Friday, December 3, 2010

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington:  once a slave, beat down and told he could do nothing, accomplish nothing; now an example to all men, white and colored, raised above others.  Why?  Hard work and a desire to do good in this world.  He accomplished more than a lot, from getting into a school by sweeping and cleaning a room, to teaching at a night school, to starting Tuskegee, to speaking at huge events at which no black man had ever spoken.  He met great men, did great things, built a great community, and loved greatly.

He wrote this autobiography about his truly great life.  He wrote it simply, giving facts in a very interesting way (one thing that he felt was important while giving speeches).  I had a hard time staying interested because I was very busy while reading it and felt like I had to rush to get it done.  However, I liked it enough to know that I'll read it again in a less-busy time and really immerse myself in it.  There's so much to learn, so much to discover in a life like Washington's.  While reading it I couldn't help but be thankful for everything in my life.  I was born with many luxuries given to me.  Booker T. Washington started out with the clothes on his back and a dirt floor to sleep on.  Education was a piece of paradise to him; food was a luxury beyond all comparison.  I have always had both of those, in abundance.

One word to describe this book would be thankful.  Not the word I would normally use to describe a book, but really, it is.  Booker T. Washington's thanks resonates throughout the whole story.  Even when he was hungry and on the streets - I could almost taste his thanks whenever he'd receive a meal or a warm place to stay.

Wonderful.  Recommended to all who love a good autobiography, and even to those who don't.

1 comment:

  1. You might be interested in reading a clipping from the Washington Intelligencer 1826 about slavery?

    ps. this comment from