Up from Slavery is Washington's autobiography detailing his rise as a slave child, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education, to his work establishing schools to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the boot-straps. 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, designed to reassure the white community as to the usefulness of educating black people. This book was a best-seller.

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