Saturday, February 6, 2021

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington and narrated by Noah Waterman this month for Black History Month. 

Listening time for Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington is 6 hours, 8 minutes.

I have a long list of books I would like to read in order to learn more about black history, but I must truthfully admit that Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington was a surprise reading choice for me as I had never really thought about reading this book until this year. 

I learned though Wikipedia the following about Up From Slavery and Booker T. Washington himself:
Washington was a controversial figure in his own lifetime, and W. E. B. Du Bois, among others, criticized some of his views. The book was a best-seller, and remained the most popular African American autobiography until that of Malcolm X.[2] In 1998, the Modern Library listed the book at No. 3 on its list of the 100 best nonfiction books of the 20th century, and in 1999 it was also listed by the conservative Intercollegiate Review as one of the "50 Best Books of the Twentieth Century".[3]
I enjoyed reading about Booker T. Washington's life through reading his memoir, Up From Slavery. I am enormously impressed with his extremely humble beginnings to becoming a highly educated, mover and shaker, educator and orator and so much more through hard work, discipline, and perseverance. Booker T. Washington definitely shows us that by having a vision and going after what one wants in life, you can achieve and overcome just about anything you set your mind out to do.

Booker T. Washington earned an honorary master's degree from Harvard University, was well respected about both whites and blacks, built the Tuskegee Institute, traveled widely across the US and around Europe, and succeeded in building strong relationships with influential people during his lifetime to highlight but a few of so many wonderful achievements he earned.

Below is a summary for Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington from Goodreads:

Booker T. Washington fought his way out of slavery to become an educator, statesman, political shaper, and proponent of the "do-it-yourself" idea. In his autobiography, he describes his early life as a slave on a Virginia plantation, his steady rise during the Civil War, his struggle for education, his schooling at the Hampton Institute, and his years as founder and president of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which was devoted to helping minorities learn useful, marketable skills.

He gives an account of his travels, speeches, and meetings with various leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt in the White House. Employing a didactic tone, Washington deftly sets forth his belief that the black man’s salvation lies in education, industriousness, and self-reliance. This is the true-life story of a man of real courage and dedication.

Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856-1915), founder of Tuskegee Institute, was a leading educator, author, and statesman who rose from slavery to become internationally famous.

I am giving Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. I have not read this yet but I plan to. I am glad you found it good.

    1. Thank you and I hope you enjoy reading, Up From Slavery as well.

  2. Interesting, I'm aware of Booker T. Washington but hadn't really considered reading his book. It sounds like it has a relatively short listen time too.

  3. I've never read this book, although I've always heard admiring comments about it. Washington, from what I know of him, really was a fascinating individual and important to the history of African-Americans and indeed to the country. Kudos to you for reading it.

    1. I've enjoyed reading books that have enlightened and educated me on the history of important figures and events in our nation. I also like branching out periodically by reading books that may not be ones I'd normally would chose to read.