Sunday, October 10, 2010

Up from Slavery: An Autobiography (Townsend Library Edition)

Up from Slavery: An Autobiography (Townsend Library Edition) Review

A fascinating read about the life and times of Booker T. Washington and his march from slavery to one of the foremost men of his time.

His views may seem quite antiquated in today's world, given what has happened and not happened in the last 100 years in race relations and it is easy to see how Black leaders of today might be critical of Washington's views and perspectives.

But to do so would be to make the all too common mistake of imprinting and transferring today's value system and experiences on a culture and time of long ago. Anyone can look back with 20-20 hindsight and criticize. What matters most is having a plan to move forward from where you are, and Booker T. Washington certainly had that. His is a remarkable story of courage, grace, and iron-willed determination, for himself and for his race.

While today's leaders and purists might criticize Washington, it should never be forgotten that he took the first steps and led his race and the entire South in the first steps, no matter how imperfect they may be in hindsight, up and away from slavery.

There had to be a Booker T. Washington to bridge the gap between what was and what was to be. He knew his role and peformed it well.

Up from Slavery: An Autobiography (Townsend Library Edition) Overview

This Townsend Library classic has been carefully edited to be more accessible to today's students. It includes a background note about the book, an author's biography, and a lively afterword. Acclaimed by educators nationwide, the Townsend Library is helping millions of young adults discover the pleasure and power of reading.

Up from Slavery: An Autobiography (Townsend Library Edition) Specifications

Nineteenth-century African American businessman, activist, and educator Booker Taliaferro Washington's Up from Slavery is one of the greatest American autobiographies ever written. Its mantras of black economic empowerment, land ownership, and self-help inspired generations of black leaders, including Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. In rags-to-riches fashion, Washington recounts his ascendance from early life as a mulatto slave in Virginia to a 34-year term as president of the influential, agriculturally based Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. From that position, Washington reigned as the most important leader of his people, with slogans like "cast down your buckets," which emphasized vocational merit rather than the academic and political excellence championed by his contemporary rival W.E.B. Du Bois. Though many considered him too accommodating to segregationists, Washington, as he said in his historic "Atlanta Compromise" speech of 1895, believed that "political agitation alone would not save [the Negro]," and that "property, industry, skill, intelligence, and character" would prove necessary to black Americans' success. The potency of his philosophies are alive today in the nationalist and conservative camps that compose the complex quilt of black American society.

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*** Product Information and Prices Stored: Oct 10, 2010 17:26:04

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