Dissecting the “Pull yourself up by your own bootstrap” Theory

“Pull yourself up by your own bootstrap” intrigued me. The phrase’s commonly accepted meaning evolved, and now when we tell people to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” it’s implying that socioeconomic advancement is something that everyone should be able to do. I thought this statement to be deceptive since the wealthy get government assistance to preserve their riches and not for the poor. The Washington Post has identified how government use taxes to help give aid to the rich. It safe to say that everyone didn’t get to have the same opportunities and support to pull themselves by their own bootstrap. We must recognize that before America was imposing sanctions on Russia, America has imposed sanctions on African Americans. Slavery and racial segregation are two examples. During beginning of slavery in 1619, African Americans weren’t allowed to read, write or to own houses or land, setting Africans back 246 years until they were freed. Segregation exhibits these distinct differences from showing conditions of sections for Black and the sections for Whites. Even Buy Where You Can Work campaign and other penalties were imposed on Blacks since they were not permitted to have education, jobs, or any other kind of employment. Despite Blacks overcoming these obstacles Black communities in major cities and across America are still trying to catch up. Artist Beulah Wood is widely recognized artist in the artistic world. However, in her quest to become a well-known artist, she encountered many difficulties. These challenges were placed because of segregation. Segregation blocked her from getting into an art school. Segregation had forced and told her that the only place for a colored person in America is in domestic services. Even though Beulah had overcome all her obstacles, her turning point was being able to attend to art school abroad. The claim pull yourself up by your bootstrap should only be used when all resources are distributed equally.  This tides in with my last post looking beyond the surface post on blog two. Specifically looking into the statement what’s really the truth is not just what we see. Using the phrase “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” to disparage Black Americans and the terrible history behind it. This has been a tactic that has been used for decades. The history of America is a very sensitive topic that stirs a lot different interceptions. Some believe in outdated tactics; some believe in New tactics and other are being oppressed. No matter how someone wants to digest the truth is subjective. However, the truth itself is not subjective but objective. Here’s the truth that America economic strives of the backs of African American. A concept that is so ingrained into American history, that we see it playing out even today. American has allowed it business to go to other countries to fill this void. America has not pull itself up from their own bootstrap. So the question is why would anyone feel incline, to have other individuals to do so.


We have discussed that the term “Pull yourself up by your own bootstrap” is a dismissive way not acknowledging the economical disadvantages that work and middle-class Black American face due to racist history of the West. However, we are going to touch focus on the one phrase ”It takes a village to raise a child” . This phrase means that an entire community of people must provide for and interact positively with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. The article “When children talk health by Jane E.B. Harvey states the importance of education in a development to children. Harvey talks about how a teacher named Ms. Tillman teach young black children about health. Ms. Tillman states that if youngsters are made aware of the importance of their own health in an attractive manner, they are more likely to take it seriously. As the article progress Harvey talks about how the children got to understand the eight basic health rules. Which are Brush Teeth, eat fruit, drink four glasses of water, eat some vegetables, drink milk, doing outdoor activities, take a bath often and getting to bed on time. These children learned these eight rules, while doing an school play. Not to mention Ms. Tillman taught child health and nutrition to parents by conducting food demonstrations to show the cooking and preparation of simple, nutritious dishes. This proves and help combat against the “Pull yourself up by your own bootstrap” narrative. The people your children are around in their everyday lives will affect who your children will grow up to be. Some in the mainstream would teach that we should “lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps.” I disagree. The youngsters in the article are students, which is the same regardless of your age group. In this life, we are all students. When we gain more knowledge, the economy experiences greater productivity growth.  Once upon a time African Americans were backbone of the economic advancement but were denied the benefits of economic advancements of this country for a while. We must recognize the truth and help push the phrase “When children talk health” instead of “Pull yourself up by your own bootstrap”.