- File Size: 1844 KB
- Print Length: 348 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1108079407
- Publisher: Skyhorse (September 8, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 8, 2015
- Sold by: Simon & Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0140EFFTW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,905 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Up from Slavery: An Autobiography Kindle Edition
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"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
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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I'm glad I stumbled upon this book by accident a few weeks ago. It was eye-opening to say the least. To be able to read something written by a former slave is incredible. So much of history is written by observers after the fact. This book is written by a participant.
Booker T. Washington writes with incredible clarity. It's easy to read his narrative, which moves quickly and covers many years and many historic moments from slavery and reconstruction, to the foundation for the civil rights movement.
This book is chalked full of incredible quotes and ideas. Booker provides ample fuel for anyone who needs some gas in their tank to be optimistic, hard-working, or altruistic. Top off your reserves with this book and get a look at some critical moments of American history, told from a perspective that is unique and credible.
Booker was wrong about some things. He was wrong about the KKK being gone for good. He was wrong about his belief in steady progress of race relations. He was also wrong about hard work always being rewarded. But that's easy for me to see now.
He was right about his faith in the goodness of individual people, people who worked (with an ethic that shames us today), who studied, who served, who taught, who gave six eggs towards the building fund. People who gave money, and people who broke down barriers, thanks to bridge builders like Mr. Washington.
This is an easy reading fairly quick book that was for me compelling and unforgettable. Mr. Washington no doubt anticipated more white people than blacks reading this book (at least initially), for the simple fact that more whites than blacks could read, and afford a book. As a college president (and founder) and by default a racial ambassador, he also nobly and deftly kept the book positive and heaped plenty of praise onto many. I don't believe he saw the world through rose colored glasses. Plenty of others would criticize our greed, injustice and prejudice. And criticize him too. Booker looked up. Thanks to him a lot more of us can too.
Yes, we feel uncomfortable when we think about any limitation in the path of African Americans to economic progress and leading an unrestricted life. But Booker T. Washington was above all realistic, and this memoir shows the kind of obstacles he had to overcome. Thanks to his efforts, supported by such philanthropists as Julius Rosenwald (of Sears Roebuck) and others, a very large number of African Americans had access to a dignified livelihood. As a result of such initiatives, African Americans managed, just a few decades after the end of slavery, in spite of the Jim Crow legislation in place, in spite of lynchings, in spite of a whole system rigged against them, to move little by little up the social ladder, take advantage of manpower needs in fast-growing Northern industries, and enrich American culture in the arts, music, literature and other areas beyond all expectations.
Even the Tuskegee Institute evolved over the years and decades. George Washington Carver, one of the greatest scientists in the history of the United States (and also a former slave) taught there for almost half a century.
Even as he tried to improve the lot of African Americans, even as he tried to push them hard to do their best at all times, Washington never failed to remind white America of the enormous difficulties his "coloured brethren" had to overcome. A short excerpt from this book should prove the point:
"The world should not pass judgment upon the Negro, and especially the Negro youth, too quickly or too harshly. The Negro boy has obstacles, discouragements, and temptations to battle with that are little known to those not situated as he is. When a white boy undertakes a task, it is taken for granted that he will succeed. On the other hand, people are usually surprised if the Negro boy does not fail. In a word, the Negro youth starts out with the presumption against him.
"The influence of ancestry, however, is important in helping forward any individual or race, if too much reliance is not placed upon it. Those who constantly direct attention to the Negro youth's moral weaknesses, and compare his advancement with that of white youths, do not consider the influence of the memories which cling about the old family homesteads. I have no idea, as I have stated elsewhere, who my grandmother was. I have, or have had, uncles and aunts and cousins, but I have no knowledge as to where most of them are. My case will illustrate that of hundreds of thousands of black people in every part of our country. The very fact that the white boy is conscious that, if he fails in life, he will disgrace the whole family record, extending back through many generations, is of tremendous value in helping him to resist temptations. The fact that the individual has behind and surrounding him proud family history and connection serves as a stimulus to help him to overcome obstacles when striving for success."
In the long view of history, we tend to agree more with W. E. B. Du Bois (a giant in his own right), who thought African Americans had every right to study in classical academic courses instead of vocational, agriculture-oriented programs. But history is made (or takes place, if you will) step by step, and there should be no doubt today that Booker T. Washington made a major, perhaps an unparalleled contribution to the advancement of his race. And for this, we should all, African Americans or not, Americans or not, be profoundly grateful and motivated.
I hope only that the excerpt quoted above, one of the most moving I have ever read about the entire African American experience, will inspire everyone to read this book and learn from Booker T. Washington's own words.
Top international reviews
Firstly, it gives a look at what it was like to be a child around the time of the Civil War, when slavery was about to be abolishes. It gives an incite I had never thought about which is how slaves really felt about their masters – it was quite surprising.
I found the book well-written and eloquent.
I found Washington to be a very likable, noble, and innovative character. I really enjoyed reading about all he had done and achieved around this time.
I love books which take you on a journey while teaching you something, so books based on reality of autobiographies or biographies.
This book didn’t disappoint in that regard; it taught me a lot about how things were back then whilst also inspiring me with Washington’s antics of making the world a better place.
I’ve come to admire this man greatly, and will read some of his other works now!
The book is short and I read it in about two days. It was a page Turner and something you can read through easily.
He undoubtedly paved the way for many Africans today and inspired Mr Marcus Garvey. A pioneer and national hero in the readers view.
I particularly liked the fact that he described the help he received from others including the white population. He does not come across as feeling sorry for himself, although he may have been forgiven for doing so. He made up his mind to better himself and in doing so, he helped others to do the same. He made it clear to them that it would not be easy and if they were prepared to work hard and obey the rules, they could indeed better themselves as he had done. He went on to become a well respected member of society. To say more may spoil the book for those who have not read it but I think it truly deserves the five stars I have given it.
An account full of fortitude,resilience and vision.
If you are looking for a well written and inspirational biography that will provoke you it is this one.
How a former slave became a great leader and a living torch to his people is something that still amazes me!
I highly recommend this book.
This is a book that every black person world wide should read.