The book Freedom of My Mind (FMM) volume two, explains the ideology of blacks and the success of their life created during times of hardship, racism, and oppression. Many people get lost in history and don’t understand how people were overcome hard times. Within this situation, after slavery racism was evidently real. Blacks had a hard time succeeding because they were not educated nor did they have the resources that they needed in order to stay alive and provide for their families. The book explains how “Blacks lost ground in crucial areas” (FMM, 376) and devised varying strategies to uplift the race.
There were many actions that African Americans proposed in order to help make life better and more abundant for future generations. Leaders were a great asset to change because they carried the power to direct and guide people to the change that they wished to see within the world. One thing to point out though, is that it is not known as to whether or not blacks would be here today without the support and fight from past leaders. While blacks were going through many negative crisis, they were able to provide a way to make sure that blacks could still survive in this country. Blacks built themselves institutions, created programs/organizations, and also found ways around not being able to use the same resources as whites did. Blacks understood that they were going to be attacked with oppression from the start just because slavery was not too far away from being resolved. The book was able to explain many different versions of ways in which African Americans fought against not being accepted in order to achieve a higher socio economic status within the world. Blacks were able to succeed because of the ambition and uplift from leaders. Blacks were known to be at the bottom of the chains, “but many blacks and the institutions they built avoided these traps, subverted these realities, and surmounted these obstacles. Turning inward, freedom’s first generation intensified their emphasis on racial solidarity, self-help, and economic nationalism” (FMM, 376).
Black people were known to bemire more responsible for their communities as well. The power of being uplifted by motivators like W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and Ida B. Wells, blacks knew exactly what it took in order for them to have the regular living necessities. These three activist are examples of people that motivated others while using knowledge on how to survive during hard times. Blacks normally didn’t believe that they could create a better environment to live in own their own. With the courage, respect, honor, and uplift from one another, blacks were able to create medical centers, educational institutions, churches, music, actors and more. Blacks learned how to survive by building their own while looking at other role models for motivation and guidance. Many black activist during the Nadir times were seen as positive role models to African Americans that needed assistance, lost faith, or even didn’t realize that they could actually make change within the world.
W. E. B. DuBois was born into a family that was known to be well-off but not rich. In this case, DuBois technically didn’t have to want for anything. There was a spark going on in society that ended giving DuBois a purpose for life. He chose to fight and support the black community become equal in a different way than most people that are known to be heroic. DuBois didn’t necessarily have to work or go to school in order to live and maintain, but he still chose to become a leader and change lives for the African American population. DuBois studied at two different universities known as Fisk and Harvard. DuBois differed from Booker because he didn’t believe that blacks had to start from the bottom in order to be successful. DuBois believed that opportunities should have been given with the same privileges as white people. Having the birth right to start out on a clean slate and everyone are equal were the ideal goals for DuBois. Even though that was not a reality idea, DuBois felt that it was his duty to make it a priority. DuBois wanted to educate black men on where they stood within the society because many people didn’t understand that blacks were looked at and perceived as second class citizens. DuBois with his ambition, created the Talented Tenth which was an elite group for leading black men on making sure they are knowledgeable enough to maintain on their own in the real world. The Talented Tenth stated “men we shall only as we make manhood the object of the work of the school-intelligence, broad sympathy, knowledge of the world that was and is, and of the relation of men to it. — on this foundation we build bread winning, skill of hand and quickness of the brain” (33-34). This evidence proves to be factual examples of the things that DuBois preached about. DuBois was also to uplift blacks with the Niagara Movement and the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP). He had radical ideals but overall he, much like Ida B. Wells, had some aggression when it came to uplifting and regenerating the black population (White, 371-375).
DuBois used his anger to enlightened black people on ways to survive and do the right thing. DuBois was always fierce to see someone fail because he knew that everyone could create an opportunity to succeed if one was not already given to them. This mindset helped change lives and today this same mindset has impacted the world tremendously. Black business owners and heroes are known because of their passion to fight to believe in something that they love. DuBois is well known as an iconic figure within many schools and communities for blacks. DuBois was known to be very active within the African community just as well as the African American community. The NAACP was able to give more insight on DuBois’s life when he explained, “Du Bois was also active in behalf of Pan-Africanism and concerned with the conditions of people of African descent wherever they lived. In 1900 he attended the First Pan-African Conference held in London, was elected a vice president, and wrote the “Address to the Nations of the World.” “(
Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington is someone known to be remarkable as he tackled issues of poverty and race while growing up. Booker T. Washington was born into slavery. Unlike many other people, he had the privilege and opportunity to get an education without being killed for being caught with a book. His passion for education allowed him to lead others with education as he also helped fight for the rights that blacks were not able to have. Washington was admitted into a Hampton school. He was so passionate in his education that many whites were shocked in his ability to learn and create. While using knowledge as power, Washington was able to educate in things such as industrial skills, trades, land ownership, and economic values in order to help blacks succeed. While applying all of these learning experiences into the real world, Washington expressed how deeply unity was important in the real world. Washington wanted blacks to include whites on everything to show whites that being equal was more important than being different. His name started to ring bells as he lead black in the fight to racial equality. In order to further his career, Washington co-founded the Tuskegee Institute for Negroes in Alabama. The idea was to contribute into this school everything that he learned while in college so that students could also learn that unity matters before they entered into the real world. His Atlanta Compromise speech proved that Booker T. Washington was more focused on the economy just as much as equality for blacks. This speech was able to point out self-help and solidity. He also showed possibly to African Americans.
Ultimately, Booker T. Washington used his voice, his connections with power white men, and his knowledge on how to beat segregation to educate and uplift the black people (White, 369-371). This alone started a chain reaction of blacks being able to step up and fight for the things that they believe in. Many blacks today sit successfully within their careers and passions because of Booker T. Washington and other leaders that chose to motivate blacks to fight for liberty. Many people were about to look up to Washington for the role that he played. Media with Impact was able to explain that, “Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, both men with deep racial prejudices, used Washington as an advisor because he accepted racial subordination” (2015). Washington was well respected amongst great members of the historical chain in America. He was able to obtain much respect from the people that worked with him or saw him as a piece of motivation. Booker T Washington was also known for having big movements on the political side of the government for blacks. This helped blacks to understand the government and how politics should be there to represent the change that they wish to see within America.
Ida. B. Wells
Ida B. Wells had a hard path while being brought on this earth. Ida B. Wells seemed to be of a different breed because not only was she black but, she is also a female. Women were expected to live a certain way and play the roles that men gave them. Women were forced to cook, clean, and nurture babies in the family. Ida was known to be born through the slavery times. What makes this story very unique is that she is a story of someone that was born through slavery, but had the ability to live the rest of her life as a free woman since laws abolished slavery during her childhood. Unlike other activist, Ida B. Wells started to become an activist after she experienced a racist act on a train. She was forced to give up her spot on a train even though she purchased a first class ticket. In response to this incident, Wells decided to fight and teach blacks about the value of their money on trains and to boycott if necessary. Her ambition to educate blacks about their rights and the proper way to treat someone motivated her to become a better voice within the black communities.
People were able to really on her methods so that they won’t be a victim to racism and stereotypes. Her dedication to uplift black came with representation of using herself to help keep fighting. Wells taught blacks about train car laws (158), and their rights also. While Ida is known in the history books to be an activist, she is well known for her participation in helping to create the National Association for Colored Women (NACW). The fact that she was able to free others in a liberating mindset lets everyone know just how honorable she was to people. Many people were able to adapt and develop because of the ambition of this women. Ida B. Wells served her time and was documented as a hero in the hero. She was placed on currency also just so the world could know her name and just how important she was when it came to fighting for equality. Her voice became an icon and something for blacks to remember her by as they thanked her for all the hard work and suffering that she dedicated her life to in order to see change within the world. Ida B. Wells also contributed more to the world than people expected. At the same time however, not many people thought of her to be a respectable lady. The National Women’s History Museum (NWHMP was able to explain that, “Abroad, she openly confronted white women in the suffrage movement who ignored lynching. Because of her stance, she was often ridiculed and ostracized by women’s suffrage organizations in the United States. It took Wells a while to gain the respect of women because not all women agreed with her stance on fighting against racism. Ida B. Wells used her voice alone to make sure that people had a different standpoint on the views that people were one sided about.
Freedom on My Mind describes “Freedom’s First Generation” as black teachers, editors, preachers, and entrepreneurs that contributed and helped reshape the South’s black middle class. The books states that “they were role models for what could be achieved and also advocates for improving the lives of all African Americans. Their actions helped prepare the way for the founding of powerful organizations that would lead the black freedom struggle well into the twentieth century” (334). This quote proves that motivation and strong educated blacks had to pass on their knowledge with much motivation in order to see other blacks succeed well. Each person were the same when it came to equality, but their backgrounds and inputs to the success of blacks started from different backgrounds and paces. Many people don’t understand the impact and power that black activist had. They were so influential that many black owned businesses and opportunities are in place because of them today. The world has gained a lesson from these activists. People have found the value in education and allowed that to fill their hearts in order to understand that regardless of the hate being thrown against someone, they still can succeed. Many people don’t realize that people like this never owed the world anything.
Their love to see others in their race to succeed mattered most. Many people are able to tell the stories of transitioning from segregation to unity. At the same time, these people can tell you that there is nothing more powerful than an educated person. Many blacks tend to overlook why they are here today. Some people tend to forget how hard it was for everyone to fell as if they actually do have an opportunity in this world to succeed and be happy in whatever that they choose. These historical events explained in the book shows that education and guidance birthed new opportunities for blacks. These people were known to be remarkable for people that didn’t believe and became believers of equality just as well. Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, and W.E.B. DuBois were all examples of motivation and uplift that the book talks about. It is a given fact that America is more united today because of their efforts to educate blacks and preach unity to humans during times where people didn’t care to understand one another. America is now a greater country and the teachings and lessons of these three influential people will live forever with the change that we see in the world.