The North won the War. The South won Reconstruction.
Washington’s Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, was absolutely a labor of love for him. He understood that to rise up education would be pivotal and I believe he wanted to give everyone a path to the freedom education brings. I think he was simply more practical and presently focused than DuBois was at that time.
I think of these two figures as founding fathers, same as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They engaged in vigorous debate regarding the best approach to educating emancipated people. In other words, they both wanted the same thing. Based on your words here, I think you agree and see the value in education as they both did.
I think their ideas were good, but as you said, the politics surrounding them were bad. And we have to remember too that they were alive during an interesting time for America.
The North won the war, but when Lincoln was killed and Jackson took over, the South won reconstruction.
The North won the war.
Immediately after emancipation there was a short period of prosperity for those who were once slaves. Opportunity was vast, even freedmen could be elected to political office, and could move freely for the very first time. Linoln’s death and Jackson’s subsequent presidency robbed us all of what might have been.
The South won reconstruction.
Washington knew this and he worked hard to not be perceived as a threat to white people. He thought he had to work within the system to educate and uplift oppressed people. DuBois was appalled by that perspective. But I don’t think he meant to make “trade” sound so demeaning. However unintended that was the result, as you pointed out.
My father was a tinnier, a “sheet metal worker” by trade. He was also a high school drop out. His vocation fed us — a family of 7 — and provided us with comforts unknown to many. He is trade intelligent, and has no shame in his blue collar work.
I think out of some of the fighting about labor and trade between Washington & DuBois, coupled with the manual labor that folks sometimes died performing — for free — an aversion to labor & trade was embedded in the minds of the freed. I believe some of this was helped along and intensional mind control type shit visited upon black people. And it makes sense too, if we simply look at the science experiment conducted in Tuskegee on black males by infecting them with Syphilis while pretending to treat disease — that is just one we can prove — it stands to reason, for me, that while Washington may not have known he was assisting in keeping black people oppressed, by virtue of his relationships and championing continued subjugation, he was doing the very thing he was trying to eradicate and became complicit in continued oppression by mistake.
DuBois met the South’s victory with a BIG NO WAY. But the unintended consequence was perceived arrogance, trade school was a joke, unworthy proposition for his people. In many ways this is DuBois’ privilege talking. And because he was unwilling to consider this one of the many paths to educated, self-actualizing freedom for his people, he too became complicit — by accident.
Trade school can teach the things you see are sorely needed for black people, just as other studies can. But it carries such a stigma that many cannot get past. The thing is, that’s exactly what Southerners of the time wanted freed blacks to think — that there was no “class” in labor and “real” education was unattainable. They wanted this because it meant that freedmen and women would continue to seek work to feed their families by coming to their fields and homes — then taking the tiny amount of money they made and buying goods in stores owned by the same whites who “employed” the freed people. So much greed.
Whites who believe in the lie of their supremacy — use and need that lie to avoid being accountable for their sins of greed and gluttony.
This is still the system we’ve all agreed too. Only on a much larger scale. Think of Walmart… not much has changed. Attitudes are similar and segregation keeps us all stupid in our lack of relationship to one another.
I wish more people understood this history and how it has and continues to leverage human “fight, flight or freeze” mechanisms. Those prone to fight will get out of their oppression one way or another — education or crime. Those prone to flee might do the same less aggressively and those prone to freeze, will do much of what you talked about — having money by trade, but lack knowledge on how to use it to care for themselves.
This is what Jackson and his ilk wanted. We are bound by our history. Which is why I say it is so abusive to steal it, to deny it, to turn away from these facts. History is stolen from emancipated people — first in their family’s horrific kidnaping and forced labor, again immediately after emancipation where their communities flourished in freedom and equality and again during the South’s reign over reconstruction.
The North won the war; the South won reconstruction. And we cannot run from this anymore. We must face it if we want to change it.
Tell me more, Tino Hadley what do you think about all this? Do you see any truth here?