November 16, 2005
Of Mr. Booker T. Washington
"And yet this very singleness of vision and thorough oneness with his age is a mark of the successful man. It is as though Nature must needs make men narrow in order to give them force. So Mr. Washington’s cult has gained unquestioning followers, his work has wonderfully prospered, his friends are legion, and his enemies are confounded."
First of all, I read the first two sentences of this quote and felt inspired. Dubois seemed very complimentary of Washington's work. This made me alter my opinion of Washington's work. In previous blogs, I noted that I thought Washington was trying to appeal the upper-class white people, rather than "all people." I don't often change my views based on what others think, but because Dubois seemed to really respect Washington's work, it leads me to believe that this information may have appealed to both blacks and whites at this time. My belief is supported by what Dubois said regarding Washington's black peers. "But aside from this, there is among educated and thoughtful colored men in all parts of the land a feeling of deep regret, sorrow, and apprehension at the wide currency and ascendancy which some of Mr. Washington’s theories have gained."
At the same time, I find it interesting that Dubois chose the word "cult" to describe Washington's followers. He could have chosen a lot of other words (i.e. group, club, gathering, followers, etc.) Also, he said that they are unquestioning. This may be good, but I think of the most famous "followers", which I believe to be the disciples of Jesus Christ. They constantly questioned things. No matter what group you are in, I should hope you question the principles and beliefs, just to prove that you really believe and know the doctrines.
November 15, 2005
Two Thousand Miles for what?
"The white farmers in the neighbourhood respected him, and came to him for ideas regarding the raising of sweet potatoes. These white farmers honoured and respected him because he, by his skill and knowledge, had added something to the wealth and the comfort of the community in which he lived."
This quote caught my attention for two reasons. The first being the language. It seems like it's defending something. This leads to my second point, which is, why was there such and emphasis made about the white farmers respecting him? I should hope they respected him! Granted, it was in this time period where color definitely mattered, I know this. However, I am curious as to whether the white farmers actually respected this farmer, or they just wanted to know his secrets. The very people that usually beat him out for jobs, land, and anything that should have been equal/fair, RESPECTED him? I highly doubt that. They wanted to know how he did well, so they could do the same.
November 13, 2005
Blog portfolio 2
November 12, 2005
Blog Portfolio 2
Good people of EL266: Here lies yet another blog portfolio of Miss Meredith E. Harber. Devour it with glee! :)
Poe, round 2!
This is my wildcard, because as those of you in the Tuesday/Thursday class found out, I am mildly obsessed with Disney. Thus, this blog, where I compare Huck Finn to the Lion King, seemed like an adequate fit for "Wildcard."
This a small selection of my blogs, but I hope you enjoy!
November 09, 2005
In “John Henry”, the folk version, John Henry is portrayed in a very clean, wholesome manner. His wife is named Julie Ann, who remains unknown until the tenth stanza, in this version. There is an emphasis on their love and who will care for her after he dies. Apparently, he felt he was going to die while trying to beat the drill. When I read this version, I pictured a perfect couple with a perfect life. He has money in the bank, a good work ethic, a beautiful wife, and a great spirit. Honestly, this sounds more like a white “Cleaver family”. The language used shows the accent, but not a complete representation of their dialect. It is still easy to read or sing if you do not know the area language. In this version, “John Henry told the cap’n,/When you go to town,/Buy me a nine pound hammer/An’ I’ll drive this steel drill down,/An’ I’ll drive this steel drill down.” It sounds like a more cordial relationship than demanding slave driver.
The construction crew version of “John Henry” was quite different from the folk. Like in the other versions, his wife is very important to him, but she is named Lucy in this version. She is introduced in the third stanza, making her a more important part of John’s life. He had a much closer relationship with Captain Tommy, especially when it came to competing. This version is much more realistic to me. John dies. Lucy is left without a man. It does not seem so fluffy and sugarcoated. Also, the language is more representative of the way John would have spoken. You read the words in the way they’re listed and you feel like you are a slave working on the railroad, rather than an upper class white board member.
I really do not see John Henry as a tall tale, other than the fact there are multiple versions of the story. I could see a man trying to prove that he is just as worthy as a mechanical drill, and pushing himself past the point of personal safety. It can be considered a social commentary when you consider the varying language and perspectives that are represented in the different versions. I see it as more of story about technology than race. This really is about a man fighting for his job during the industrial revolution. Granted, he is African-American and working for a Caucasian boss, but this was the norm in the time period. The ballad says much more about how we value our employees.
November 08, 2005
Okay, so after reading these three articles, I don't exactly have a positive outlook on folklore. My main concern is the language. This is not the deeper meaning of these stories, this I do know. However, it is difficult!
"Co'se, honey," the old man unhesitatingly responded, "dem w'at git ter de pon'time nuff fer ter git der head in de water, de water hit onkink der ha'r. Hit bleedzd ter be dat away."
If your brain doesn't hurt after reading that, I commend you. I tried to think about how the language was more like when we read Shakespeare. It helps to read it aloud and pretend to be in their world. As for content in these stories, I may have missed the bigger picture, but I see minimal value in them.