Up From Slavery

Up From Slavery Summary

Booker Taliaferro Washington began life as a slave in Virginia shortly before emancipation, but rose to become one of the most celebrated leaders the African American community has ever had. His principal occupation was as president of the Tuskegee Institute, which he founded in 1881, but he earned national renown as an orator, writer and political advisor. His address at the Atlanta Exposition was a pivotal moment in race relations in America.

Washington believed deeply in the dignity of physical labor, and that merit and talent are eventually rewarded regardless of race or class. The Tuskegee Institution was primarily a technical college, and aimed to teach industrial skills in addition to academic training. Students built many of the buildings on the campus, grew the food that was eaten there, and even made the furniture, tools and vehicles used by the school.

Up from Slavery was originally published as a serialized work in The Outlook, a Christian magazine based in New York, before being collected in a single volume in 1901. This edition includes an introduction by Walter H. Page, a future US ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Book Reviews


great book5 star

Absolutely fantastic. An example of a courageous and industrious man who rose, not by preferential treatment, but by the sweat of his brow and despite the prejudice of others. An excellent compliment to Frederick Douglas’s autobiography.55


Required, inspirational, and thought provoking reading5 star

I have never read a book quite as inspirational as the autobiography of Booker T. Washington. While most of us have heard of and might be a bit familiar with his founding of Tuskegee, I am certain that most Americans are not familiar with the incredible character, determination, and faith in the human spirit that Mr. Washington embodied. This book should be required reading of every high school student in the country and discussed in every school district. For those of us long removed from our high school years, please take the time to learn of Mr. Washington’s thirst for knowledge and belief in labor and dignity. Learn about his heart for both his race and gratitude to the generosity of Americans across the country. To say that America yearns for a leader like Mr. Washington today, would be an understatement of massive proportion.55

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