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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 April 2005
In 1901, Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) published this autobiography. Born into slavery, after emancipation, Mr. Washington developed a philosophy that African-Americans needed to sweep away the ignorance that their subservient position had left them with, and earn the respect of the whites through hard work and excellence. In 1881 he founded the Tuskegee Institute to teach African-Americans how to study, how to work hard and intelligently (producing better results than the white businesses of the day), and how to have respect for themselves and others. This is Mr. Washington's story of his youth and his success at Tukegee.
This is a fascinating and uplifting book. Though cognizant of the racism that often surrounded him, Mr. Washington never lost his faith in the basic goodness of the people of all colors that he met. The only problem I had with this excellent book was the knowledge I could not shake, that Mr. Washington's faith was not rewarded, and the white community of the day would not give the African-American community respect and fair treatment.
That said, though, this is a great and wonderful book, which should rightly be considered an American classic. If you want to read a book that is a window on the America of the late nineteenth century, or if you want an uplifting book about a man of faith and love, then I highly recommend that you get this book!
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on 13 February 2000
A most brilliant book, an honest and inspiring account, Washington worked tirelessly for the cause of the coloured race and at the same time endeavoured to bring blacks and whites together to live and work in harmony. I only started to become interested in reading accounts of ex-slaves after reading Maya Angelou`s autobiographical books, it just seems to have led from there, but I am learning more than ever! I look forward to reading other people`s reviews in the future.
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on 18 December 2015
Excellent biography,inspirational!
An account full of fortitude,resilience and vision.
If you are looking for a well written and inspirational biography that will provoke you it is this one.
How a former slave became a great leader and a living torch to his people is something that still amazes me!
I highly recommend this book.
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on 1 July 2016
At the time this book was written black writers were few. What makes the book so incredible was not the book itself but a self educated slave could have written it and that a former slave could have come out of slavery and educate himself to be a teacher. This is why so many African-Americans are able to rise to be teachers at many collages and universities in the USA. It is a positive book that shows that hard work and determination can over many obstacles and that education can lead to success in life even for a former slave.
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on 6 September 2014
This book is amazing - While there are books talking from a slaves point of view what life was like. Booker's experience is more about once he was made free, an in depth biography of the extent he went to .., to learn to read and educate himself. Then he sets about assisting and helping many many other former slaves get a technical and academic education which helped them be productive people to society and to themselves for the rest of their lives. This man devoted his life in the persute of lifting others from lowly station to be educated and productive. Many of and most of those he educated only lacked education simply because of the color of their skin and race prejudice that still existed many many years despite slavery being abolished
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on 12 June 2013
This is the story of Booker Washington and starts out very interesting when he talks about his life as a slave. It gives a great insight into how life for the slaves changes once they are freed. It shows his struggle to get himself an education and he does come across as an exceptional person who helped in educating the freed slaves and who helped inter racial relationships in the USA. However once he starts up the Tuskagee Institute it switches to being a history of this establishment. His 3 wives and his children are only mentioned in passing but every detail about setting up the university is recorded. I did not buy the book to read about the setting up of a univeristy however noble and good this may have been.I have to say I had no idea who he was when I bought the book as I had never heard of him before. At least now I am a bit more educated.
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on 1 March 2013
I loved this book. Not only did the author describe the period before slavery was abolished, but he went on to describe how he clawed his way out of his situation and through sheer determination made a much better life for himself.
I particularly liked the fact that he described the help he received from others including the white population. He does not come across as feeling sorry for himself, although he may have been forgiven for doing so. He made up his mind to better himself and in doing so, he helped others to do the same. He made it clear to them that it would not be easy and if they were prepared to work hard and obey the rules, they could indeed better themselves as he had done. He went on to become a well respected member of society. To say more may spoil the book for those who have not read it but I think it truly deserves the five stars I have given it.
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on 21 April 2016
This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. Booker T lived one of the most interesting and inspirational lives in recent history. Booker T's life is one from being born into slavery, working hard to achieve his goals and then try to better his race for the future. He takes a different view on how African Americans can integrate into society. His views on education and the importance of practical skills and academia is something I have not come across and opened my eyes up to how people should be taught. This is a must read.
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on 28 July 2014
This book is so so so brilliant - Only God knows why I hadn't read it earlier. Have even ordered copies for friends! An excellent book.
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on 28 April 2016
A very good, well written and inspiring book that gives us a true insight into the after effects of slavery and how African Americans fought to pick up the pieces of their lives after the horrific effects of slavery.
This is a book that every black person world wide should read.
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