The National Training School

http://library.brown.edu/cds/repository2/repoman.php?verb=render&id=129294798430500&view=pageturner&pageno=4

The advertisement argued that The National Training School was the best school for African Americans. It said that “in equipment and teaching it is not surpassed by any school.” What caught my attention was that words “surpass” “influence” and “destined.” The fact that a school surpasses the others really solidifies the argument that was originally stated. When it used the other two words it made it sound as if the participants in the schooling would become something great. These key words helped solidify and make a concrete argument along with the examples of classes. Some language that was unique was that it was written to sound like the African Americans were lower class. It stated that it was the best school for African Americans while being mum about whether it was the best in the country for everyone. The language was far from being unifying or uplifting as far as race is concerned. There was a large difference in the language there.

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3 thoughts on “The National Training School

  1. I mostly agree with what you said. They do say very strongly that it is the best option for a school, and it definitely does sound like they were assuming African Americans were a lower, inferior class. I would also add, though, that that the ad almost seems to downplay the fact that it is a school. The word “community” is what stuck out the most to me, as they seemed to be advertising the community of the school just as much as the academics. They call it a “community at service and uplift,” and say that it will “improve Negro community life.” Also, the way they say that the community improvement will be only “wherever our trained workers locate” definitely makes it sound like they are assuming African Americans are inferior. They are saying that African American community can improve, but that they need the help of their workers, who are definitely white, in order for any improvement to happen.

  2. I also agree that the advertisement promotes itself as the best option for the education of African Americans. I would like to add that one other word that caught my attention was the word “improved”. As was pointed in the post above, some language was used to make African Americans feel like a lower class. I felt that the way the advertisement stated “improved negro community life” was to give readers the impression that African Americans are a backwards community in need of uplifting. This implication reveals that the advertisement has a bit of a condescending tone. Another point that I agree with in the above post is about it being mum about its reputation. The advertisement states the departments that are already functioning such as Commercial, Missionary and Household economics but its a very vague description. There’s no telling of whether they’re actually reputable departments or improve community life and service within the African American community.

  3. I completely agree with Eli’s analysis of the article, the words “surpassed, influence and destined,” all have strong implications in this article. However, I believe these words hold even more meaning when paired with the word “Improved” which vvenk brought up. The war was a pivotal and hopeful time for the African American culture. They believed that their service in the war would help them improve their current social standing and surpass racial discrimination to reach their destined place in society. These words have even more weight when considered in historical context.

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