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Up From Slavery: An Autobiography

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1461036463
ISBN-10: 1461036461
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"It remains one of the most important works on such an influential African-American leader."--Professor Delia Crutchfield Cook, University of Maryland, KC


"This book is a must read."--Professor Warren C. Swindell, Indiana State University


"This book is definitely a classic and I have used every year im my African-American history course."--Professor W. Marvin Dulaney, College of Charleston


"Reading 'Up From Slavery' has provided my students with an opportunity to encounter a key figure in African American history on his own terms. It has provided them with greater insight into the mind of this man and his times."--C. Matthew Hawkins, Carlow College


"This is a very useful edition of one of the most important primary sources in African American history. Andrews sets it in context in a first-rate introduction." --Roy E. Finkenbine, Hampton University


About the Author

William Andrews is Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Professor of American Literature at the University of Kansas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461036461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461036463
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Hubbell on November 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
The legacy of Booker T. Washington incontestably stands alongside other great Americans. Washington created the Tuskegee Institute to promote the education of his people who had only recently been emancipated from slavery. Much of it was literally built by his hands and those of his charges.

In so doing they could take ownership and pride of their creation. Washington raises labor from its inferior status to a place of honor. He blames the institution of slavery for distorting the dignity of labor because it "took the spirit of self-reliance and self-help out of the white people. 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." Everything was left to the slaves. As a consequence, the slave owners "unconsciously had imbibed the feeling that manual labour was not the proper thing for them. On the other hand, the slaves, in many cases, had mastered some handicraft, and none were ashamed, and few unwilling, to labour."

Paul Lawrence Dunbar, one of the great poets of the Harlem Renaissance, expressed some discordant opinions regarding this autobiography of one of America's most influential blacks. His tone is respectful, recognizing that, after all, Booker T. Washington created Tuskegee Institute.

Dunbar echoed the resentment felt by blacks who felt betrayed by Washington's accommodating stance with the powerful men of his time. Indeed, there is something of the sell-out in his naïve belief that "the time will come when the Negro in the South will be accorded all the political rights which his ability, character, and material possessions entitle him to . . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've long wanted to read this book and finally did in two days. It was a rewarding experience. Booker T. Washington was a great man born into slavery, into abject poverty, on a plantation in Virginia. He never knew his father or even his birthday. Washington was six or seven years old when the War Between the States ended. He lived in a slave cabin with his mother, his older brother John, his younger brother and sister, and an orphan boy. His mother, the cook for the "big house" was an illiterate as most slaves were, but a strong woman of common sense who cared for her family as best she could. Their cabin was primitive with a dirt floor no windows and poorly protected from the elements.

After the war Booker moved with his mother and step father to West Virginia where he was put to work in the salt mines. Determined to get some schooling he did so at night with great difficulty.

Washington heard about a school for Negroes in Virginia called Hampton. He set out on foot with 50 cents in his pocket. He eventually reached Hampton and went to school there working his way through as a janitor.

Booker T. Washington met race prejudice, poverty, and illiteracy and overcame all of these obstacles.

He went on to establish Tuskegee Institute in Alabama for his people. It educated boys and girls not only in academics but in agriculture and useful trades. He started the school from nothing raising all the money from contributions and the hard work of he and his students. The school still exists today and is thriving.

"Up From Slavery" is an inspiring book. It should be on everyone's list as a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn on March 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Booker T. Washington was the first president of Tuskegee Institute. This is a great look into the early issues for former slaves, the difficulties they experienced in becoming integrated into society. Booker's hope was that the integration would be very peaceful. He had wonderful plans for helping blacks learn the basic societal things they had never known. His view was that manual labor was admirable and should be perfected along with intellectual skills. The last part of the book feels a lot like "name dropping." However, when I read the commentary at the end of the book, I realized why. He was trying to point out to his contemporaries that it was possible for a black man to have good white friends. If Booker's dreams would have been realized, we might never have had the racial problems that have been so hurtful to our country. I do wish we would have learned more about his marriages and his life with his children. That was definitely downplayed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BobW on July 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read "Up From Slavery" when I was a senior in high school, I am now 70. Through the eyes of experience, I see that Booker T Washington was both right and wrong, in his time and in mine. He was right that both Whites and Blacks need comparable educations and an appreciation in the value of labor type work, but he was wrong in thinking that his approach was right and acceptable for all, White and Black. This is a read for all who can understand that the entitlement mentality is a natural part of society.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FEMI on February 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want to know about the life of Booker T. Washington, this is the book to read. Did you know that he was a former slave? Did you know that his father was a slave master? I was not aware that he was a Mulatto. Great information about the years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Read it!
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