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Free Study Guide for Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington-Summary

 

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The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; analysis of symbolism, motifs, and metaphors; a key facts summary; detailed analysis of the use of foreshadowing and irony; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.


UP FROM SLAVERY CHAPTER SUMMARY


CHAPTER EIGHT - Teaching School in a Stable and a Hen House


Summary

Bookers travels through Alabama left him with a heavy heart, but he was determined to create a school that was more than an imitation of New England education. The school opened on July 4, 1881. White people did question the value of the school, because they worried that Negroes, once educated, would then leave the farms where they worked and they wouldnt accept domestic service anymore. They worried that it would affect the economic system of the South. That too was an aspect of his idea for education that had to be overcome.

The original letter to General Armstrong came from a white man, Mr. George W. Campbell, and a black man and ex-slave, Mr. Lewis Adams. From the beginning, these two men understood Bookers educational plan and sympathized with him. Mr. Campbell especially offered all the aid he could. Booker came to believe that the most leading and reliable colored men in the community would those who learned a trade. That would be the foundation of his educational plan.


Thirty students reported for admission and all were above 15 years of age and had some previous education. The greater part of them had been public school teachers. Some were the former pupils of these teachers. Unfortunately, they came into the school with preconceived ideas about what they would learn. They could memorize long rules and information but couldnt apply them to everyday life. They thought an education meant automatically earning more money. Fortunately, they were amenable to the lessons that Booker thought important.

At the end of the first six weeks, a new face entered the school - Miss Olive A. Davidson, who later became Bookers wife. She had been a yellow fever nurse in Ohio, but came to the South, because she thought people needed more than mere book learning. She was trained at the Massachusetts State Normal School, and to Booker, she had a rare moral character and lived a life of unselfishness. He felt that no single individual did more toward laying the foundations of the Tuskegee Institute than she had. Like Booker, she believed that their people needed an education that would involve an industry they could take back to the plantations and teach to the people needing it there.

They first setback they faced was the attitude that getting an education meant no longer working with their hands. Then, they overcame their need for a proper setting for the school when they found a plantation where the big house had burned, but the outbuildings were still intact. They only needed five hundred dollars, a cheap price for so much land, but they didnt have it. Booker wrote to General J. F. B. Marshall, the treasurer of the Hampton Institute, who gladly agreed to loan Booker the money from his own personal funds. Therefore, they moved the school to the old plantation. There was a cabin used as a former dining room, an old kitchen, a stable, and an old hen house. Within a few weeks, all these buildings were in use. Booker put the students to work to make the buildings workable. He also determined to clear some of the land so that they could plant a crop. At first, the students resisted the work, but then, when they saw how hard Booker himself worked, they approached it with more enthusiasm.

There was still the problem of repaying the loan to General Marshall. Miss Davidson organized festivals or suppers. She canvassed people in the community personally for contributions. Various sums came from both races, but sometimes, the people had no money. One old colored woman hobbled into the school dressed in little more than clean rags. However, no matter how poor she was, she wanted to give something top the school. So, she offered all she had: six eggs. Nothing ever touched him so deeply as that.


Notes

Bookers explanation for how he set up his school in Tuskegee is a metaphor for how to succeed in life. Every setback made him look for a new door to open. And he eventually persevered.

This is the last page of the free study guide for "Up From Slavery".
The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; analysis of symbolism, motifs, and metaphors; a key facts summary; detailed analysis of the use of foreshadowing and irony; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.


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