Up from Slavery
First Edition   ©2003

Up from Slavery

with Related Documents

Booker T. Washington , W. Fitzhugh Brundage (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-39448-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-39448-6; Format: Paper Text, 256 pages

Up From Slaveryis one of the most widely read African American autobiographies in the English language. It details how prominent African American leader Booker T. Washington rose from slavery to become one of the nation’s most prominent orators and educators at the turn of the 20th century. This reprint of the original 1901 edition is enhanced by 12 related documents and an essay by W. Fitzhugh Brundage that provides students with the necessary background and context to appreciate the role of Up From Slavery in American history. It addresses Washington’s life and career, criticisms of Washington from within the African American community, the social and political context in which the book was published, reactions to its publication, and the ways in which Washington carefully crafted his autobiography to further his cause among white audiences. Document headnotes, a chronology of Washington’s life, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography provide further pedagogical support.
“This is an excellent book. It addresses a number of issues important to African American history and literature. The introduction is very successful in exposing the tension between the subject of autobiography — the crafted public self — and the far more complex, indeed enigmatic subject of real life. For those interested in the role of the individual in history, this book sheds light on the way Booker T. Washington used his skills of self-representation to amass power and influence in a racist society — his identity imposed forever upon the politics of racial self-help and the history of the New South.”

— Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University