Up from Slavery: The Autobiography of Booker T. Washington

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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Sep 23, 2010 - African Americans - 180 pages
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 - November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator and political leader. He was the dominant figure in the African American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915. He was representative of the last generation of black leaders born in slavery and spoke on behalf of blacks living in the South. Washington was born into slavery to a white father and a slave mother in a rural area in southwestern Virginia. After emancipation, he worked in West Virginia in a variety of manual labor jobs before making his way to Hampton Roads seeking an education. Washington received national prominence for his Atlanta Address of 1895, attracting the attention of politicians and the public as a popular spokesperson for African American citizens. Washington built a nationwide network of supporters in many black communities, with black ministers, educators and businessmen composing his core supporters. Washington played a dominant role in black politics, winning wide support in the black community and among more liberal whites (especially rich Northern whites). He gained access to top national leaders in politics, philanthropy and education.Washington's efforts included cooperating with white people and enlisting the support of wealthy philanthropists, which helped raise funds to establish and operate thousands of small community schools and institutions of higher education for the betterment of blacks throughout the South, work which continued for many years after his death.

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User Review  - lydia1879 - LibraryThing

Articulate, and an incredible story. Washington tells of how he worked to become the principal of the Tuskegee Institute for African American people. By sheer force of will and determination, this man ... Read full review

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User Review  - debs4jc - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Booker Taliaferro Washington, 1856 - 1915 Booker T. Washington was born a slave in Hales Ford, Virginia, near Roanoke. After the U.S. government freed all slaves in 1865, his family moved to Malden, West Virginia. There, Washington worked in coal mines and salt furnaces. He went on to attend the Hampton, Virginia Normal and Agricultural Institute from 1872-1875 before joining the staff in 1879. In 1881 he was selected to head the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, a new teacher-training school for blacks, which he transformed into a thriving institution, later named Tuskegee University. His controversial conviction that blacks could best gain equality in the U.S. by improving their economic situation through education rather than by demanding equal rights was termed the Atlanta Compromise, because Washington accepted inequality and segregation for blacks in exchange for economic advancement. Washington advised two Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, on racial problems and policies, as well as influencing the appointment of several blacks to federal offices. Washington became a shrewd political leader and advised not only Presidents, but also members of Congress and governors. He urged wealthy people to contribute to various black organizations. He also owned or financially supported many black newspapers. In 1900, Washington founded the National Negro Business League to help black business firms. Washington fought silently for equal rights, but was eventually usurped by those who ideas were more radical and demanded more action. Washington was replaced by W. E. B. Du Bois as the foremost black leader of the time, after having spent long years listening to Du Bois deride him for his placation of the white man and the plight of the negro. He died in 1915.

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