Key Insights From:
Up From Slavery
- Washington grew up not knowing his birthdate, who his father was, or what it was like to sleep in a bed.
- Even on remote plantations, slaves managed to stay informed about current events—sometimes more so than their masters.
- Despite injustices on the plantation, there could also be strong bonds of sympathy between masters and slaves.
- Washington believed slavery enfeebled the masters just as much as the slaves.
- Newfound freedom was cause for joy at first, but quickly became a bewildering burden.
- Despite innumerable obstacles, teenage Washington left all that was familiar to pursue his education.
- Washington’s Tuskegee Institute went from a humble hen house to a nationally admired institution graced by a sitting U.S. president.
- Harvard was the first university in the United States to confer an honorary degree on a black man—and Washington was the recipient.