BOOKER T. WASHINGTON by Shirley Graham


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An emotional biography of Booker T. Washington, this has nevertheless been based on careful research and contains imaginative recreations of many of the actual scenes of Washington's life. His was a dramatic and meaningful life and the Judgment of this book is not meant to decry that fact. As it stands, the book should do a lot of good. Readable narratives follow young Booker ""up from slavery"" through his early life on the Burroughs plantation, the first freedom in Malden, West Virginia, the opportunities of schooling, and later the post of the Negroes' school in Hampton Roads that meant a precious chance for the young man. Then came Tuskegee and the opportunity for his philosophy of education and the dignity of work. The rest -- Washington's rise to fame, the grants and recognition from such as Carnegie and Roosevelt (T.R.) is told in a framework of Just rewards coming to the worthy. But, in the relative absence of such elements as the feelings of other groups towards Washington, the whole seems to take on an unreal sweetness. Shirley Graham has perhaps done better work in her other Negro biographies, Your Most Humble Servant (1949) and There Was Once a Slave (1947).

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1955
Publisher: Messner