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 text, while certainly a biography of his life, is in fact an illustration of the problem facing African Americans by detailing the problems of one.
By showing how he has risen from servitude to success, he demonstrates how others of his race can do the same, as well as how sympathizers can aid in the process. This book was first released as a serialized work in 1900 through The Outlook, a Christian newspaper of New York. It is important to mention that 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. Washington was a somewhat controversial figure in his own lifetime, and W.
E. B. Du Bois, for example, criticized some of his views. The book was, however, a best-seller, and remained the most popular African American autobiography. THEME OF THE STORY ·Education ·What it means to be your own person ·Industriousness ·Humility ·Unity ·Reform ·The people’s capacity for change ·Thrift ·Poverty among the black population PLOT In 1860, as the American Experiment threatened to explode into a bloody civil war, there were as many as four hundred thousand slave-owners in the United States, and almost four million slaves.
The nation was founded upon the idea that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The nation would pay a bloody cost for denying that right to more than twelve percent of its population. But when slavery was first brought to America’s shores, this war, and even the nation it tore apart, was centuries in the future. With incredibly detailed historical reenactments, expert commentary and the stories of slavery told through first-hand accounts, this is an epic struggle 400 years in the making. A journey into the past like none other.
This is the story of these men and women who by their hands laid the foundation of what would become the most powerful nation on Earth. CHARACTERISATION I. Booker T. Washington Because this is his autobiography, his ideas and philosophies, dominate the narrative. He takes us from his birth to 1901 and shows us all the experiences he had in his journey out of slavery to dignity. II. Booker’s Mother This character doesn’t actually speak much in the narrative, but she is a very strong presence because of her influence on her son’s life. III. Mrs. Ruffner Booker comes to work in her house and it’s from her that he learns the value of cleanliness.
She becomes a great friend who gives him support whenever her needs it. IV. General Samuel C. Armstrong He is the most dominant influence in Booker’s life. As the founder of the Hampton Institute, he provides many young Negroes the opportunity for an education, including Booker. V. Miss Mary F. Mackie She is the admission counselor when Booker seeks entrance to Hampton. She tests him through the value of cleanliness and work before she will admit him to the school. VI. Miss Olive A. Davidson She is Booker’s second wife and has a very strong influence over Tuskegee in the eight years she is there.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to express my special thanks of gratitude to my teacher Mr. Sajad as well as our principal Mr. Thakur Mulchandani who gave me the golden opportunity to do this wonderful project on the book Up From Slavery, which also helped me in doing a lot of Research and i came to know about so many new things. I am really thankful to them. Secondly i would also like to thank my parents and friends who helped me a lot in finishing this project within the limited time. BIBLIOGRAPHY Book-Up From Slavery www. wikipedia. com www. thebestnotes. com www. bartleby. com