Up from Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his slow and steady rise from 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.
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The Perfect Reader
I tried listening to the free version of this book on Librevox. While I have enjoyed other audio books from that source, this one was painful. The voice just didn't match the book, and the reader wasn't quite fluent in English. Hearing Andrew Barnes' reading of this book in the sample was what made me get an Audible membership.
When Booker T. Washington and the Lady Principle at the school were inspecting rooms, they found a room where three girls, new from the country were sharing one toothbush. This is just one example of Washington's vivid descriptions of the deep poverty in the south.
Andrew L. Barnes has the perfect voice for this book. His reading voice is dignified yet grounded in a combination of humility and confidence with just the right touch of wry humor. He is so good that it's hard to remember that the book is not being read by Booker T. Washington himself.
Yes, but I couldn't because life requires that grown ups do things.
Andrew L. Barnes is so good that I kinda want to go through Audible and just listen to all the books he reads.
A great inspired story.
- Thomas Johnson