Book Review: Up from Slavery

Booker T (thumbnail)by Brad Nelson
After having put this book aside for a while, I finally finished Booker T. Washington’s “Up From Slavery.” You realize just how destructive and pathetic the “civil rights” movement has become (filled with race-mongers such as Jesse Jackson) when you see the approach of a good and decent man. As Allan West says, blacks today really are on another type of plantation.

Booker T. Washington was fresh off the old one. And he did something you just don’t see these days. He worked hard to unite the races instead of fomenting grievance. Instead of telling his race that they were owed a living by whitey, he told them they must work hard and get an education.

Had the South followed his lead (and many white Southerns did and joined in the cause) instead of following the Democrat Party-backed KKK and the entire attitude of marginalizing blacks, we would be a hundred years ahead of where we are now.

This biography is not quite as gripping as that of the one written by Frederick Douglass, but they don’t overlap. Douglass’ biography mainly covers his life as a slave. Washington’s takes a look at that unique post-war period when nobody knew what to do. There were millions of uneducated former slaves who somehow how to make it in a society that was also filled with its share of uneducated white people.

Washington was a practical man. His philosophy was that if members of his race got a good education and made themselves useful, the rest would take care of itself. He wanted economic opportunity and wasn’t as concerned with social equality. I think it was a smart move. We see that today. Things such as affirmative action simply breed resentment. But when someone of any race can fix your car or whatever, that is the road to putting little emphasis of race.

By the sheer will of his eloquence and good ideas, Booker T. Washington gained adherents from all races, north and south. It is a forgotten time. Now race and victimhood are the mainstay of Democrat Party politics. A man such as Washington would have been considered a dreaded enemy of the party. Washington stressed hard work and education, not grievance and hand-outs. I wonder how many blacks are aware of their own history. The only choice they have is not the cancerous grievance-mongers that are so prevalent today. • (3652 views)

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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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3 Responses to Book Review: Up from Slavery

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Washington also believed in reconciliation. Note that early on, he suggests that slaves in many cases would have fought for their masters — by their own choice. I will also note that in addition to reading this, and also a biography of Douglass, I’ve also read a couple of biographies of one of Washington’s professors — George Washington Carver. (My housemate has Carver relations back in Arkansas, and may well be related to GWC’s owner — and thus to GWC himself, given the nature of slavery. But my interest in Carver dates back to a Reader’s Digest condensed version of one of his biographies.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Very interesting, Timothy. I know next to nothing about George Washington Carver. Of course, now you’ve piqued my interest. I hope you get around to writing a review of one of those biographies of Carver. Even a brief one is fine. Longer than a horoscope, shorter than a movie review. 😉

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Unfortunately, I don’t have any of them. The condensed version was in the magazine, and I have no idea what happened to those other than simply being left behind on one of our moves. The other was checked out of a library, where no doubt one can find others.

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