Booker T. Washington - PWHS AP Language Class / Main Page


Booker T. Washington

30 years after Emancipation Proclamation

Invitation from powerful Southern leaders

Exposition promotes economy of region

Must appeal to audience’s self interest

Need for respectful tone

Embrace values of hard work

Cooperative relationship with whites

Gradual approach to change

First step for African Americans - workforce

“Cast down your bucket where you are”

Types of work

Positive at the time

White southerners not threatened

All could get behind message of self reliance

Later…and much later

 W.E.B. DuBois and Civil Rights era thinkers critical of ideas in speech

History has been kind to Washington


Knew how to approach rich and powerful

 Logos: Factual opening, $ benefits to South

 Ethos: Reasonable and knowledgeable, ready to work on mutual goals

 Pathos: Figurative language, biblical allusions and quotes, connotative language

 “No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem”

 Importance of practical education

 Emphasis by CONTRAST

Parallelism : “cast down”, “casting down”

Synecdoche (part for whole): head, heart, hand

Periodic Sentence (builds toward main clause):

“As we have proved our loyalty to you…”

Analogy: “we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress”

Emphasize the approach he advocates