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Booker T. Washington

             Washington: "An All American Educator".
             There are people whose abilities, determination and energy take them far past any limitations life tries to place on them. Booker T. Washington was one of those people. He overcame a childhood of slavery and illiteracy to become the most prominent educator and leader of black Americans during the late 19th and early 20th century. Booker T. Washington uses his own unique language and writing styles to illustrate these fine qualities in his influential and awe-inspiring autobiography, Up From Slavery. .
             As I began reading Washington's autobiography I became rather intrigued with the language and tone he uses when portraying his life as a young boy during his hard times of slavery and thereafter. Washington's use of language and tones expresses to me, the reader, his amount of intelligence, by using speech that is without slang and is in perfect English, which allows his story to be easily read and understandable. Washington lived in the most horrible and inhumane conditions that anyone could ever live in, and explains these conditions throughout his story. What interested me the most was the tone that he uses to explain his story. He leaves me with the feeling that he was somewhat upbeat and content with what he had to go through, instead of angry and hopeless. By using this tone in his writing, I was able to eventually gain a better perspective about the type of person Booker T. Washington really was. He was a man who speaks, not with complaint or blame, but with a sense of determination and understanding. As he explains, "I have long since ceased to cherish any spirit of bitterness against the Southern white people on account of the enslavement of my race"(923). This shows me that his mind is so far above that of ignorance, that he is able to relinquish all senses of hate towards the people who enslaved him and his entire race. His tone fills you with a sense of hope, that anything can be achieved, and that you can overcome anything with the right amount of dedication.

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