Up From Slavery: An Autobiography (including Industrial Education for the Negro)

 
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NOTE: This edition has a linked "Table of Contents" and has been beautifully formatted to work on your Amazon e-book reader.

This is the acclaimed 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his slow and steady rise from a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools°™most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He was also appointed to lead a teachers' college for blacks. From this position of leadership he rose into a nationally prominent role as spokesman for African Americans. Washington in 1901 was the first African-American ever invited to the White House as the guest of President Theodore Roosevelt.

This special edition also includes his essay, "Industrial Education for the Negro."

His main goal in life was to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the bootstraps. He describes his efforts to instill manners, breeding, health and a feeling of dignity to students, and the futility of teaching only intellectual, classical subjects as later espoused by W. E. B. Du Bois and others.

These issues (and this book) are just as relevant today as they were in the early 20th century.

Booker T. Washington on the idea of success: "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."

Nineteenth-century African American businessman, activist, and educator Booker Taliaferro Washington's Up from Slavery is one of the greatest American autobiographies ever written. Its mantras of black economic empowerment, land ownership, and self-help inspired generations of black leaders, including Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. In rags-to-riches fashion, Washington recounts his ascendance from early life as a mulatto slave in Virginia to a 34-year term as president of the influential, agriculturally based Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. From that position, Washington reigned as the most important leader of his people, with slogans like "cast down your buckets," which emphasized vocational merit rather than the academic and political excellence championed by his contemporary rival W.E.B. Du Bois. Though many considered him too accommodating to segregationists, Washington, as he said in his historic "Atlanta Compromise" speech of 1895, believed that "political agitation alone would not save [the Negro]," and that "property, industry, skill, intelligence, and character" would prove necessary to black Americans' success. The potency of his philosophies are alive today in the nationalist and conservative camps that compose the complex quilt of black American society.

Customer Reviews:

  • Eye-Opening Narrative
    Booker Taliaferro Washington was perhaps foremost in what he called "bringing up the black race". He did perhaps more than Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and W.E.B. DuBois ever did. Why? Because Washington did it softly, humbly, and quietly. The other black leaders attempted revolution and immediate change - both led to violence. Booker T. Washington's methods led to slow, but sure and sweeping change. He sought reform, not revolution. His life is clearly an example of Christian piety and firm faith in God. These two things also set his work apart as more successful than any other black leader. Perhaps modern black leaders should re-evaluate their philosophies for change based upon this great leader's model....more info
  • One to Study
    Mr. Washington's book is facinating to me as an American history major. I found that learning from a black man what Reconstruction meant to a lot of former slaves was very enlightening. Mr. Washington offers up a point of view that in many cases, slavery served both black and white people well. The lines between slave owners and the slaves were often blurred; not just due to interracial relations, but socially as well.

    But, this book is not about slavery. Mr. Washington came from nothing and not only lifted himself up from poverty and ignorance, but determined that his life's work would be to assist others in their own efforts at bettering their lives. I found it terribly ironic that the former slaves, and children thereof, thought that their ultimate goal was to no longer do any kind of manual labor. That is what got this country into trouble. White men relying on others to do their manual labor. Mr. Washington's pragmatic approach to teaching black men and women how to care for themselves and learn a practical trade makes a lot of sense to me.

    The best parts of this book have to do with Mr. Washington's attitude toward life. His observations and attitudes are so positive and broad, that they are not defined by race. I found myself wanting to highlight and underline parts of the book; but the book I was reading was borrowed. Hence I am going to purchase a copy for myself. I do not buy many books; however, this book is one to keep for life. I am sure to refer to Mr. Washington's book in the future; Not just for historical content, but to keep me on track in life....more info

  • must read
    This is an excellent book. I am amazed by the insight and intelligence of Mr. Washington. He created a very powerful legacy. The autobiography shows the desire, of a man fresh from slavery, to succeed and in turn help others do the same. Many of his thoughts are applicable today. Throughout the book, he emphasizes the need to use one's talents and abilities to increase prosperity for not only the current generation but also for the next one. This is a necessary read for anyone desiring success and especially for those that find success in mediocrity. ...more info
  • put it into context
    Rather than seeing just the one piece of the puzzle that is America's race relations history, invest instead in the larger Norton Anthology of American Literature or another compendium that has the Washington work excerpted with that of others from that and other periods. The knowledge of the greater context, in the speaker's (or writer's) own words is mind expanding....more info
  • The Force That Wins
    Up from Slavery, autobiography by Booker T. Washington, is a true classic in African-American literature. Washington opens Chapter 1: "A Slave Among Slaves" with his vivid recollections as a Negro child growing up in the South: a slave on a plantation in Virginia, a white father he never knew, illiterate and living in horrid conditions. After the emancipation of slaves, Washington's family moves to West Virginia where he labors at the salt furnace and in the coal mines. In his precious few moments of spare time, he learns to read and gains enough confidence to leave everything behind to journey to the Hampton Institute. Later, because of his success at Hampton, he is given the opportunity to start Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Tuskegee Institute is successful partly due to Washington's extensive travel to the North to solicit funds for the school. The students at Tuskegee, in addition to the day-to-day traditional class work, are expected to learn an industrious trade and to work at mastering that trade. Based on his own life experience, Washington believes that the most prudent way the Negro race will persevere is through this combination of education, hard work and service to others. He believes that the White race will come to appreciate the Negro race only if the Negro people prove their worth to society. Because of his passive stance, many, such as W.E.B. DuBois, et. al., labeled Washington as "The Great Accomodator." In other words, accommodating those who were the enslavers instead of advocating for the rights of those who were enslaved. You can get a sense of this in Washington's most notable speech, the address to the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895:

    "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than artificial forcing."

    This speech brought national acclaim to Booker T. Washington and, at the time, placed him in the forefront as one of the leading authorities of his race.
    ...more info
  • Up From Slavery Booker T. Washington
    ...Up From Slavery Booker T. Washington

    Up From Slavery is an autobiography by Booker Taliaferro Washington. Booker T. Washington was a great man who fought his way out of slavery to become an educator, statesman, and political power. He was born near a crossroads post-office called Hale's Ford, in the year 1858 or 1859. He does not remember the exact year, month or date because it was the time of slavery. He lived in a cabin with his mother, his older brother John and his sister Amanda until after the Civil War when they all were declared free. He does not know any of his history beyond his mother, and less beyond his father. For most of his boyhood life he lived in an old broken down cabin containing no windows and no beds. Almost everyday of his life was occupied by some kind of labor. He had no time for himself or sports. On several occasions he went as far as the schoolhouse door with one of the young mistresses to carry her books. The picture of several dozen boys and girls in a classroom engaged in study had always made a big impression on him. He felt that to get into a schoolhouse and study in the way they did would be about the same as being in paradise. After the slaves were freed there were two points that the blacks throughout the south agreed on: That they must change their names and they must leave the old plantation for at least a few days or weeks to feel sure that they were free. After freedom was declared Booker's stepfather sent for his mother and the whole family to come to the Kanawha Valley, in West Virginia. Booker always had an intense longing to learn to read. When he was young he determined that if he accomplished nothing else in life, he would some way get enough education to enable him to read common books and newspapers. He worked in a coal mine to help pay for his education. He overheard a few people talking about Hampton University it struck his interest. He set many of his goals to go there and get a good education. One teacher that influenced Booker T. Washington was Mrs. Ruffner. She encouraged and sympathized with him in all of his efforts to get an education. While working for her he was allowed one hour a day to go to school. While living with her he began to get his first library together. In 1872 he set out to Hampton Institute a school in West Virginia, he didn't know how much it would cost or where it was. His brother helped him out with the money. When he left his mother was very weak and broken in health he hardly expected to see her again, so parting with her was very hard for him. He had to sleep on the streets because the white would not let him stay in the hotel. He had many interactions like this one. He began working for a captain in a seaport unloading crates. Booker gained his entrance to Hampton Institute by cleaning a room for Miss Mary Mackie, the lady principal. Mr S. Griffths Morgan of New Medford, Mass. from 1872-1876 donated his tuition scholarship. Booker graduated from Hampton Institute in 1875. Booker returned to Hampton Institute and started the night school to aid deserving students. In conclusion this book Up From Slavery is a very well written book. It has many details on the life of Booker T. Washington. I recommend it to young kids who enjoy reading about history and how the slaves were freed....more info

  • Required reading
    Wow! What an amazing story! It is fascinating to read Booker T. Washington's account of a childhood in slavery followed by his rise to national prominence as the founder of the Tuskegee Institute.

    While some may argue that Washington was naive and overly accomodating, I was amazed at his ability to forgive and see the best in people. He did not nurse grudges or let others bring him down. Whether or not you feel that he should have spoken up more for judicial equality, you have to admit that he was a strong, dedicated man of character.

    Everyone: white, black, brown, or any other shade, can benefit from reading the autobiography of this great American.
    ...more info
  • Required reading
    Wow! What an amazing story! It is fascinating to read Booker T. Washington's account of a childhood in slavery followed by his rise to national prominence as the founder of the Tuskegee Institute.

    While some may argue that Washington was naive and overly accomodating, I was amazed at his ability to forgive and see the best in people. He did not nurse grudges or let others bring him down. Whether or not you feel that he should have spoken up more for judicial equality, you have to admit that he was a strong, dedicated man of character.

    Everyone: white, black, brown, or any other shade, can benefit from reading the autobiography of this great American.
    ...more info
  • An interesting book about an interesting person
    I found the book to be strange in some regards. Professor Washington seemed to harbor no bad feelings toward any Southerner, or even his former owners. That aside, the book is very interesting. His point of view on slavery and Southern race relations are unlike any other I've heard. Regardless of what another review says, he was definately not a selfish person in any way. He only seemed to care about his school and work, not personal life. He states that he doesnt play any games of any sort. Read this book if you want a refreshing view of post-Civil War race relations....more info
  • Read up on Booker T. Washington
    I greatly enjoyed this book! I admire Booker T. Washington for his endless pursuit of education. This book is a great inspiration to any student. The only thing that I was disappointed with was the fact that Mr. Washington did not get into his personal or family life. I agree that school can change a person, And I believe that education can greatly shape who a person is, but I don't belive that education is the only thing that molds us. I would have loved to find out as much about Mr. Washington's private life as I learned about his schooling, and his work for schools. Despite all this, I think this book is wonderful. If you know a high school student, or college student, give this book to them as a gift. It is a good read....more info
  • very enlightening
    "Up From Slavery" brought to light the real deal behind the man Booker T. Washington. Before reading it, I was taught to believe that he accommodated and assimilated himself and the African American race to that of the white race. It has to be made known that Booker T. Washington was born into an era where the slave mentality was not only prominent but socially acceptable. To understand his conservative efforts, you'd have to understand the fact that he achieved everything in life by hard labor. Therefore, in order to promote economic and social equality, he had to promote issues that led to these things. In other words, he felt that the newly freed blacks were not ready to integrate themselves into white society, a society that did not respect their freedom at all. He wanted African Americans to embrace a nationalistic attitude before asking white society to embrace it. If blacks were seen as the uncouf beings that we were thought to be...acceptance would never occur. So, in using every resource available including accommodation, Washington underhandedly promoted social and racial equality for all....more info
  • More Alike Than Different
    The social confines of race are a self-imposed form of slavery, figurative bonds which may be loosed only through the merit of magnanimous work. Much has been discussed in recent years about the topics of racial equality, minority education, and our national history regarding members of the African-American race. It cannot be denied that a great injustice has been served this particular ethnic group, but the future is each citizen's responsibility, black and white alike. Booker T. Washington's reflective memoir, "Up From Slavery" positively affirms the virtues of equal parts work and study for a mutually successful society, race notwithstanding. As an autobiography chronicling Washington's humble beginnings in Confederate West Virginia among illiterate slaves to Boston society appealing to the socially prominent, "Up From Slavery" offers a contemporary view on race relations and the human condition. The narrative details Washington's childhood, contrasting the degrees of educational prosperity, domestic sanitation, and religious liberty with the unalienable provisions of slave owners. Washington illuminates the process of ascertaining an education against all odds, laboring in coalmines to afford night school, teaching eager black students, and finally dedicating his life's work to the renowned Tuskegee Institute. Rather tedious in these recollections, the book's plot is unnecessarily laden with exhaustive details and lacks depth in historical perspective. Given the time period in which it was written, there is margin for error in hypothetical suggestions for ethnic culmination, theorizing equal opportunities that did not materialize until seven decades later with desegregation. Individual statements are debatable, such as Washington's idealistic perspective on racial harmony being a non-issue directly after the Civil War, which seems highly unlikely given the past hundred years of civil rights conflict. Explaining the process of rising above local circumstances is the plot's best feature flowing smoothly into a chronological process, specific and concise. It plainly states the South's oppressive environment without delving into racial sympathy, lending remarkable strength. Written with commendable intentions, undue criticism of the white majority is withheld, replaced by cautious optimism and a hopeful spirit. The plot in general follows a logical sequence highlighting one man's endeavors to strive for a better life in impoverished circumstances and his inspiration to freed slaves. Typical of memoirs, the autobiography's focal point is Booker T. Washington's personal account and unique perspective. While other characters are not specifically elaborated, Washington is quick to credit his teachers, mentors, and benefactors in gracious tribute. Their admirable attributes are illuminated in model exemplification, deliberately but briefly identified. Not presenting thoroughly interesting characters for lack of breadth, the reader is focused on Washington himself rather than other outstanding individuals. His personal beliefs are well defined, confided in a trusting tone. Instead of feeling familiar with a cast of literary icons, the reader is acquainted with the author's own integrity and moral fiber. The main character is a sound representation of autobiographical focus, developed, interesting, and personal. In spite of race and social position, hard work employs utmost application in striving to reach full potential and earnest effort begets its own reward. "The man who can do something that the world wants done will in the end make his way regardless of race My experience is that there is something in human nature which always makes an individual recognize and reward merit, no matter under what colour of skin merit is found." Washington introduces his commentary on physical labor's role in mental preparation with that solid statement, proven true the world over. People are generally more alike than different, united in faith, hope and love, set to the same toil with the same ultimate goal. "Up From Slavery" `s central theme corresponds with reality's unprejudiced outcome of individual prosperity through rigorous application. In a progressive attempt to improve society, citizens are bound not by the iron chains of a ruling majority's tyranny but a communal commitment to self-improvement. Although borders, language and culture differentiate ethnic civilizations, their people endeavor for the same fundamental mores. Education, religion, freedom, and a reasonable level of personal satisfaction are sought by all races. Black and white, Asian and Latin American. Catholic, and Jewish, Buddhist and Baptist. English and Spanish, Mandarin and Ebonics. Beneath any layer of flesh, colored or pale, blood runs red as slavery's symbolic rose. People share their humanity if not their race, undivided for the betterment of our society through collective ability. The continuing popularity of Booker T. Washington's "Up From Slavery" originally published in 1903 has fostered universal awareness for nearly one person at a time by appealing to the heart, the mind, and the common human soul. When an individual improves his mind, converges the efforts of bodily work and recognizes the plight of fellow human beings, his life is changed. The world glows with the amber of hope for a united future, one person at a time....more info
  • Booker T. Lost, But Who Won?
    Over the years, being aware of the great rivalry between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois I had grown used to Dubois followers saying Booker T. was an accommodationalist Uncle Tom, and other similar statements. I read Up from Slavery as a teenager, and I didn't get that impression from him at the time, so I usually dismissed people's negativity about him as misunderstanding. Having recently re-read the book, it made a far stronger impression on me as an adult and I feel compelled to give my own opinion, especially since the old "accommodationalist Uncle Tom" reviews are also on this site.
    The time period after the slaves were freed was known as Reconstruction. The former slaves were both scared as to what the future held and deeply excited to experience this concept of freedom with the fire and enthusiasm of the Newly Born. For the most part they were very ignorant of their past, of how to establish themselves as a thriving community, how to interact with their white neighbors in a way beneficial to all and how to best use their money and time to grow as individuals. The whites were equally scared as to what the future held (change is often scary) but they were also excited for the former slaves and 100% wished them well. Yes, this was also the time period that formed the KKK, but evil racists were always around and thankfully, then as now, are in the minority.
    As Booker T. explained, both the owner and the owned had been damaged by the chattel slavery institution. Because the lowest member of society was the slave to whom all menial labor was delegated to, both races saw work/labor as something to be avoided. The whites saw it as something that was beneath them, while the blacks felt they should rise up above it as free men. For them, "freedom" meant `I no longer have to work hard.' The blacks felt that if they could get an education they could "live by their wits" by teaching, being politicians, preaching or any other profession that required thinking for money, so that they would never have to perform physical work/labor with their hands again. They suffered from many misconceptions as to what made a free person successful, such as purchasing a very expensive item that they couldn't afford as a status symbol to show that they've "made it" even going into severe debt to have it. They felt that intensive study into Latin or Greek languages somehow made them superior to other people and that mastery in these fields also proved that they had "made it."
    Booker T. and Dubois created two models designed to help pull the race forward as a free and successful people.
    1.) Booker T. Washington's model involved not only a solid education in academics and Qur'anic/Biblical principles (integrity, hard work and patient perseverance) but he also felt that each member of the race should be schooled in industry and the value of Sacred Work/Labor. As opposed to the work they were used to doing as a slave, Sacred Work was the necessary work put forward that not only made an individual indispensable to his community, but it built character, confidence, assurance, dignity and gave the valuable gift of the concept of "a job well done." Each individual was to master a trade (or two or three) that was vital to a community's growth and do that trade to the utmost best of his/her ability so that not only would the community be successful and grow but the neighboring communities would also find that community indispensable. This would promote both a brotherly camaraderie between communities as well as help the economy by increasing the competition in free trade. Booker T's model would enable the average man to be a vital asset to his community which would become structurally solid and a vital asset to the nation's other communities. It is designed to build up the entire black community as a whole while allowing for exceptional individuals (like Booker T. Washington) to excel. This was indeed the American Dream model, that through hard work, determination, persistence and education you can achieve success.
    Booker T felt that because the black and white races went through slavery together, they needed to be healed together. Starting off with nothing, the former slaves needed help in order to get a foot hold onto their future. His model pulls the races together for their mutual benefit; as the black race builds itself up the white race will benefit in the proper symbiotic relationship between two businesses. Yes, Booker T. rightly saw the growing community of former slaves as a developing business and he recognized that no business achieves its ultimate success without the help of other businesses, in this case the southern and northern whites. Just like FedEx and Kinko's or Exxon and Ford work together and thus enhance each other, Booker T. knew that in order to really be successful both races needed to work together (Didn't Up from Slavery function as a business plan for investors, after all?). Of course for the grand scheme of things, for the sake of his race's success why would Booker T. (or any other black person) alienate whites by continuously putting in their faces the evils of slavery and colonialism? In other words, why would a struggling start-up business alienate the banking industry and other investors by pointing out their wrong doings? They would be cutting their own throats. Obviously, if ever there was a time to forgive and forget Reconstruction was that time. And once the ultimate success had been achieved both races would do whatever they needed to ensure the wellbeing of the partner. If some racist bigots burned a cross on Kinko's lawn and threatened to lynch the manager, don't you think FedEx would also be insulted and demand the practice stop?
    2.) W. E. B. Dubois was actually the spokesman for the blacks who felt that they shouldn't have to work hard anymore, now they should be free to live the way they watched the whites live for two centuries. In the Dubois model, the individual was encouraged to achieve the highest education he was able to. This would guarantee that the "Talented Tenth" (the small percentage of highly gifted individuals among every people) would attain the mega-success that was the American Dream. Dubois felt that it's the Talented Tenth among every race that furthers the goals of the community as a whole, and that the masses would benefit from a Reaganomics-like trickle down effect. This model, encouraging a work-o-phobic attitude and a individual's pursuit of success did nothing to build the black community but gave the hope that whites would accept the blacks into their communities "because we are free like you and we demand to live equally with you because we say so" which actually was the attitude that formed the KKK in the first place. Unlike the model of his rival, Dubois did not establish a system that would remove the slave mentality from the people so they would want to work hard in order to elevate themselves. Consequently, the concept of the "educated fool" was born, with the black academic full of dead languages and abstract principles with absolutely no practical way of using his education to enhance the quality of his character, dignity, morality, integrity or his community as a whole. His community is a raggedy shambles after only a few years of his living in it, because the slave mentality that the Dubois model perpetuates won't permit him even to take pride in slapping on a new coat of paint, mowing the lawn or cleaning up the trash and beer bottles littered in front of his house. Although the Talented Tenth's accomplishments have moved the race forward in very slow increments the average man, with the idea that work is bad and education only benefits a few, is free only to get in trouble or be used up for someone else's dream while he waits for the next minute advancement from the trickle down effect.
    Obviously W. E. B. Dubois won the debate. Seeing the Dubois model as the easy route to success, they simply labeled Booker T. as an Uncle Tom and waited for their Talented Tenth to do their thing and never gave another thought about the matter. How they felt about Booker T. was summed up by how actor Moses Gunn played him in the movie Ragtime. Does it feel better knowing that at the end of his life, Dubois admitted that Booker T. was right?
    No. The damage has now been done. People are fond of saying, "But we've come so far!" But have we? We would've come much farther much sooner if we had embraced Booker T's vision instead of Dubois' work-o-phobic, trickle down vision. They make that statement by pointing to the kind, modern white people that live among us today. But there have always been kind-hearted white people who've honestly wished us success! Look where all the money that helped found Tuskegee and the Hampton Institute came from. Look at the reality of our progress. As a community, after over a century since the Emancipation Proclamation, we have the same mentality we had as newly freed slaves. Instead of a household sharing a single fork and wasting all of their money on an organ that we can't play, now we've replaced the organ with a Cadillac Escalade or a Coach bag or some rims. Our communities are chaotic and scattered with no concept of leaving a legacy for our children. We lack the business savvy to own our own community shops and stores so that corporate predators can take advantage and just take our money out of our communities.
    Without Booker T's life training fundamentals we still are in need of therapy for the centuries of chattel slavery we've gone through and so are the descendants of our former masters. Just like we have made little progress past the legacy of slavery's inferiority complex so they are still suffering from the superiority complex slavery gave to them. For the whites, they don't see anything wrong with building up vast wealth off of the blood, sweat and tears of others and giving them as little compensation as they can get away with. They honestly don't see anything wrong with playing with the worker's minds to make them feel they are getting a good deal. Because of this, the old wealthy white families who've built their money through slave labor and their peers actually sought how they could continue to take advantage of black slave labor without breaking the new anti-slavery laws. I believe that Up from Slavery is an excellent model as to how the black race can pull itself together into an awesome community, but I also believe that the warped mind suffering under a superiority complex can "reverse engineer" the book and use it to prevent such a community from forming in the first place.
    STEP ONE
    Destroy all existing examples of strong black communities
    STEP TWO
    Pull out the wealthiest, most productive members of the community leaving the ignorant, defenseless poor
    STEP THREE
    Allow drugs and alcohol to flow freely into the ranks of the poor so that their frustrations and stress will ignite into various crimes
    STEP FOUR
    Paint the picture in the popular media (both bluntly and subliminally) that these people are prone to criminal behavior anyway
    STEP FIVE
    With the public's approval, round them up and fill up the prisons with them. Now they are the property of the State, and can be legally contracted out as slave labor... continuing where we left off.
    If Dubois' model had not have been adopted, we would have been the ultimate success story, a strong and vibrant community making a major contribution to our nation's prosperity and our own people's legacy. Of course it's not too late to fix it. All we have to do is stop calling Booker T. Washington an "accommodating Uncle Tom" and get to work.
    ...more info
  • "Fabulous book by a selfless human being"
    If you feel like you have it bad and life has passed you by.... READ THIS BOOK! I usually avoid biographies and autobiographies because they often seem to boast and be egotistic. Booker T. Washington did not strike me as a selfish individual. His whole life centered around education (life-long learning). Think about what a wonderful world we would have if children (and adults) followed this concept. The majority of people never open a book (non-fiction) after they leave school! I have had a solid determination for the past four or five years, to improve my life through books and tapes, and I feel as though I've found my true calling in life... learning! This book is primarily about raising the black race from being enslaved to an educated and highly skilled race. The author was highly instrumental in bringing this process about. He was educated and completed his schooling at the 'Hampton' school with honors. He then built and directed the 'Tuskegee' school in Alabama, and devoted his whole life to service. While this book was very informative, and is considered a milestone by a true pioneer, it is a little bit monotonous, thus four stars. I would highly recommend it nevertheless. Many of the thoughts, attitudes, and sayings of Booker T. Washington have been used by modern authors and speakers, and will live forever. Our country and the black race are forever in his debt for the legacy he left behind. I certainly feel better about life after reading this book. You will too....more info
  • a positive message for all
    Booker Ts story really inspires. It just shows that with positive thinking and motivation, tremendous difficulties, odds and challenges are beatable. It's a message many of us would gain from if we would just stop complaining and blaming others for our lot in life, and just get moving on up!

    I've reviewed the CreateSpace edition, ISBN 1438268165. It's a clear, easy to read version, well designed and the print and binding are excellent. Highly recommended!...more info
  • THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING "UP FROM SLAVERY"
    A lot of things have been said and written concerning Booker Taliaferro Washington's book, "Up From Slavery". Some were hot, and some were cold. But one focus that unites all the varying opinions is that every critic or reviewer agreed that the book is superb. Also, most people acknowledged that Booker T. was a distinguished scholar (despite the overwhelming odds that weighed him down).
    However, one big fact that most reviewers of this work have consistently overlooked is the circumstances that surrounded both the book and its writer. In order to have an accurate perspective of this book, we must not fail to evaluate what life was like for Booker T. After all, the book in question is his autobiography: written in a country where he was born and nurtured as a slave, before becoming a freeman whose basic human rights were consistently denied.
    One fact that pops up in this regard is that Mr. Washington was never free in the real sense of the word. The type of freedom a typical Black American enjoys today was an unseen luxury throughout Booker T's life: (1856-1915).
    In the same period, the life expectancy of an average Black American was less than half of what it is today. This was not because the folks then were all HIV-positive, but simply because any White man could barbecue a Black man right on the street and nothing would happen.
    That Booker T. chose not to criticize the grievous atrocities that the ubiquitous racists meted on American Negroes is understandable. It was not a matter of choice per se, rather, the swain wanted to stay alive. He understood his environment well, and had a first-class knowledge of how racist America worked. Again, it is only a dummy who wouldn't know that the (first) publisher of "Up From Slavery" wouldn't have considered the manuscript if it contained anything that will embarrass or infuriate White America. And, Booker T. Washington might be made to pay a ghastly price for authoring an "offensive write-up". We must not forget that this book was written a century ago: when "freedom" and "justice" were very different from what it is today. In those days, many "critical" Black-oriented manuscripts ended-up in dustbins; and their authors were vilified and hunted down.
    Today's critics who relax in comfortable armchairs and bellow that this book "lacked depth" in this way and that way, weren't born as Booker T. was; and I forgive them each time they use that word: 'slavery', in vain. Booker T. died in 1915, and history will always attest that Black Americans continued to struggle for freedom more than fifty years after his death.
    An old adage has it that: 'A word is enough for the wise'. Thus, I will like to end my comments here. "Up From Slavery" is a very fine book. It is small: less than 250 pages. Hence, I don't need to review or analyze it with a thousand pages. Mr. Booker T. Washington did his best: given the insurmountable circumstances that surrounded his world....more info
  • Up From Slavery
    I read Up From Slavery in an African American Lit class, and was totally applauled by it. Washigton is so complaicent, the man was not even angry with white people for four hundred years of slavery. The debate between Washington and WEB DuBois is famous: Wash. wanted black people to forgive and forget and continue to be the southerners work dogs. DuBois wanted the negro race to embrace higher education and follow in the footsteps of wealthy Americans like Rockefeller and Carnegie. Which plan was better for uplifting a race? It depends upon which direction the country was going at the turn of the century....more info
  • Great message
    This book has an inspiring message, and gives a viewpoint that is not often looked at. I thought its content was instructional....more info
  • EXCELLENT!!!
    Several years ago I read this book for the first time and was intigued with all the vivid details Booker T. remembers from his childhood. Since then I have reread parts of this book many times and have branched out to reading other slave writings. I think this book and some of the others should be included in every junior high and high school curriculum. Other books about the slave condition I would recommend are THE JOURNAL OF LEROY JONES, A FUGITIVE SLAVE, I WAS BORN A SLAVE, and THE DIARY OF A SLAVE GIRL, RUBY JO....more info
  • Inspirational. Timeless principles. Yet Flawed.
    As a 21st century African American, I must take issue with Mr. Washington's statement regarding how in all things social we can be totally seperate and unequal.

    Even though I can understand the practicality and expediency of making that sort of concession At That Time in history I still must question whether or not a statement such as that is a representation of true liberty and justice for all. In my mind it is not. It wasn't true then and it still isn't true today.

    Despite the tremendous Economic strides that have been made by people of color globally and particularly in the U.S., thanks in no small part to the efforts of great people like Mr. Washington, the society at large has remained very stratified. Attitudes though much improved have largely remained the same. Statements like the esteemed Mr. Washington's have too often served to dismiss the responsibility of offenders to remedy past wrongs which still have impact in the present day. They also serve to deny true equality of opportunity to all citizens. It also accomodates the offenders far greater than is deserved and does grave injustice to black and white alike. Mr. Washington makes reference himself to how injustices done to the black populace are just as injurious to the white population. Yet he does not view social seperatism as an injustice. With that I must take issue.

    All that notwithstanding it is an interesting, informative, and enjoyable read. Many of the principles by which he lived are as true today as they were during Reconstruction. However, certain opinions that he expressed could have the effect of limiting economic opportunity by confining Blacks to the ranks of laborers rather than entrepreneurs, managers, and other professionals if too stringently adhered to. These pursuits require concentrated study and effort by themselves.

    So read it but be sure to place it in the proper context....more info

  • Not Just for African Americans
    What is most striking about Washington's autobiographical account of his rise from slavery to revered statesman is his lack of resentment toward white culture. Rather than focus on what whites should do to uplift blacks, Washington encouraged blacks to take individual agency over their lives. He believed the best way for blacks to achieve social parity was to become indispensable members of the communities in which they lived. His absolute confidence in black resilience would probably be regarded as naive in today's political discourse. And yet the long list of his (and all black culture's) achievements during this period are unmistakable and nothing short of inspiring.

    It's a shame this book is on the African American Studies shelf. The lessons from Washington's life apply to all humans, not just blacks. This book would be an excellent addition high school reading lists as a model of the values consonant with personal success....more info

  • Very important book about a great and misunderstood American
    Everyone should read "Up From Slavery" by Booker T. Washington. Washington was one of the most outstanding people in our history. If he lived today he probably would become President and be one of our greatest Presidents. He had an iron will to achieve his goals in life and to do something to help his people. He started in life in slavery, born to a single mother. Later on he was abused and exploted by his step-father. He overcame tremendous hardships to get an education. He then dedicated his life to helping other African-Americans to improve their lives. He is often criticized for compromising too much with the white establishment. I think however that people need to understand the difficulties of his time and also his way of trying to change people indirectly rather than through direct confrontation. "Up From Slavery" is a great example of this. It is also fun to read. I have a personal reason for liking Washington. In World War II my father was in the Air Corps. For some time the bomber he flew in was protected by the famous Tuskeegee Airmen who were trained at Tuskeegee Institute, founded by Washington. The Tuskeegee Airmen never lost a plane that they escorted. So you see, if it hadn't been for Booker T. Washington I might not be here....more info
  • Enlightening historical narrative, with public speaking bits
    This book is a fascinating historical account of the atmosphere of America during Reconstruction. The opinions of an ex-slave on matters of racial relations, education, suffrage, and so forth are certainly worth considering in any study of this period. I loved Booker T. Washington's autobiography for this.

    But I also enjoy this book because it has character. Mr. Washington gives bits of advice on how to be a good public speaker - as he was a speaker of much renown - and this was quite delightful as I have often been somewhat confused by such matters. Add to this his endearing stories of the white and black races, and you have yourself an extremely worthwhile and enjoyable read....more info

  • Courageous and Inspiring
    This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of "Up From Slavery." I hope that in celebration of this anniversary, many people will discover Washington's autobiography for the first time. I was fascinated and inspired by Washington's quiet and humble manner as he describes what it was like to be a slave as a youth. Washington traces his struggle for an education, and his later challenges and trials as an educator. His account of the building and molding of the Tuskeegee Institute is one of the most inspiring stories I have read in years. Washington did not want to have anything handed to him. He wanted to earn every goal he set for himself, and earn them he did. His influence was and continues to be incredible. This is an amazing book every American should read....more info
  • The American Dream Fulfilled
    Booker T. Washington had every reason to complain and be resentful. He was born a slave, and although national manumission occurred while he was still a boy, very few opportunities offered themselves to the newly emancipated. He fought against the odds to get an education and while he was away at school, his beloved mother died. His biological father was a slave owner who never expressed any interest in his son's life. When he was asked to be headmaster of the Tuskegee Institute, he found himself faced with empty land in a poverty-stricken area. Married three times, his first two wives died very young. His first spouse left him a single father with a young child, and the second time he faced widowhood he had three small children to raise all by himself.

    He could certainly have cursed fate and just given up; in stead his autobiography is the work of an unspeakably grateful and patriotic American. Washington could not find enough good things to say about nearly everyone he encountered in life or the country he felt blessed to call his home. He worked very, very hard and success followed all his endeavors. Rather than boast of his many accomplishments, he seemed to feel unworthy of the nationwide respect he earned. He humbly described his friendships with Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley, talked of his constantly sought after speeches throughout the United States and Europe, and detailed his phenomenal money-raising skills that brought the Tuskegee Institute up from a converted hen-house to a campus of over 40 buildings.

    Throughout all his trials and successes, he constantly advocated forgiveness, humility, and gratitude. Not only did he recommend these three virtues, he lived a life that embodied them. Perhaps that's why a person born with no realistic chance at getting ahead, died one of the most admired and well-known individuals of his day....more info

  • Up From Slavery
    Alina Stanton Nov.15

    Up From Slavery

    The author of this book is Booker T. Washington. This book is about Booker T Washington. It's an autobiography of how he grew up as a slave and as a free man. It shows the struggles that a lot of poor slaves had when they were freed from slavery.

    When Booker was young he lived with his mom on one plantation, his dad lived on another. He lived with his mom, half brother, half sister and step dad. Booker really wanted an education, so he started to teach himself to read. He had an English dictionary that emphasized on the alphabet and he read it all the time. Soon the slaves were freed. Booker started going to a day school once it opened up. He was not able to go to school later on because he had to work in a coal mine with his dad. He made a deal with his dad to work on the coalmines early in the morning till nine then goes to school. When he was a little older he decided to go to a school called Hampton Institute in West Virginia. You can live there and work as well as go to school.

    While he lived there he had to work hard. He had to make money all the ways he could. He worked as a waitress a maid and a janitor. He met a general by the name of Armstrong. He respected this man a lot because he was very important. Booker felt honored to meet such a wealthy man, he liked the general a lot because he was very kind. General Armstrong gave Booker a personal check, which he had been saving for his own use, to help Tuskegee. That summer after his first year in the institute he had to work to pay off a sixteen-dollar debt. His mother died during the summer, he knew that he would never see her again. He graduated that year and then went to teach at the school that he attended when he was a boy. In 1878 he entered Wayland Seminary in Washington D.C. for a year of study. While he was there he made speeches in West Virginia for General Garfields presidency campaign. He graduated first class in Tuskegee in 1885.

    In my opinion, this is a descent book. It shows how the poor slaves grew up in a white world and how they struggled. It has a lot of information on Bookers life and how he struggled to make a good living and get a good education. I think Booker T. Washington is a well mannered, honorable man....more info

  • The power of a positive thinker
    "Up from slavery" documents the rise of Booker T. Washington, from a plantation slave to the head of Tuskegee college in Alabama. Along the way his narrative details the squalor and humiliations of his childhood and ends with a number of journalistic adulations regarding his career and speeches. It is a wonderful book, yet curious.

    Unlike Frederick Douglass, the severe critic of the slaveholding South, Washington's outlook is decidedly postive. He refuses to get into any kind of individual or group bashing, but prefers to dwell on the successes of blacks, improving race relations, and the success of his school- and students. He becomes enamored of his own success on the stump, but such is the case with most ambitious, forward looking individuals. I would have liked a bit more criticism, and fewer excerpts from the newspapers of his time (regarding his speech-making ability.) His repeated refrains about service and merit (being the only true measure of a man), are sound. All in all, this is an upbeat, inspiring story from a man who truly defied the odds, and his winning attitude is sorely needed today....more info

  • This is an exceptional book on many levels.
    This book provides a snapshot of the world of the US at one of it's most exciting times. The end of the 19th century was the "Progressive Era" when people came together and formed groups and associations that are still with us today. His metaphor of dipping into the cool clear water in which we are sailing for the human resources to build society is as true today as in 1890. His statement that the most pressing problem in America was for rich and poor to understand how each contributes to the whole and to learn to value each other is also timely.

    Besides the fascinating historical perspective of the thinking of the time, there is the insight provided by Booker T. Washington himself. His adulation of labor is reminisint of Kahil Gibran in "The Prophet." The most repeated idea in the book is that any person that adds to the economic well being and comfort of their community will be sought out and cherished and that race has nothing to do with it. Coming from a person who started with so much less (he was a slave) that most of us have today and really practicing what he believed makes him someone that we all can admire. To put it in less academic terms, this is a book about an incredibly beautiful person that made me think deeply about myself and the world I live in....more info

  • not very informative....not very good.
    This book is hard to get into at first because Washington, in my opinion, isn't the greatest writer. He writes using many run-on sentences and MANY, MANY commas with phrases that can distract you from the meaning of the sentence (as a rule, notwithstanding, to such an extent, this is to say etc...) he seems to state his observations as if it is a fact. He tells how there were such great relations between blacks & whites throughout the south and blacks held ABSOLUTELY NO resentment towards their slaveowners. I found that hard to believe (how would he know when he was just a slave?) Many of his "facts" didn't seem to agree with history and what I thought slavery and black/white relations were like. He almost seemed ignorant to what was probably happening around him. He goes on to tell about his life and spends at least 1/2 of the book talking about his school in Tuskegee...after a while it gets boring and you want to hear some interesting stories about HIM! I didn't think the book was too great or very informative at all....more info
  • Great book! It contains the ideas our country was founded on
    Great book! It contains the ideas our country was founded on...more info
  • Definitely Inspirational!
    What a wonderful gift to give history buffs or African-Americans. Booker T. Washington began with nothing, not even a last name, and he drove himself to learn to read and become educated. I plan to read this book over and over, and I have highlighted several quotes that I intend to quote to my friends when they are complaining about trivial things. I also recommend the fictional The Journal of Darien Dexter Duff, an Emancipated Slave, The Diary of a Slave Girl, Ruby Jo, and The Journal of Leroy Jeremiah Jones, a Fugitive Slave. All are chock full of history while being easy to read and fun. And they include photos. Read all of these fine books....more info
  • A classic with relevant lessons for today
    I found this to be a most amazing work. In telling the story of going from a child of slavery to the founder and president of the Tuskegee institute, Mr. Washington illustrates for us the life-lessons which can empower any individual or race in our free society today.

    Namely, look to your neighbor in love, not anger; recognize the nobility in working hard for something rather than expecting charity; be willing to give yourself to a greater cause; believe that people are capable of great things and they will live up to your expectations; recognize the importance of education, not just of the mind, but of the body and soul as well; recognize that any man who provides value to the community in which he lives will be accepted and even welcomed into that community; and above all, trust in God to care for your needs.

    I highly recommend this book as a testament to the positive result of thinking from a perspective of Love and Abundance rather than Anger and Scarcity. When Mr. Washington's humility is measured against his accomplishments, he becomes in my eyes one of the greatest Americans to have lived....more info

  • a positive message for all
    Booker Ts story really inspires. It just shows that with positive thinking and motivation, tremendous difficulties, odds and challenges are beatable. It's a message many of us would gain from if we would just stop complaining and blaming others for our lot in life, and just get moving on up!

    I've reviewed the CreateSpace edition, ISBN 1438268165. It's a clear, easy to read version, well designed and the print and binding are excellent. Highly recommended!...more info
  • A Good Man, an Inspiring Life
    I read this some time ago, combined with The Souls of Black Folk and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Up From Slavery was the warm-up, I guess, since it was the least offensive. Of course one reader's "least offensive" is another reader's "Uncle Tom". However one can't fairly judge someone from that era using the criteria from the modern time- a fairly simple principle that is too easily forgotten.

    With that out of the way, let me say that as a southern kid in the late 60's reading this book I was tremendously inspired. We were hardly that far removed from Jim Crow, at least in years, so I think I was able to grasp a little of the obstacles Washington overcame. Still this is less a story of race than a story of faith, of vision, of the triumph of hard work, and the triumphs both in spite of as well as because of his fellow man.

    The history in not too debatable, as it is an auto-biography. By definition thus the history of the author, and this becomes one of the strengths of the books- the common sense, no-nonsense love of life that
    causes BTW to continually break through to the other side, and bring the reader with him. By the end of the book I wanted to start a college (as he did) and help my fellow man up from poverty any way I could. To not marvel at his accomplishments and to denigrate him with labels out of time is to do great injustice to the man, his relationship with God, and to his incredible achievements.

    To sum: it is inspiring and real, and it gives a glimpse into some of the peculiar hardships resulting from the peculiar institution, but the process is almost the polar opposite of the victimhood route of today- from someone who could most justifiably have claimed himself such a victim.
    ...more info
  • up from slavery
    I bought 10 to give to my black friends, in just two chapters you can discover what a great man this was,he had a great preception of people and life. I am waiting for a new supply so I can order 20 to give out. This man is a great example for all races to look up to....more info
  • Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington: A Review
    Up From Slavery is the classic autobiography of Booker T. Washington. Washington gives an interesting, alternative perspective regarding slavery and slave owners. This is what Mr. Washington stated regarding his boyhood owners: "My life had its beginnings in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings. This was so, however, not because my owners were especially cruel, for they were not, as compared with many others...........One may get the idea, from what I have said, that there was a bitter feeling toward the white people on the part of my race, because of the fact that most of the white population was away fighting in a war which would result in keeping the Negro in slavery if the South was successful. In the case of the slaves on our place this was not true, and it was not true of any large portion of the slave population in the South where the Negro was treated with anything like decency."
    Washington is here saying that although many slaves were mistreated by their owners, many were treated relatively well.

    Not only does Mr. Washington offer an interesting perspective on slavery, he was an early black educator. Washington believed that black people should have no privileges because of their color. He believed that it was the fault of the black man if he did not succeed and it was not because of the white man. He urged the people of his race to work for their living and not depend on others for help. When times were the very hardest for the black people, Washington helped lift them up and get them on their feet. He founded Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. This school began as a small night-school for black people. Washington build a fine institution for the black race by the sweat of his brow.

    Booker T. Washington did not view his race as mistreated victims, instead he took a great amount of pride in the black race and wanted others to understand what a privilege it was to be a part of it, as this quote seems to indicate:"From any point of view, I had rather be what I am, a member of the Negro race, than be able to claim membership with the most favoured of any other race.....This I have said here, not to call attention to myself as an individual, but to the race to which I am proud to belong."

    Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery is an American classic. It is the true life story of a little slave boy who grew up to become one of the finest leaders for his race.
    ...more info
  • What a Legacy!
    Booker T. Washington lived his life on target. He had a purpose and he made a lasting contribution. Washington was a Christian, a scholar, a motivator, a writer, an educator, a role model, a scientist, and more. Look at his life, what he wrote and how he approached life and you will see similarities between his thoughts and those of other achievers. Such individuals usually: read extensively, travel widely, and pursue education. This book is loaded with Christian success principles that transcend time and location. I found this book to be extremely inspiring. What would BTW do if he had the internet?...more info
  • a classic
    i ordered Up from Slavery because I thought I needed to read it. However, I found I wanted to read it. I recommend it for all Americans. It was truely inspirational....more info
  • Not yet convinced
    I read this book as a part of a class. In this class we discussed Washington's work as written from the 'trickster' perspective. In this light it was quite interesting to see how he points out hypocrasies indirectly, while apparently stating the opposite. Thus, creating a self-aware hypocrasy within the text itself. I'm not sure that I am yet convinced, however. The work often seems a little bit on the acquiescent side to me....more info
  • A must read!
    I can't even say enough for this book to give it full credit. This should be a must read in any high school, or even middle school level. This book will inspire all classes and cultures!...more info
  • give up the hate, forgive each other
    I feel that I have met an extraordinary man of history after reading "Up From Slavery". This book is an autobiography by Professor Booker T Washington (1856-1915). He was born into the deplorable condition of genocide which bears the euphemism of "slavery". He found a way through iron will and determinism to "do a thing that the world wants done" enabling to "make a living for himself and others" through embracing the joy and love of labor. His greatest accomplishment was the founding and building of the Tuskegee Institute of Normal and Industrial Institute from a chicken shack to a school with assets of over $500,000 free from mortgage. He rose to national and international attention as the most influential African-American of his time with his famous speech calling people to "cast down your bucket where you are." People who accomplish great things are controversial, and Professor Washington was no different. Dr W E B Du Bois in "The Souls of Black Folk" wrote of Professor Washington, "His doctrine has tended to make the whites, North and South, shift the burden of the Negro problem to the Negro's shoulders and stand aside as critical and rather pessimistic spectators; when in fact the burden belongs to the nation, and the hands of none of us are clean if we bend not our energies to righting these great wrongs." During the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960's Washington's philosophy was called into question by none other than the great Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr, who wrote in his book "Why We Can't Wait", "Be content [Washington] said in effect, with doing well what the times permit you to do at all. However, this path, they soon felt, had too little freedom in its present and too little promise in its future." These are the issues that continue to develop, and will, I suspect, for some time to come. I was most impressed by the capacity for Professor Washington to forgive. Of all his impressive accomplishments, this is one that spoke to me undeniably of his courage and strength. He forgives the man who sired him, a man worthy of the title "father" only in the strict biological sense. Professor Washington writes, "Whoever he was, I never heard of his taking the least interest in me or providing in any way for my rearing. But I do not find especial fault with him. He was simply another unfortunate victim of the institution which the Nation unhappily had engrafted upon it at that time." Some contend that his attitudes were politically motivated, yet, I do not see what Professor Washington would stand to gain by forgiving the man who "fathered" him. With unblemished sincerity, he forgave his slave masters, ("man-stealers", as Frederick Douglass called them). Professor Washington wrote, "I pity from the bottom of my heart any nation or body of people that is so unfortunate as to get entangled in the net of slavery. I have long since ceased to cherish any spirit of bitterness against the southern white people on account of the enslavement of my race." He genuinely felt that he was far better off than his masters because, "the slave system on our place, in a large measure, took the spirit of self reliance and self-help out of the white people." Why would he believe this? The epitome of his life's goal was to find and do something which was valued. The very thing his masters could not do. "My old master had many boys and girls, but not one, so far as I know, ever mastered a single trade or special line of productive industry." Some may, after reading this book, still feel that Professor Washington's attitudes were politically motivated. I cannot accept that idea. I have never known any one nor do I believe it is possible to feign this level of forgiveness. It is my opinion that Professor Booker T Washington is a reflection of a love which is divine. This is one of the reasons I am so impressed with this man, and this book....more info
  • Good, solid courage mixed with inspiration and drive
    For educational pedagogy, for philanthropical courage, for inspiration and motivation on how to be the best person, read this book. Washington overcame enormous odds with intense ambition; he wanted to do his "level best" everyday.

    I found his story to be the real thing, the real item in...get this...motivational literature. Of all the self-help books published today, Washington's autobiography reads realistic and true for courage, solid advice, and practical solutions.

    Washington takes the large view to the race problems of his day. He is more concerned with building better human beings, male and female, regardless of race. His strategies with his students involved enforcing basic health care, instilling focused, daily discipline habits, providing vocational and academic training, and always presenting an overreaching concern for helping others achieve their highest potential. THAT is the good life....more info

  • Relentlessly positive message, too perfect to believe?
    Washington's relentlessly positive message is encouraging but at the same time too perfect for believability. The reader desires that Washington would once take off the mask of cheer that he appears to be putting over some parts of his autobiography and tell us what he really thinks.

    His optimism extended to the political status of African-Americans and their future integration into American society. As the constant threat of lynching and KKK-ism continued throughout most of the 20th Century, even as positive steps were made in racial integration, it appears his optimism was at best proven wrong, or at least premature. And it is easy to understand the criticism by other contemporary black leaders like W. E. B. DuBois for his easy optimism.

    But on the other hand, until and unless I read otherwise in a well-researched biography, perhaps Washington's optimism isn't a front or a mask to cover deep bitterness, but is true and sincere, and indeed, nothing in his story hear reads as if forced or fraudulent.

    I purchased this book at the small National Park bookstore at Booker T. Washington's birthplace in rural southwestern Virginia. The setting still matches the quiet and isolation that Washington describes, and lends credence to his tale of self-reliant optimism. I also purchased a National Park Service pamphlet Booker T. Washington: An Appreciation Of The Man And His Times, which makes a nice short companion to Washington's masterpiece....more info
  • a classic
    i ordered Up from Slavery because I thought I needed to read it. However, I found I wanted to read it. I recommend it for all Americans. It was truely inspirational....more info
  • This book was good!!
    I think Up from Slavery is a good book, its for all readers who want to learn about black heritage. Booker is a young man eager to learn and have a education. Washington was born in Virgina at a slave hut. Washington attended the school Hampton. In order for him to get in this fine school, he had to sweep and clean the speaking room, one day the superintendent came by with a white glove and ran her finger across every piece of furniture, no dust. The superintendent was so impressed she enrolled him at Hampton, this just lets you know how much he wanted to learn....more info