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Three African-American Classics: Up from Slavery / The Souls of Black Folk / Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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UP FROM SLAVERY The autobiography of Booker T Washington is a startling portrait ofone of the great Americans of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The illegitimate son of 'a white man and a Negro slave, Washington, a man who struggled for his education, would go on to struggle for the dignity of all his people in a hostile and alien society. THE SOULS OF BLACK UP FROM SLAVERY The autobiography of Booker T Washington is a startling portrait ofone of the great Americans of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The illegitimate son of 'a white man and a Negro slave, Washington, a man who struggled for his education, would go on to struggle for the dignity of all his people in a hostile and alien society. THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK W.E.B. DuBois's classic is a major sociological document and one of the momentous books in the mosaic of American literature. No other work has had greater influence on black thinking, and nowhere is the African-American's unique heritage and his kinship with all men so passionately described. NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS Frederick Douglass's Narrative, first published in 1845, is an enlightening and incendiary text. Born into slavery, Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it.


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UP FROM SLAVERY The autobiography of Booker T Washington is a startling portrait ofone of the great Americans of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The illegitimate son of 'a white man and a Negro slave, Washington, a man who struggled for his education, would go on to struggle for the dignity of all his people in a hostile and alien society. THE SOULS OF BLACK UP FROM SLAVERY The autobiography of Booker T Washington is a startling portrait ofone of the great Americans of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The illegitimate son of 'a white man and a Negro slave, Washington, a man who struggled for his education, would go on to struggle for the dignity of all his people in a hostile and alien society. THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK W.E.B. DuBois's classic is a major sociological document and one of the momentous books in the mosaic of American literature. No other work has had greater influence on black thinking, and nowhere is the African-American's unique heritage and his kinship with all men so passionately described. NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS Frederick Douglass's Narrative, first published in 1845, is an enlightening and incendiary text. Born into slavery, Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it.

30 review for Three African-American Classics: Up from Slavery / The Souls of Black Folk / Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Brooks

    These three books should be required reading for every American. Douglas, B.T.Washington and W.E.B. Dubois T stand alongside of G. Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln in their importance and significance in shaping our American way of life. It's a shame that most Harvard or Howard grads have never read these American Classics.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Z

    I finished the first work in this book: Up from Slavery. Washington had a solid work ethic and determination to succeed. His thoughts on greatness, education, the value of meaningful work, the lessons to be gained from associating with great people are lessons we all need to revisit in today's mindset of entitlement. I loved his statement that "great men cultivate love" and the idea that wrongs to any group of people do more to injure the morals of the one perpetuating the wrong than to the targ I finished the first work in this book: Up from Slavery. Washington had a solid work ethic and determination to succeed. His thoughts on greatness, education, the value of meaningful work, the lessons to be gained from associating with great people are lessons we all need to revisit in today's mindset of entitlement. I loved his statement that "great men cultivate love" and the idea that wrongs to any group of people do more to injure the morals of the one perpetuating the wrong than to the target. (I returned the copy to the library so I am quoting from my notes but that is close.) His efforts in founding and raising funds for the Tuskegee Institute taught him much about the generosity of people and the value of working for what one receives. He firmly believed that "without property, industry, skill, economy, intelligence, character, no race can permanently succeed," and also that "man succeed in proportion as he learns to do a common thing in an uncommon manner." Chock full of life lessons and valuable insights, this ought to be required reading, particularly in studying the post-Civil War America.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    Read all three of these books in undergrad. Booker T. Washington's story is amazing overcoming enslavement and his focus on education and morality. The Souls of Black Folks is forever etched in my mind. Favorite chapter, one. The veil. I've carrier the veil metaphor with me through life. It's the first thing that comes to mind when I see this title. According to Du Bois, this veil is worn by all African-Americans because our view on the world social, political, religious, and economically differ Read all three of these books in undergrad. Booker T. Washington's story is amazing overcoming enslavement and his focus on education and morality. The Souls of Black Folks is forever etched in my mind. Favorite chapter, one. The veil. I've carrier the veil metaphor with me through life. It's the first thing that comes to mind when I see this title. According to Du Bois, this veil is worn by all African-Americans because our view on the world social, political, religious, and economically differs from that of white people. The veil represents the color line. It's the social barrier the keeps African- Americans from moving up in the white world. My interpretation. No matter how much or what you achieve, you'll always be "the black girl" that did something or merit as opposed to a regular individual. Frederick Douglass' rise from slavery is incredible. He was such an intellect. He is a primary example of the underlining of slavery for whites that believed Blacks had no intellectual capacity to thrive on their own thus they should be in bondage. His journey from slavery to freedom and public speaker to abolitionist in compelling. Great read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Frans

    I've only read Booker T Washington's autobiography so far. It was a very interesting view into the situation for black people in the 19th century, but he was far too apologetic toward white people for my taste. I'm sure that's why they liked him so much.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Beth Haynes

    Three classics which provide an fascinating look at the struggle to overcome slavery and achieve political equality in America. Good reading for anyone involved in the fight for liberty.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Read Up From Slavery in book group. A fabulous read on slavery and self-improvement from an ex-slave.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joe Soler

    A great collection of three important historical works. These books helped shape a historical period in American history- the early 20th century. Johnson's fictional "Autobiography" is particularly interesting because of its honest appraisal of life across the "Veil" of which DuBois spoke in his work in this collection. Johnson observes society with the eyes of a sociologist, though not quite as systematically as DuBois' actual sociology. Washington's contribution is the defining tome of the Afr A great collection of three important historical works. These books helped shape a historical period in American history- the early 20th century. Johnson's fictional "Autobiography" is particularly interesting because of its honest appraisal of life across the "Veil" of which DuBois spoke in his work in this collection. Johnson observes society with the eyes of a sociologist, though not quite as systematically as DuBois' actual sociology. Washington's contribution is the defining tome of the African-American 'self-help' movement and along with Washington's work helped set the stage for some 70 years of legal Jim Crow segregation. Despite that mixed legacy, it is a work of some significant importance because of its philosophy of education. The three books, taken together are very effective introduction to the history of African-American life during the Nadir in American history, and are in a clear dialogue with each other.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Prochot

    The writings of three great men combine to give us all a three faceted perspective of a pivotal and unusual time in our country. Learning about the Reconstruction after the Civil War as a youngster and a teen, the thought never occurred to me nor was the idea floated by any of my teachers - just what happens to a people who have been "freed" after being enslaved for generations? What are they to do? Where are they to go? What are they? Who are they - as a people, as individuals? Where do they be The writings of three great men combine to give us all a three faceted perspective of a pivotal and unusual time in our country. Learning about the Reconstruction after the Civil War as a youngster and a teen, the thought never occurred to me nor was the idea floated by any of my teachers - just what happens to a people who have been "freed" after being enslaved for generations? What are they to do? Where are they to go? What are they? Who are they - as a people, as individuals? Where do they begin? I found this collection to be moving and enlightening. I would advise all students, all Americans to read this book at least as in introduction to the writings of these men. All three were strong, thoughtful, intelligent and insightful men. They were leaders trying themselves to understand and help their people make sense of an event that was quite frankly, cataclysmic in scope. Outstanding read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elijah

    The Book I read was the "Three Negro Classics". This was a relatively cool book to read. This is far from the normal books I read, but it opened my eyes to certain things I didn't think about at all. It gave me some essential insight to many details of Booker T Washington, and W.E.B Dubios lives. I lived everything about my book. I like how the point of view continuously shifted. One point it was Booker T talking, then the next point it was W.E.B Dubois. I think it's cool that there was more than The Book I read was the "Three Negro Classics". This was a relatively cool book to read. This is far from the normal books I read, but it opened my eyes to certain things I didn't think about at all. It gave me some essential insight to many details of Booker T Washington, and W.E.B Dubios lives. I lived everything about my book. I like how the point of view continuously shifted. One point it was Booker T talking, then the next point it was W.E.B Dubois. I think it's cool that there was more than one book, compacted into one book. The information was very clear, and straight to the point which made me appreciate the book even more. Overall, the book "Three Negro Classics" was a great book. If you are interested in further learning of history, this is a great book to read. This book contains a plethora of facts, different perspectives and opinions. Even though it talks about slavery and the whole experience, it still pointed many positive facts.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    A great sampling of the disparate strains of African-American thought during the early 20th Century. Booker T. Washington makes a very passionate and personal case for the limited objectives that he sought. W.E.B. DuBois showed why those limits were ultimately self-defeating and offered a much broader vision. The most compelling work of the three is the "Autobiography of an ex-Colored Man," a work of fiction centered on the theme of the costs and benefits of "passing" as a Caucasian in that era. A great sampling of the disparate strains of African-American thought during the early 20th Century. Booker T. Washington makes a very passionate and personal case for the limited objectives that he sought. W.E.B. DuBois showed why those limits were ultimately self-defeating and offered a much broader vision. The most compelling work of the three is the "Autobiography of an ex-Colored Man," a work of fiction centered on the theme of the costs and benefits of "passing" as a Caucasian in that era. Although it may sound trite, the lasting impression created by these works is of opportunities missed and the glacial pace of progress in racial equality in this country.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maneesha Jain

    Recommended by Saachi : "The Atlanta Exposition Address" from "Up from Slavery". And then "Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others" from "The Souls of Black Folk". We need more Du Boiss. A large population on the planet is surprisingly still oppressed and I have surprisingly found comfort in my own indifference.. Shame.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Contains Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington; The Souls of Black Folks by William E. B. Dubois; and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson. The stories presented different perspectives of life of Blacks.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I probably would have given this a higher rating but "The Souls of Black Folk" dragged me down. For me it was a more difficult read and actually after about halfway skipped to read the last story and went back later to finish it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I realize that these stories are important in history, but they didn't quite pull me in like other non-fiction stories have in the past. Washington's autobiography was pretty good, but DuBois' writing style really bothered me, but I think I'm being nit-picky. So it was "just okay."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jewell

    Good collection of writings by three prominent African Americans. All three were good reads with all three offering insight into African American life during the late 1800's. Three books three different points of view

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I must have taken an ethnic studies class. I read all three negro classics. It sure opened my eyes.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Val

    I own a crumbling Fourth Printing (1968) of the 1965 edition of this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Where is our modern Booker T.? America needs to revisit him.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Greta

    Just started Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington and already appreciate his candor.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    1) Up from Slavery; Washington, Booker T. 2) The Souls of Black Folk: duBois, W.E.B. 3) The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Johnson, James Weldon

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Reading each of these works was enlightening. The compilation of the three books was interesting and informative

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bode Wilson

    The star review should be viewed as a combination of two different reviews: 3 stars for Booker, 5 for WEB.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Lorraine

    Pertinent to read, esp. now; racism, stereotyping, is still here. Why? I ask myself: There is American, and there is Black American. Why?

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Withun

    -

  25. 5 out of 5

    Royce Ratterman

    Read for personal research - found this book's contents helpful and inspiring. A good book for the researcher and enthusiast.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael F.S.W. Morrison

    "Up from Slavery" by Booker T. Washington should be read by every resident of these United States. So should "The Souls of Black Folks," by W.E.B. Du Bois. My youthful impression of the latter was spoiled by knowledge that he became a communist. In fact, he moved to Ghana in his late years, a country dominated by a communist belief system. But long before that he attended Harvard, where he was the first black student to earn a doctorate, following which he became a professor of history, sociology, "Up from Slavery" by Booker T. Washington should be read by every resident of these United States. So should "The Souls of Black Folks," by W.E.B. Du Bois. My youthful impression of the latter was spoiled by knowledge that he became a communist. In fact, he moved to Ghana in his late years, a country dominated by a communist belief system. But long before that he attended Harvard, where he was the first black student to earn a doctorate, following which he became a professor of history, sociology, and economics at Atlanta University. Much of "The Souls of Black Folks" is about what he found, what he saw, and what he felt in Georgia, especially around Albany. There is no way to exaggerate what I saw in his exposition: Mr. Du Bois is one of the most brilliant writers these United States have produced! No one I've read has or had a better grasp of language, and no one I've read has expressed his thoughts so beautifully. This work is absolutely magnificent, and is a must read. Please. Dr. Washington's autobiography is so inspiring … yet so frustrating: With all the positive responses he got, with all the praise and progress that he was able to note at the time, just before and just after the turn of the 20th century, what the heck happened? Lynchings increased in number, races got forcibly divided, blacks were legally denied education in some places, as well as being oppressed in other ways. There are some beautiful scenes in "Up from Slavery" that make me want to stand and cheer: For example, when he was in a rail car and sitting with two white women who were benefactors to his Tuskegee Institute. He got nervous that the white men around them would get angry. What actually happened was … well, you need to read "Up from Slavery" just for that scene. In later years he was seen by some, such as the aforementioned W.E.B. Du Bois, as being too soft and too willing to keep black folks down and in poverty. NOT what I read in Dr. Washington's work and works. Again, "Up from Slavery" and "The Souls of Black Folks" are beautiful and powerful works of art and history and sociology. Both are important. The third entry, "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man" seems to be a shocking story of a light-skinned man who can "pass for white." I sat reading dumbfounded. Then somehow discovered it's fiction. It's awfully well written, and might even shed some light on the situation of black people of that era, but it is fiction, and needs to be read with that knowledge.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Jusoh

    Three Negro Classics. These are three seminal works in African-American literature by Booker T. Washington, W. E. B Dubois and James Weldon Johnson, renowned intellectuals during the early 20th century. Important writings, particularly if you seek to understand more about African-American history. . I loved reading this. Almost academic. Being a Malaysian, I started with little familiarity. Thankfully, the first piece is a memoir by Washington, who wrote in a clear and neat manner. His legacy is Three Negro Classics. These are three seminal works in African-American literature by Booker T. Washington, W. E. B Dubois and James Weldon Johnson, renowned intellectuals during the early 20th century. Important writings, particularly if you seek to understand more about African-American history. . I loved reading this. Almost academic. Being a Malaysian, I started with little familiarity. Thankfully, the first piece is a memoir by Washington, who wrote in a clear and neat manner. His legacy is mixed since he prioritised industrial education for his community rather than political rights. The second work is a collection of highly-essays by Dubois. I found each to be intense. Dubois was critical of Washington and knew that his people had to have power in the decision-making process of the country. This was when the Jim Crows law was passed, affirming segregation between blacks and whites. The last work is a novel by Johnson on a black man passing as a white person to protect himself and give his children more opportunities. . There is nothing for me to review. A MUST-READ! If you read history, this is a part of it you should learn about. I find the writers' passages on identity and race to be so poignant. Some are relatable. Even in Malaysia, we seem to never be able to escape from it. Nonetheless, we must never lose hope. Perhaps, one day, race can be merely a part of who we are and not something that defines us.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    I had read and rated Washington's inspiring classic "Up from Slavery" previously and I recommend it on a regular basis to anyone who is interested in Black history. In this book I struggled with W.E.B. DuBois. I will go back through "The Souls of Black Folk" for my own benefit. As for Johnson's book, it was well written, held my interest and added clarity to my impression/understanding on how a Black person is likely to feel about meeting me, an older white man. Johnson's life included a number I had read and rated Washington's inspiring classic "Up from Slavery" previously and I recommend it on a regular basis to anyone who is interested in Black history. In this book I struggled with W.E.B. DuBois. I will go back through "The Souls of Black Folk" for my own benefit. As for Johnson's book, it was well written, held my interest and added clarity to my impression/understanding on how a Black person is likely to feel about meeting me, an older white man. Johnson's life included a number of unusual and interesting turns. It's a great story and a classic.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Very enlightening, not only for understanding the southern black, but also other struggling folks around the world who are trying to cope in free market society. Thomas Dowell has some fascinating context for this book in his "Black Rednecks and White Liberals."

  30. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    PLS 237: U.S. Political Thought DuBois is one of the best writers I have come across lately

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