Up From Slavery

Bricks Symbol Icon

Washington had great difficulty in making bricks for the buildings at the Tuskegee Institute with no money and no experience in brick building. Washington had trouble finding a location to build the bricks, constructing a working kiln, burning bricks properly, and earning the funds to continue building kilns. However, Washington perfected brick building on his fourth try, and at the time that the autobiography was written, Tuskegee was producing some of the best bricks in the region. Washington sees the brick as a symbol of the fruit of hard labor and perseverance. When others quit brick building after the initial failures, Washington continued to develop the trade and learn from his mistakes. For Washington, the brick is then an emblem of the fruit of hard labor and the joy that one can find in it.

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Bricks Symbol Timeline in Up From Slavery

The timeline below shows where the symbol Bricks appears in Up From Slavery. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: A Harder Task Than Making Bricks Without Straw
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Meritocracy Theme Icon
One of the most difficult experiences of building the school was the process of brickmaking. There was no brickyard in town, so the school was forced to try to make... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Meritocracy Theme Icon
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
Washington says that this process of brickmaking taught him an important lesson about race relations. Many white people who did not know... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Vocational Education Theme Icon
Meritocracy Theme Icon
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
Washington continues, saying that Tuskegee’s wagon-making industry has had a similar effect to brickmaking. These types of industries proved invaluable to white citizens, which ultimately proved the worth of... (full context)
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Gradual Racial Progress Theme Icon
Around the time that they were finding success in brickmaking, Tuskegee was facing more opposition from students and parents regarding the requirement of students to... (full context)
Chapter 16: Europe
The Dignity of Labor Theme Icon
Vocational Education Theme Icon
Meritocracy Theme Icon
...teacher at Tuskegee in conjunction to her studies. Baker Taliaferro, Washington’s second oldest child, mastered brickmaking at a young age and deeply enjoyed working in trades. He enjoyed his trade work... (full context)