"THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL AFRICAN AMERICAN OF THE CENTURY": FIRST EDITION OF BOOKER T. WASHINGTON'S WORKING WITH THE HANDS (1904), HIS SEQUEL TO UP FROM SLAVERY (1901), IN ORIGINAL CLOTH
WASHINGTON, Booker T. Working with the Hands. Being a Sequel to 'Up from Slavery' Covering the Author's Experiences in Industrial Training at Tuskegee. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1904. Octavo, original gilt-stamped maroon cloth, uncut and largely unopened.
First edition of Washington's important sequel to Up from Slavery, documenting Tuskegee's expanded curriculum for African American men and women,featuring his wife's essay, Helping the Mothers, with frontispiece portrait and 31 full-page photographic illustrations, in original cloth.
Washington "was without doubt the most controversial African American of the century" (Gates & West, African American Century, 32). Famed for his battle of ideas with Du Bois, Washington almost "single-handedly built a black college (Tuskegee Institute), in an Alabama of Ku Klux Klan terrorism, that was bigger than any white university in the state" (New York Times). Working with Hands, primarily a sequel to Up from Slavery (1901), was published at a time when "lynchings, disenfranchisement, racial segregation, pseudo-scientific theories about black racial inferiority, racist demagogues in state legislatures and the national Congress were all at their peak" (Smock, ed. Booker T. Washington, x). Against that often murderous culture, Washington documents Tuskegee's commitment to African American education in everything from construction to chemistry. In addition, he highlights expansion of the curriculum for female students and includes a printing of "Helping the Mothers" by his wife Margaret Murray Washington. "It is a tribute to Washington's complexity—to his genius—that aspects of his political platform have been embraced by both black nationalists such as Malcolm X… [and] black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas" (Gates & West, 32-4). "Published, May, 1904" on copyright page. With frontispiece portrait and 31 full-page illustrations from photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Born into privilege during the Civil War, she was one of America's "first photojournalists" (LOC). Blockson 10231. Owner signature.
Interior fine, faded top edge gilt, mild toning to cloth. A handsome near-fine copy.