Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery

Words: 654
Pages: 3

Up from Slavery is a captivating autobiography in which Booker T. Washington describes his journey from a slave to the founder of the Tuskegee Institute. Washington relates to us his birth into slavery, as his mother was a slave he was considered the property of her owner. After the Emancipation, he and his family moved to Malden, West Virginia where he would work during the day with his stepfather in the mines and taking school lessons at night. His thirst for education drove him to travel over two hundred miles for the chance to be admitted into the Hampton Institute, where he would eventually become a teacher. Later he founded the Tuskegee Institute, which in the process of raising funds for across the country he became renowned as an important speaker. In this book, Booker T. Washington, through simple narrative, displays the themes that there is dignity in labor, and that merit is recognized no matter the color of one's skin.

Booker T. Washington, though a highly educated man, uses a simple style of writing throughout the entirety of Up from Slavery. His conversational tone is obvious even from the very beginning of the book: "I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. I'm not quite sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth,
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This is one of the themes that occur most often. Washington believed that by making oneself invaluable to a society "... through his skill, intelligence, and character..." (141) he will make his way even in light of prejudice. "Say what we will, there is something in human nature which we cannot blot out, which makes one man, in the end, recognize and reward merit in another, regardless of colour or race." (163). While reading one would find several examples of the belief that anyone who does something worthy of respect and merit will we rewarded or recognized no matter his