Black Teenagers : Which Would You Rather Do?

Discussion in 'Black Teenagers - Teenz Exprezzed!' started by river, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

    United States
    Mar 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Where the Niger meets the Nile
    +1,289 / -1
    It's been a while since I've been in here, but I saw this poem and immediately thought about you. I'd like to share this with you and get your thoughts on it.

    Although the Booker T. character talks about hoeing cotton and cultivating land, if you think about it, you can easily see how what he is saying is related to what we often do today, that is, get a job working for White people and using our skills to help everybody except each other. Whereas the W.E.B. character talks about learning and cultivating the mind, something that can be hard to do when all your friends think that's acting white. I know yawl don't think that or you wouldn't be here at Destee.

    Anyway, based on what's going on today, who is right W.E.B. or Booker T? Is it better to just get a job doing something safe and common sense or just forget safe and pursue a dream like writing a book or starting a business or founding a special school or something daring that doesn't pay a lot of money but is satisfying and will make you a better person?
    Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois
    By Dudley Randall

    "It seems to me," said Booker T.,
    "It shows a mighty lot of cheek
    To study chemistry and Greek
    When Mister Charlie needs a hand
    To hoe the cotton on his land,
    And when Miss Ann looks for a cook,
    Why stick your nose inside a book?"

    "I don't agree," said W.E.B.
    "If I should have the drive to seek
    Knowledge of chemistry or Greek,
    I'll do it. Charles and Miss can look
    Another place for hand or cook,
    Some men rejoice in skill of hand,
    And some in cultivating land,
    But there are others who maintain
    The right to cultivate the brain."

    "It seems to me," said Booker T.,
    "That all you folks have missed the boat
    Who shout about the right to vote,
    And spend vain days and sleepless nights
    In uproar over civil rights.
    Just keep your mouths shut, do not grouse,
    But work, and save, and buy a house."

    "I don't agree," said W.E.B.
    "For what can property avail
    If dignity and justice fail?
    Unless you help to make the laws,
    They'll steal your house with trumped-up clause.
    A rope's as tight, a fire as hot,
    No matter how much cash you've got.
    Speak soft, and try your little plan,
    But as for me, I'll be a man."

    "It seems to me," said Booker T.--

    "I don't agree,"
    Said W.E.B.
  2. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    May 7, 2011
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    +1,987 / -1
    Take the best of both men and amalgamate them into a unified whole.

    I like Booker T. Washington's idea of learning skilled trades and farming. This is a form of real wealth.
    I like W.E.B. Du Bois idea of learning liberal arts. This broadens the mind as well as develop critical thinking, reasoning, and analysis.

    Acquiring both would make that individual most formidable.

    Having the skills without the development of mind leaves you vulnerable to exploitation from those that have developed their faculties.

    Having the mind without corresponding skills makes one impotent as an agent as well as increases the likelihood of using one's faculties to exploit others rather than creating substantive value.

    The mind is impotent without the body.
    The body is a mere machine without the mind.