Education plays an important role in every society in determining the successes of many aspects. "Up From Slavery" is a unique autobiography of T. Washington, which details the author's steady and slow rise from slavery when he was a child during the American civil war, to many obstacles and difficulties he had to overcome to get quality education and advance his talent. This unique masterpiece was published for the first time in 1901. Washington was able to complete his education up to university level at the Hampton University in United States despite many calamities he faced during this period. Washington loved education and he established a number of vocational schools such as Tuskegee Institute located in Alabama (Washington 24). The primary objective of these vocational schools was to aid in educating black people and the disadvantaged minorities in the United States.
On the other hand," The Souls of Black folk" was a classic and unique work of the American literature written by W.E.Burghardt and was first published in 1903. Burghardt used his unique experiences to write a groundbreaking book on what one undergoes through being an African American in the American society (Burghardt 14). This book holds a very crucial area in social science. Both books, that is,"Up from Slavery" and "The souls of Black Folk" contain many views of education in the American society especially that concerned with black people and disadvantaged minorities. The two authors hold different views about education, which are compared and contrasted in this essay to show what they all entailed, the similarities and differences they had in their views of education.
Furthermore, both authors discuss the importance of education and insist that every person has right to education no matter his race, color or ethnic background. Washington emphasizes the value of education throughout his unique autobiography. As a slave, the author had been denied his right to learn which according to him, was very detrimental. Once he was free, Washington sought for education and he soaked up learning different terms and subjects like a sponge. Washington firmly believed that education was not complete without learning a unique trade. He held the believe that there existed a tremendous value in any work and that his black race would never compete and rise up to without having capability of working a trade in their own communities that was required by every other races.
Both authors have a view that for one to succeed in education, a lot of hard work, perseverance and determination are necessary. As Washington indicate, "nothing ever comes to me, that is very worth having, except through hard work and determination" (23). In the third chapter of his book, Washington talks about his struggle for an education. On the other hand, Burghardt focuses on education from chapter three all the way to chapter six of his book clearly portraying the tough process of excelling in education. Washington was born into slavery because his mother was also slave. Thus, Washington became the property of his mother's owner. After the emancipation which occurred in 1865, Washington helped hi poverty-stricken family by working hard in coalmines and salt mines of West Virginia. Washington wanted to learn so badly that he worked very hard toward attaining this goal. For instance, at the age of 16 years he walked for a distance of over two hundred miles to go to school in Hampton, Virginia (Washington 37). Washington felt that a man's character is built by the number of walls he had to successfully climb over before attaining his goal.
Washington acknowledges people who help in educating Native Americans and black during his era. He particularly reflects on the great generosity of philanthropists and teachers who aided in running education institutions in the American societies. As a teacher, Washington believed in instilling good manners, health, breeding, dignity, and high self esteem to the students.
Washington education philosophy focuses on combining distinct academic subjects with the learning unique trade. Washington argues that, "the integration of many practical subjects is designed to help black students excel in life and reassure the white people as to the essence of educating as many black people as possible." (108). Burghardt was opposing Washington's education program as he differed with Washington over the significance of the liberal Arts college. Burghardt argues against Washington's idea of solely focusing on the industrial education for the black people. Burghardt advocates the inclusion of classical education in order to establish educators and leaders in the American black community.
Washington emphasized on industrial education that drew valuable resources away from the black people's liberal arts colleges. Burghardt noted that the Washington's education program that accommodates white supremacy produces very little real gains to the black race. Burghardt although he initially agreed with education view of Washington, later came to see Washington as a political boss possessing a lot of power, which he used ruthlessly to his own gain. He thus launched a thoughtful, unequivocal, and well-reasoned attack on the Washington's education views and programs through his classical essays in his book. For instance, in Burghardt's essays entitled, "Of Mr. Booker T.Washington and Others", he argues that Washington's accommodationist education program asked all blacks to give up their rights for higher education for the Negro youth, and political power (Burghardt 92).
He believed that education policies established by Washington had indirectly or directly resulted in the steady withdrawal of funds from higher training institutions for the black people. Burghardt advocated for the education of the black youth according to their abilities. He opposed Washington's education programs claiming that it was narrow in its objectives and scope, ignored political, civil, social injustices and economic exploitation of the black people and devalued the sturdy of the diverse liberal arts. Burghardt stressed on training in liberal arts because he firmly believed that leadership of black community come from the diverse college trained backgrounds. Burghardt's Philosophy referred to as the "Talented Tenth" was that a black elite who is college educated would successfully chart, through the unique knowledge obtained, the away for cultural elevation and economic prosperity for all the black masses (Burghardt 86). Burghardt firmly believed that quality academic education would provide means of achieving rights for full citizenship for all black Americans.
Both Authors believed that through education, the black and disadvantaged minorities would be able to overcome many obstacles in their lives and rise up to demand for their rights. For instance, Washington became a school teacher as he was wholly convinced that through education, his race would rise up from their heavy burdens of slavery. First, Washington taught students in his hometown, and then he taught at the Hampton Institute. He finally taught at the school he founded to help the disadvantaged groups in the society named as Tuskegee Institute (Washington 24). On the other hand, Burghardt helped establish organizations, which fought for equal treatment and education for all races in America. For instance, he helped in establishing the "Niagara Movement" in 1905, which launched a famous campaign advocating for complete justice and equality for the black people (Burghardt 104).
Both authors had great passion for education and highly valued the rights of every person to have high quality education. Washington travelled throughout the United States in search of funds for the Tuskegee Institute, which clearly portrayed his greater passion for quality education. Washington gained a lot of fame as a good and important speaker for the black race. It is through his famous and unique speech at the big Atlanta Exposition that he brought the white race's attention to his belief that black people or Negroes could raise themselves up through education and hard work (Washington 24). Washington devoted his entire life to education field and he turned down many suggestions, which encouraged him to run to for a political office. Burghardt also had greater passion for education as he devoted most of his life in the education field. He aggressively fought for the equal education opportunities for the black youth based on their abilities. His greater person for education made him to write many books which focuses on various issues within the American education field. He also became a teacher at famous universities in America helping thousands of students achieve their education dreams.
Burghardt believed in uncompromising and immediate equality between the races and advocated for equal education rights for all races. Burghardt believed in quality education and accomplishments of highest awards in education through hard work, determination, and perseverance. Burghardt had many accomplishments in the education field such as being the very first African American to accomplish his education and receive a PhD from Harvard University. He was also the co-founder of the "National Association for the Advancement of Colored people (NAACP)" and taught at several major Universities in America. The authors opposed discrimination in the delivery of education in the American society. The black people and disadvantaged minorities were discriminated in the education filed. Schools were divided among the races and ethnic background. In his unique writing, Burghardt uses "the veil" concept, a remarkable metaphor for the misunderstanding and separation between white and black races in United States (Burghardt 124). He openly opposed any discrimination in the education institutions and advocated for quality education to all races based on their abilities.