Booker T. Washington, the author of Up From Slavery, is the subject ofhis novel as well. In Booker’s autobiography, he tells the story of what life was like growing up as a colored person after the revolution. Where most slavery novels tell stories of hardships faced while in bondage, Booker tells the story from a different perspective – what life was like growing up as a free man.
When Booker was but a boy of eleven years, he had allready been forced to work for most of his life. He knew nothing of the outside world, or what it felt like to experience every man’s birthright: freedom. By day he worked in the fields; planting corn, carrying loads of hay to the barn, tilling the fields, and other tasks that no white man at the time would even consider doing himself. Young Washington considered it a special treat to recieve a small serving of Molassas every Friday, and to occasionally have some chicken or beef for supper, as his regular meals consisted of potatoes and gruel.
One evening, the other slaves of the plantation overheard their masters discussing the matter of the Revolution. This had them very excited, as it meant they would be free if the North won the war. Soon enough, the North had won, and the negros were all set free. Their cries of joy soon dimmed as they realized they had no idea how to be free. They would have to work for themselves, provide food for themselves, educate themselves, all of which they had little or no understanding of. For thefirst few months, Booker and his small family, consisting of his mother and older brother, managed to survive by working in the cole mines day and night to provide what little money they could manage for the family. It was dangerous work – one could get crushed by rocks, inhale various deadly gasses, or be blown apart by faulty explosives. One day, Washington heard two black men talking about a school made specifically for colored people known as the Ha