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Booker T. Washington was born a slave in 1858, yet roughly forty years later he had established the Tuskegee Institute. Befriended by a U.S. president and corporate titans, beloved and reviled by the black community, Washington was one of the most influential voices on the postslavery scene. But Washington's message of gradual accommodation was accepted by some and rejected by others, and, almost a century after his death, he is still one of the most controversial and misunderstood characters in American history.
Uncle Tom or New Negro? does much more than provide yet another critical edition of Washington's memoirs. Instead, Carroll has interviewed an outstanding array of African American luminaries including Julianne Malveaux, cultural critics Debra Dickerson and John McWhorter, and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and radio talk-show host Karen Hunter, among others. In a dazzling collection bursting with invigorating and varying perspectives, (e.g. What would Booker T. think of Sean Combs or Russell Simmons? Was Washington a "tragic buffoon" or "a giver of hope to those on the margins of the margins"?) this cutting-edge book allows you to reach your own conclusions about a controversial and perhaps ultimately enigmatic figure.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 08-22-17
Timely advice with valuable commentary
I've been a fan of Professor Washington for some time without ever truly read his works. His story of building up himself and Tuskegee is impressive. I had a few friends who are Tuskegee alumni and they are impressive professionally.
I'm also aware of his negative reputation and how he is often juxtaposed with Dr. DuBois. It's this false dichotomy that has been the reason we don't know enough about Washington's efforts and advice. This book attempts to offer both sides and a middle to the discussion.
I suggest starting with Up from Slavery then coming back for the commentaries. The narrator does a wonderful job as well.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Bashy on 11-09-17
Informative and eye opening
Firstly, if like myself you haven’t heard of Booker T Washington before then I’d advise you listen to the book first rather than the opinions beforehand. I would have done so in hindsight, as the book was then listened to from an angle of the arguments given beforehand rather than just the book itself and then reflecting on it.
The book itself is frankly amazing. The achievements made were tremendous given the time period and whilst there were certain aspects that I wouldn’t agree with personally, given the context I can understand.
There is a lot to learn for all non white communities in this not just for African Americans. Many of the post slavery struggles can be related to.
The overall message of hope and collaboration is very strong and welcome.
The narrator was very well suited to this, delivering in a strong and likeable tone.