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Three Negro Classics

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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.

paper, 512 pages
Published February 1st 1999 by Avon (first published 1910)
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  364 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kevin Brooks
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
David Withun
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, favorites
Contained in this book are three essential works for those interested in the history in the history of African-Americans and even of the United States as a whole, as the African-American experience is one quite important aspect of the wider American experience. Each of these is a great book in its own right; the effect of reading the three successively, all combined in a single volume, is tremendous. Each tells the story, from a unique perspective, of one of the greatest injustices in the histor ...more
Jodi Z
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: st1140
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 ...more
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
Joe Soler
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 19, 2015 added it
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
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Maneesha Jain
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 50b, own-it
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."
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Where is our modern Booker T.? America needs to revisit him.
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-group-read
Read Up From Slavery in book group. A fabulous read on slavery and self-improvement from an ex-slave.
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just started Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington and already appreciate his candor.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading each of these works was enlightening. The compilation of the three books was interesting and informative
Beth Haynes
May 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Royce Ratterman
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read for personal research - found this book's contents helpful and inspiring.
A good book for the researcher and enthusiast.
Bode Wilson
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
The star review should be viewed as a combination of two different reviews: 3 stars for Booker, 5 for WEB.
Nov 20, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own-these
I must have taken an ethnic studies class. I read all three negro classics. It sure opened my eyes.
I own a crumbling Fourth Printing (1968) of the 1965 edition of this book.
Jennifer Lorraine
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pertinent to read, esp. now; racism, stereotyping, is still here. Why? I ask myself: There is American, and there is Black American. Why?
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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."

It's been a good year of reading. Very good indeed.


Hmm. I liked the first two a lot, the ones by Washington and DuBois, so I'd like to rate this higher. Sometimes history textbooks feel like "good stories with happy endings" to me because they're coming from secondary sources way after the events, but these two works helped me to better realize that these problems were real and had to be solved by real people
Hannah Garden
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Yes! Jesus Christ! What a fucking totally unknowable life, to my easy easy life. Man alive.
Timothy Cummings
rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2013
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Sep 24, 2011
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In 1868, W.E.B. Du Bois (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, pronounced 'doo-boyz') was born in Massachusetts. He attended Fisk College in Nashville, then earned his BA in 1890 and his MS in 1891 from Harvard. Du Bois studied at the University of Berlin, then earned his doctorate in history from Harvard in 1894. He taught economics and history at Atlanta University from 1897-1910. The Souls of Black ...more
“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.” 54 likes
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