Up From Slavery

Up From Slavery

An Autobiography

Large Print - 2009
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Up from Slavery chronicles the life and times of Booker T. Washington. In this captivating autobiography, Washington recounts his personal voyage from the shackles of slavery to the pinnacle of prominence.

The Tuskegee Institute, later to become today's Tuskegee University, plays a large role in the book, so much so that the latter half of Up from Slavery is as much about Tuskegee as it is about Washington. When criticized for limiting the educational horizons of blacks by emphasizing agricultural and vocational subjects at his school, Washington declares that these are the true bases of black economic development.

Although condemned by many contemporary black intellectuals as an accommodationist, if not apologist, for the racism of early twentieth-century America, Washington largely redeems himself. In the autobiography he enunciates his pride in being black and makes clear that the forces that shaped his life came not from his unknown white father, but from his humble black mother.

Up from Slavery is the story of one man's rise to the leadership of his people in the face of a hostile larger society. Along the way he experiences many disappointments and setbacks, but always perseveres.

Publisher: New Brunswick : Transaction Publishers, 2009, c1996.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9781412813112
1412813115
Characteristics: 263 p. ;,26 cm.

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s
squinton
Jun 08, 2013

“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.”

s
squinton
Jun 08, 2013

"In order to be successful in any kind of undertaking, I think the main thing is for one to grow to the point where he completely forgets himself; that is, to lose himself in a great cause. In proportion as one loses himself in this way, in the same degree does he get the highest happiness out of his work."

s
squinton
Jun 08, 2013

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him...Every individual responds to confidence."

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Librarian_Deb Feb 14, 2018

Things that impressed me from this book:
* Booker's firm belief that merit would be recognized and rewarded. He considered this a great universal truth and a consolation for the persecuted. He considered this principle a key to improving racial relations.
*To expand on the above thought, he thought the whole future of race relations hinged on whether or not the members of his race could make themselves of indispensable value to their community
*Again, "the individual who do something that the world wants done will, in the end, make his way regardless of race"
*He thought contact with great men and women of wisdom to be more useful than book learning
*His thoughts on public speaking: "give them an idea for every word"--in other words, don't waste words. It is in injustice to speak merely for the sake of speaking, one should have a deep heartfelt message to deliver.
*"I have found that the happiest people are those who do the most for others; the most miserable are those who do the least"
* He believed in teaching students the dignity of labour, and he had little patience for schools that did not teach this. Indeed, many of the buildings, crops, and things needed by his school were supplied by student labour.
*I love his thoughts on how to best administer and organization and hove good relations between employers/administrators and labour/students: He asked the students to write him a letter or have a meeting with him with their criticisms, complaints and suggestions. He thought many disputes could be avoided if the higher ups would cultivate a habit of getting nearer to their employees, consulting and advising with them, and letting them feel that they have shared interests.

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lukasevansherman
Jan 12, 2014

Along with Frederick Douglass's "Narrative" and DuBois's "The Souls of Black Folks," Booker T. Washington's "Up From Slavery" is one of the most important books of African-American non-fiction of the post-slavery era. An influential educator and advocate for black rights, Washington is a polarizing figure because more radical African-Americans (such as DuBois) accused him of compromise and being overly deferential to whites. There's certainly none of the anger you'll find in Douglass or none of the horrors of slave narratives, but I think Washington did the best he could given the circumstances and this is a milestone in both African-American writing and cultural progress.

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