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Up from Slavery (1901)

av Booker T. Washington

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,962293,274 (3.89)53
`My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings.'For half a century from its publication in 1901 Up from Slavery was the best known book written by an African American. The life of ex-slave Booker T Washington embodied the legendary rise of the American self-made man, and his autobiography gave prominence for the first time to the voice of agroup which had to pull itself up from extreme adversity. Washington attributes his success to his belief in many of the virtues celebrated by Benjamin Franklin: selflessness, industry, pragmatism, and optimism. But from behind the mask of the humble, plainspoken schoolmaster come hints thatreveal Washington the ambitious and tough-minded analyst of power who had to balance the demands of blacks with the constraints imposed on him by whites.To read Up from Slavery is to explore the means by which Washington rose to become the most influential and powerful black American of his time. How far he compromised African American rights in order to achieve his aims remains a matter of controversy.… (mer)
  1. 10
    Autobiography of Josiah Henson: An Inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom av Josiah Henson (HistReader)
    HistReader: Both former slaves erect establishments which advance their race: Henson, a city with industry and schools; and Washington, a learning institution which was well respected. As well, both men went on to attend, as esteemed guests, events which had not been graced with the representation of non-Whites. Henson, the World's Fair in London; Washington, the Atlanta Exposition.… (mer)
  2. 00
    The Souls of Black Folk av W. E. B. Du Bois (Anonym användare)
    Anonym användare: Black history, American History, Black political thought.
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http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/14417483

A good memoir for filling in some blanks. I had heard of Booker T. Washington but did not even recall for what. Now I know both what Washington wanted us to know and what he did not.

Washington was born about seven years (based on current information about his birth) before Lincoln freed the slaves. He was born into slavery and of course knew nothing else until his family was freed. Freedom was not an easy road, and he soon learned that making himself useful would take him places.

He was obsessed with learning to read and so he accomplished it, sometimes through a kind of subterfuge to avoid his father's rules. Stepfather, actually, as his biological father is unknown. He worked hard to get into Hampton, a school that promised him a way out of poverty and into a more fulfilling life. Eventually he was asked to start another school in Tuskegee, Alabama, and it was here that he found his life's work. Through building the school and speaking about it and about "the race problem", he became a well-known orator.

While others demanded real equality, Washington was more cautious. He valued his connections with whites, and they responded. Through his efforts he built a formidable school on a large piece of land and provided an education to thousands of African-Americans. This private school still exists and is thriving.

Washington's position was that the newly-freed slave did not know how to live in a free world. He needed to learn basic skills, like teeth brushing, and he needed to learn how to behave. He should never set himself up as better than others of any color. He needed, above all, to learn manual skills: farming, ranching, building, welding. By these means he could set himself up, be accepted and valued, and raise future generations of educated yet humble people.

Washington also did not concern himself with segregation. He was delighted when the color bars were broken for him, as when he was invited to events normally only open to whites. According to his memoir, skin color would become a non-issue over time, when whites just naturally accepted the grateful, hard-working blacks into their world.

I have three different editions of this book. One, a kindle version, features a foreward by a white contemporary of Washington, W.H. Page, praising the work and emphasizing the impact of Washington's teacher at Hampton, Samuel Armstrong. The Dover Thrift Edition (this book) includes just a short "note", unsigned, saying it was "carefully constructed to present a favorable view of its subject". That comment made me curious but when I looked online I mostly saw the accusations of "Uncle Tom", which I had expected. More enlightening is the third edition, an elderly Dell paperback, which includes a lengthier introduction by Louis Lomax. Lomax was an African-American writer who was active in civil rights organizations. His introduction fills in the gap for me: he points out that if Washington had actually lived and taught the way he presents himself in the autobiography, Lomax would have no quarrel with him. However, in practice he apparently favored manual labor so much over book learning that he discouraged students from carrying books around on campus. He further accepted segregation, assuming that blacks would have to earn their way to parity with whites.

The writing is not spectacular. It skips past significant personal events, like Washington's marriages and the deaths of his wives with barely a mention. It needs better editing. But it tells in detail what it was like to live in that period right after the civil war, when former slaves were finding their way with the few skills they had been allowed to master. And, although one can argue with Washington's contention (echoed by Walter H. Page) that book learning was worse than nothing in this transitional period, there is no doubt that Washington was wildly successful in his quest to create a school that would take others "up from slavery" to a better life. Perhaps he was the right person at the right time, to be followed by more literate, more demanding, more challenging African-Americans. ( )
1 rösta slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington presents a positive outlook about race relations in America. Washington’s life began as a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. He described many of the hardships and mind-boggling experiences by his family of a mother and three children. But Washington had good things to say about his slave masters. With the Emancipation Proclamation his family was free and they moved to Malden, West Virginia where they continued to live in a shack. Under debilitating circumstances he found work in the salt and coal mines.
Washington got an opportunity to improve his circumstances when he applied and started working at the home of a white landowner Mrs. Viola Ruffner. After working with her family for some time conversation he overheard while at the mines about Hampton Institute for blacks percolated in his mind. Prior to this time he had benefited from tutoring given to blacks that enabled him to read and write. So once he had made some money at the Ruffners he was able to leave this family to travel to Hampton, Virginia to seek an education. This trip was a harrowing experience since his funds were low, and it was in winter when he had to sleep under a sidewalk to survive the cold nights.
Despite these difficulties Washington was able to make it to Hampton Institute where he became a student doing odd jobs as a janitor until he graduated. In the course of these experiences he developed a bond with the principal of Hampton Institute General Samuel C. Armstrong who was to be most influential in his life. On Washington’s return to West Virginia he became a teacher and taught poor blacks of his community. But soon he was called away to take a position at Hampton Institute where he worked as a tutor, until such time he was recommended by General Armstrong to lead a fledgling school at Tuskegee, Alabama. Tuskegee Institute was Washington’s baby which he built from nothing to become a notable school in the South with grants from John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and local charities. The school blended academic work, and trades with industrial preparation.
While at Tuskegee Washington became a familiar presence on the lecture circuit speaking about Tuskegee Institute and raising money for different projects for the institution. He travelled as much as six months each year in the North and South for this purpose. These missions were covered in the press, and he was hailed as the spokesman for black America after the likes of Frederick Douglass. One of his notable speeches was at the Atlantic Exposition in Georgia. He was the first black recipient of an honorary degree from Harvard University, and was influential in having President and Mrs. McKinley and his cabinet visit Tuskegee Institute. ( )
  erwinkennythomas | Jun 20, 2020 |
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 managed (not without help) to erect a school especially for black people, in the South, in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

I love how Washington writes, he's so melodic. I can sense his relief, his sadness, his gratefulness. I loved hearing about him as a teacher because I'm trained as an elementary teacher so I really do feel the love for his students through him.

Parts of the book were dry because he spoke of donor after donor of people who donated to the school. Which is fine, but it felt almost like a list he had to read off, at times. At others, I felt a genuine note come through in the text.

He is the American dream incarnate, and he embodies that so much, and I don't know how to feel about that. Of course he succeeded and is using his privilege to lift up others. And it's not as if he hasn't directly faced (and overcome) the obstacles put in front of him by systems not designed for him, but to keep him out.

He was very mild in his descriptions of the South and rarely referred to any personal slights a racist person might've had against him, only ever referring to the plights of his race as a whole. Which, again, is fine, but it did feel a little as though someone had edited it to be directed towards a milder audience.

Either that, or Washington is excellent at forgiveness. I suspect it's both.

The part where he went on holiday for the first time in his 18 years of tireless work nearly made me cry. A book that will stay with me for a long time, and hopefully I will include it in a video to come. ( )
  lydia1879 | Feb 1, 2020 |
Reprint originally published 1900 Doubleday
  PAFM | Oct 19, 2019 |
Up from Slavery is about the life of Booker T. Washington. Washington started very poor. He was often turned down for jobs he was more than capable of due to his race. This book follows closely Washington's rise from janitor of a school to possessing the school.

This is a good book for children because it shows triumph even through the most adverse situations. Booker T.Washington is someone everyone should know about and possess a great deal of respect for. I believe children need more role models and that Washington is one of the best.

Extension ideas: students could make a timeline of Washington's life.
Students could write about a time they overcame a hard situation.
  Db194309 | Jul 22, 2017 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Booker T. Washingtonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Forbes, BartIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gillen, DenverIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Harlan, Louis R.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Reed, IshmaelInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Thrasher, Max Bennettmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Washington, Booker T., IIIInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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This volume is dedicated to my Wife, Mrs. Margaret James Washington And to my Brother, Mr. John H. Washington.
Whose patience, fidelity and hard work have gone far to make the work at Tuskegee successful.
Washington, Margaret James
Washington, John H.
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I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia.
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`My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings.'For half a century from its publication in 1901 Up from Slavery was the best known book written by an African American. The life of ex-slave Booker T Washington embodied the legendary rise of the American self-made man, and his autobiography gave prominence for the first time to the voice of agroup which had to pull itself up from extreme adversity. Washington attributes his success to his belief in many of the virtues celebrated by Benjamin Franklin: selflessness, industry, pragmatism, and optimism. But from behind the mask of the humble, plainspoken schoolmaster come hints thatreveal Washington the ambitious and tough-minded analyst of power who had to balance the demands of blacks with the constraints imposed on him by whites.To read Up from Slavery is to explore the means by which Washington rose to become the most influential and powerful black American of his time. How far he compromised African American rights in order to achieve his aims remains a matter of controversy.

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Tantor Media

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Utgåvor: 1400102677, 140011134X

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