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Inhaltsangabe: Up from Slavery of the Ratna Sagar Classics Series is an enriched edition that any keen reader of literature will be pleased to have. The book includes a brief, well-written introduction to the autobiography, annotations that are comprehensive, covering not only the meanings of words and phrases peculiar to the period in which the book was written, but explaining any concept or historical event that may not be easily understood or recalled, a summary at the end of each chapter that is concise yet sufficiently detailed to provide a faithful reproduction of the chapter, critical notes at the end of each chapter that present an analysis of the chapter so that the reader can identify the nuances, allusions, and underlying meanings, and therefore appreciate the story better, general notes at the end of the book that discuss the life and character of the author, and the role he played in the fight against racial prejudice, photographs of the author and important people and memorable moments in his life, suggestions for further reading and website links that the reader will find informative and helpful. Described as 'full of practical wisdom and sound common sense', Up from Slavery is the autobiography of one of America's most influential black leaders, Booker Taliaferro Washington, from his birth as a slave till he was about forty-four years old and a leading force in the uplift of the black race. An inspiring story of a man's victory over poverty, ignorance, and racial prejudice to lead his people to knowledge and self-reliance, it is bound to enthuse many young people to devote themselves to some noble and worthwhile cause. An outstanding African-American educator, author, orator, and a dominant leader of the African-American community in the South between 1880 and 1915, Booker was born to a slave woman on the Burroughs tobacco plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. His father was a white man from a neighbouring plantation. Since his childhood, as Booker saw white children of his age sitting at desks and reading books, he craved for education, a right denied to the slaves. At the time the American Civil War ended in 1865, and the slaves became officially free, Booker was nine years old, uneducated, poor, and directionless. He moved with his family to Malden, West Virginia, where his mother joined his stepfather, Washington Ferguson, a runaway slave. Being from a poor family, Booker had to work in a salt mine. Noticing his interest in learning, his mother got him a book from which he learnt the alphabet and to read and write basic words. In 1866, he got a job as a houseboy of the wife of a coal miner. Although a very strict lady with her servants, she allowed him to go to school for an hour every day when she saw his maturity, integrity, and intelligence, as well as his burning desire for education. In 1872, he left home and walked 500 miles to Hampton Institute in Virginia. Along the way he took up odd jobs to support himself. He worked as a janitor of the school to help pay for his tuition. His hard work soon earned him a scholarship. It was here that he learnt the importance of getting a practical education. Graduating with good grades from Hampton in 1875, he later returned to the Institute as an instructor. Between 1876 and 1965, the Jim Crow Laws were passed, which were state and local laws that required racial segregation to be introduced in all public facilities in the Southern states, with a 'separate but equal' status for African-Americans. In these times of despair and pessimism for the blacks in America, Booker decided to write the story of his life in an effort to improve the image of the black community. He thought his story of transformation from a slave to the leader of his community would inspire the African-Americans to follow his path, and also make the whites realize that the blacks could look forward to a bright future. His autobiography was published in 1901 under the name Up From Slavery. In 1881, he founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama for coloured people which he and a few members of his staff and the students of the Institute built with their own hands. He travelled all over the countryside promoting the school and raising money. The Institute taught the students not only book knowledge, but also an industrial trade, as Booker believed that it was important for the black people to be able to earn a living. He was soon recognized as the nation's foremost black educator, a pioneer of black education in the United States, a well-known orator, and an outspoken critic of racism. The Tuskegee Institute, which started in a shanty, grew to possess several buildings, with about 200 members of staff and over 2,000 students when he passed away. Booker remained the head of the Institute till his death in 1915.
About the Author: Booker T Washington (1856-1915) was born into slavery. At a time when education was denied to slaves, he had a craving for it. Post Civil War period saw him attending school, while working as a houseboy. A few years later,he attended the Hampton Institute and earned a scholarship, later returning there as an instructor. In 1881, he founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama for colored people. His autobiography Up From Slavery, published in 1901, continues to inspire many young readers till date.
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