sure where to find a new place of abode. I was asked not long ago to tell something about the sports and pastimes that I engaged in during my youth.
Her addition to the slave family attracted about as much attention as the purchase of a new horse or cow. The man who was sent to the office would linger about the place long enough to get the drift of the conversation from the group of white people who naturally congregated there, after receiving their mail, to discuss the latest news. As I was not strong enough to reload the corn upon the horse, I would have to wait, sometimes for many hours, till a chance passer-by came along who would help me out of my trouble. The earliest impressions I can now recall are of the plantation and the slave quarters -- the latter being the part of the plantation where the slaves had their cabins. When freedom came, he was still in debt to his master some three hundred dollars.
When war was begun between the North and the South, every slave on our plantation felt and knew that, though other issues were discussed, the primal one was that of slavery. In fact, there was pity among the slaves for our former owners. That is not true. On trips to the mill, slaves and other attendants load a horse with large bags of corn. He especially dreaded carrying heavy sacks of corn to the mill to be ground.
I can scarcely imagine any torture, except, perhaps, the pulling of a tooth, that is equal to that caused by putting on a new flax shirt for the first time. The gloom proceeded from somber feelings about the uncertainties and responsibilities of freedom. The great responsibility of being free, of having charge of themselves, of having to think and plan for themselves and their children, seemed to take possession of them. I have heard reports to the effect that he was a white man who lived on one of the near—by plantations. In the case of our particular cabin I could never understand the necessity for this convenience, since there were at least a half—dozen other places in the cabin that would have accommodated the cats. On several occasions when I was being forced to wear a new flax shirt, he generously agreed to put it on in my stead and wear it for several days, till it was "broken in.
In wearing them one presented an exceedingly awkward appearance. Some of the slaves pitied their former owners, as they were mourning the loss of property and possession. The hurtful influences of the institution were not by any means confined to the Negro. In talking to me about this, the man told me that he knew that he did not have to pay the debt, but that he had given his word to the master, and his word he had never broken. In this cabin I lived with my mother and a brother and sister till after the Civil War, when we were all declared free. One of the best illustrations of this which I know of is in the case of an ex-slave from Virginia whom I met not long ago in a little town in the state of Ohio.
The fact that my flesh was soft and tender added to the pain. Washington, along with his siblings, John and Amanda, would wake up late at night to their mother offering them a chicken stolen from the plantation. The time consumed in this way made me late in reaching the mill, and by the time I got my corn ground and reached home it would be far into the night. They were just as anxious to assist in the nursing as the family relatives of the wounded. They unconsciously had imbibed the feeling that manual labour was not the proper thing for them. This was fully illustrated by the life upon our own plantation. There was a door to the cabin—that is, something that was called a door—but the uncertain hinges by which it was hung, and the large cracks in it, to say nothing of the fact that it was too small, made the room a very uncomfortable one.
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington Plot Summary
When war was begun between the North and the South, every slave on our plantation felt and knew that, though other issues were discussed, the primal one was that of slavery. When freedom came, the slaves were almost as well fitted to begin life anew as the master, except in the matter of book-learning and ownership of property. However, Washington did not have enough money to pay for tuition, so he took a job as a house servant with Mrs. The few schools were in poor conditions with unprepared teachers, who were like the ministers in unpreparedness. The experience of the war is very different for black and whites.