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"Forty Acres and a Mule:" Booker T. Washington and Economic Empowerment

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Abstract:

Heather M. Finch, Auburn University
Abstract Submission

When reflecting on Booker T. Washington’s legacy and Up From Slavery, John Bryant, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, expressed his belief that Washington recognized the importance of the “forty acres and a mule,” and Bryant, in hindsight, believes it would have been significant for black Americans. Bryant writes, “[It] would have created an environment where we would’ve had to work together […] from which we would have been able to cultivate a very healthy work ethic and build a net worth and become producers and innovators like everybody else” (159). Four years after Bryant’s reflection on becoming “producers and innovators,” Kevin Powell in a recent open letter in Ebony magazine outlines the need for an economic empowerment plan calling for black Americans to “disconnect our self-esteem from our clothes and cars and instead focus on building true wealth” (81).

As black Americans take heed to this call, Washington and his passion for the economic empowerment of black Americans should be evaluated (and re-evaluated) in order to confront the economic disparities that in many ways paralyze the black community. Today black American leaders should be currently going back over the Washington’s ideas in order to find ways to increase the economic status for all black Americans. With the legacy he has left behind, Washington has agency with his ideas of economic empowerment because he not only advised putting these ideas first, but he also did this in his own life that he dedicated to helping his people move ahead.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436069_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Finch, Heather. ""Forty Acres and a Mule:" Booker T. Washington and Economic Empowerment" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436069_index.html>

APA Citation:

Finch, H. , 2010-09-29 ""Forty Acres and a Mule:" Booker T. Washington and Economic Empowerment" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436069_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Heather M. Finch, Auburn University
Abstract Submission

When reflecting on Booker T. Washington’s legacy and Up From Slavery, John Bryant, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, expressed his belief that Washington recognized the importance of the “forty acres and a mule,” and Bryant, in hindsight, believes it would have been significant for black Americans. Bryant writes, “[It] would have created an environment where we would’ve had to work together […] from which we would have been able to cultivate a very healthy work ethic and build a net worth and become producers and innovators like everybody else” (159). Four years after Bryant’s reflection on becoming “producers and innovators,” Kevin Powell in a recent open letter in Ebony magazine outlines the need for an economic empowerment plan calling for black Americans to “disconnect our self-esteem from our clothes and cars and instead focus on building true wealth” (81).

As black Americans take heed to this call, Washington and his passion for the economic empowerment of black Americans should be evaluated (and re-evaluated) in order to confront the economic disparities that in many ways paralyze the black community. Today black American leaders should be currently going back over the Washington’s ideas in order to find ways to increase the economic status for all black Americans. With the legacy he has left behind, Washington has agency with his ideas of economic empowerment because he not only advised putting these ideas first, but he also did this in his own life that he dedicated to helping his people move ahead.


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The Political Branding of Martin Luther King Jr., Booker T. Washington, and Malcolm X


 
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