Lesson 4 Mastery Assignment 2 Booker T. Washington Delivers the 1895 Atlanta Compromise Speech September 18, 1895, A ship lost at sea for many days...
Booker T. Washington Delivers the
1895 Atlanta Compromise Speech
September 18, 1895,
Read the following speech from Dubois and answer the
A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly
vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a
signal,â€œWater, water; we die of thirst!â€ The answer from the
friendly vessel at once came back, â€œCast down your bucket
where you are.â€ A second time the signal, â€œWater, water;
send us water!â€ ran up from the distressed vessel, and was
answered, â€œCast down your bucket where you are.â€ And a
third and fourth signal for water was answered, â€œCast down
your bucket where you are.â€ The captain of the distressed
vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket,
and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth
of the Amazon River. To those of my race who depend on
bettering their condition in a foreign land or who
underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly
relations with the Southern white man, who is their next-
door neighbor, I would say: â€œCast down your bucket where
you areâ€â€” cast it down in making friends in every manly
way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.
Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in
domestic service, and in the professions. And in this
connection it is well to bear in mind that whatever other
sins the South may be called to bear, when it comes to
business, pure and simple, it is in the South that the Negro
is given a manâ€™s chance in the commercial world, and in
nothing is this Exposition more eloquent than in
emphasizing this chance. Our greatest danger is that in the
great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the
fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of
our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in
proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common
labour, and put brains and skill into the common
occupations of life; shall prosper in proportion as we learn
to draw the line between the superficial and the substantial,
the ornamental gewgaws of life and the useful. No race can
prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a
field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we
must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our
grievances to overshadow our opportunities.
To those of the white race who look to the incoming of
those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the
prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat
what I say to my own race,â€œCast down your bucket where
you are.â€ Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes
whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have
tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the
ruin of your firesides. Cast down your bucket among these
people who have, without strikes and labour wars, tilled
your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and
What does Washington suggest African Americans do to
improve social relations?
In what world does Washington believe progress can be
made for African Americans?
What should African Americans take pride in?
Read Washingtonâ€™s message to the white race.
in your own words.
What is he asking them to do?
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