A Memorable Image from the Book “Up From Slavery”

Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington(an influential African-American educator), is an autobiography that depicts Washington’s life including him being freed from slavery as a young child to his starting of a school in Alabama that becomes the Tuskegee Institute. From the parts of the book I have read so far there have been a few memorable images that have stuck out to me. But there have been two literary images in particular that have stood out to me the most. These two images were: Washington’s acceptance exam into the Hampton Institute, and the elderly poor woman’s gift to the Tuskegee Institute.

Washington’s Acceptance Exam into the Hampton Institute

Washington had heard of the Hampton Institute(a College like institution for African Americans), when he was working at a mine. From hearing about it Washington concluded that he would go to the Hampton Institute, and from then on he worked towards it. Finally when he decided he had enough money he boarded a train and headed for Virginia. Unfortunately he had not calculated exactly how much money he would spend during the trip to the school, and he soon realized he was running out of money.

 When he finally reached the Hampton Institute, he looked like a mess in short, his clothes were in rags and he was not clean in appearance(he had slept outside when he had run out of money). But he did his best to try to look as presentable as possible, but sadly he was rejected from the school at first. So he decided to follow the head teacher around, and eventually one day the head teacher asked him to clean one of the room’s of the institute. Washington jumped onto this and cleaned the room as best as he could which meant immaculate(he had worked for a woman who was a cleaning fanatic). The head teacher was so impressed that she accepted him into the school, hence the cleaning of the room was his acceptance exam into Hampton.

The Gift from the Poor Elderly Woman

During the establishment and building of the Tuskegee Institute, Washington received many gifts or donations from many of the colored people in the area. Some of these gifts included small sums of money or crop items(keep in mind the majority of the African Americans in the Tuskegee area were very poor). But one gift or donation in particular stood out to Washington. This gift was given by a poor elderly African American woman, and it was six eggs. Not that the exact gift or material value of the gift stood out to him; it was the fact that those six eggs were the only thing that the woman had, and that she had given him basically the only thing she had. The reason why he knew this was because the woman was clothed in rags. But yet even though she was so poor and had almost nothing but those eggs she still felt it was important to give those eggs as a gift. Interesting and very touching.

Conclusion

Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington contains many literary images; like a lot of books some of these images really stand out and some not so much. The two images in this autobiography that were the most memorable for me were: Washington’s acceptance exam into the Hampton Institute(which was pretty unique because of the fact that Washington had to clean a room to be accepted), and the gift from the poor and elderly woman(because she gave basically the only thing she had).


16 thoughts on “A Memorable Image from the Book “Up From Slavery”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s