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African American Empowerment
The history of America has played and continues to play an important role in its past and current political, social and economic events. This history is also playing a big role in shaping its future as it has laid down rules and policies which have formed the building block of the American economy. This essay identifies some of the most important events in the American history, highlighting their significance. It further reviews the historical contest of these events and factors which led to their occurrence.
Tuskegee institute came into existence in the late nineteenth century. Approval for its building was secured by William Forester and Arthur Brooks who were returning a favor to a black politician named Lewis Adams. Its founding father was Booker T Washington who was inspired by the need to create a self sufficient and independent African-American society throughout the South. The charter that brought the institute into existence was from the Alabama legislature and its students were meant to be future teachers. The students were trained in academics and occupation related subjects like law but most of the emphasis was put on the practical part of education whereby students were trained on crafts like farming, carpentry and even masonry. The whites from the South who initially, were against education for the African American came to appreciate the efforts of Booker T Washington as they saw these particular efforts as a way of enlightening the African Americans on accepting their inferiority to the whites. It is because of this that some like Andrew Carnegie contributed towards building of the institute.
Born on the thirtieth of January in the year eighteen thirty nine, Samuel C Armstrong rose through the military ranks to become a colonel and general who fought during the American Civil War. After a distinguished carrier in military service, Samuel turned his life to focus on education where he became an inspiration and role model to the likes of Booker T Washington. His carrier in education began during an assignment to command the eighth United States Colored Troops. During this assignment, he developed the need and interest to improve the welfare of the African Americans and as such, he established a school at Stanton to give basic education to the African American soldiers. At the end of the assignment, with help from the American Missionary Association, he established the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. This institute was meant to equip the black Americans with necessary job and teaching skills to enable them provide for themselves. His Hampton style of education sought to encourage equality among blacks and whites by encouraging the whites to develop those they considered the inferior race. It also taught the blacks to become independent and contribute positively towards the well being of their communities. This style put much emphasis on education which involved the heart, mind and the hands as a means of securing ones future and well being.
The term ‘The Talented Tenth’ was derived from the white liberals in the North and was made public by William Du Bois. These white liberals such as the American Baptist Home Mission Society had the ambition of empowering the blacks via building them colleges to nature their skills and ambitions. ‘Talented Tenth’ simply meant that out of ten black men empowered through education, writing and involvement in social activities, one of them would rise up and become a leader of the rest. Du Bois highlighted the importance of classical education over industrial education lobbied by the likes of Booker T Washington, as an ultimate way of nurturing the African American potential and producing future intellectuals. African Americans were to become the best if they were to stamp out the racial stigma and inferiority status. The work of Du Bois on ‘Talented Tenth’ clearly showed how leadership could be achieved all the way from the grassroots. It is through such concepts as ‘Talented Tenth’ that African Americans knew they could lead and be at par with the rest of the society.
‘Double consciousness’ was a term made by William Du Bois. It sought to explain the many faces of an individual’s identity and describe the divisions, either social or psychological that marked the American society. It sought to explain the disadvantaged position African Americans were put in as they were torn between their origin as blacks and their identity as Americans. This caused some degree of psychological and social tension among the African Americans and as result, their psyche was lowered and their degree of morality destroyed. While coining this term, it was never in Du Bois interest to alienate America with the African values, rather to harmonize the identity of an individual as an African and as an American. This would help rid the American society of racism and do away with the inferiority stigma that dominated the minds of the African Americans. ‘Double consciousness’ manifested in three ways that is; the superiority of white stereotypes over black life, racism which segregated the blacks fro.............
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