Up from Slavery: An Autobiography
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Up from Slavery: An Autobiography

By Booker T. Washington
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Book Description

Up from Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his personal experiences in working to rise from the position of a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools—most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama—to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the bootstraps. He reflects on the generosity of both teachers and philanthropists who helped in educating blacks and native Americans. He describes his efforts to instill manners, breeding, health and a feeling of dignity to students. His educational philosophy stresses combining academic subjects with learning a trade (something which is reminiscent of the educational theories of John Ruskin). Washington explained that the integration of practical subjects is partly designed to reassure the white community as to the usefulness of educating black people.


This book was first released as a serialized work in 1900 through The Outlook, a Christian newspaper of New York. This work was serialized because this meant that during the writing process, Washington was able to hear critiques and requests from his audience and could more easily adapt his paper to his diverse audience.

Table of Contents
  • UP FROM SLAVERY: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    • Preface
    • Introduction
  • UP FROM SLAVERY
    • Chapter I. A Slave Among Slaves
    • Chapter II. Boyhood Days
    • Chapter III. The Struggle For An Education
    • Chapter IV. Helping Others
    • Chapter V. The Reconstruction Period
    • Chapter VI. Black Race And Red Race
    • Chapter VII. Early Days At Tuskegee
    • Chapter VIII. Teaching School In A Stable And A Hen-House
    • Chapter IX. Anxious Days And Sleepless Nights
    • Chapter X. A Harder Task Than Making Bricks Without Straw
    • Chapter XI. Making Their Beds Before They Could Lie On Them
    • Chapter XII. Raising Money
    • Chapter XIII. Two Thousand Miles For A Five-Minute Speech
    • Chapter XIV. The Atlanta Exposition Address
    • Chapter XV. The Secret Of Success In Public Speaking
    • Chapter XVI. Europe
    • Chapter XVII. Last Words
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