Booker T. Washington has been regarded as the leading figure in African American life, and as the man who brought his people from slavery to unfettered economic, political, and social involvement in the American mainstream. He has also been strongly criticized for advancing the cause of racial accommodation when the political agenda dictated the development of an independent black standpoint in all areas of the industrial structure. This agenda went far beyond educational reform and agrarian participation.Character Building first appeared in 1902. While enormous changes have occurred in all phases of African American rights and responsibilities, Booker T. Washington's broad outlines on building moral character have remained intact. Washington's book can be viewed as a Dale Carnegie volume on How to Win Friends and Influence People black and white as noted by the very title of the chapters: "Helping Others," "Influencing by Example," "Education that Educates," "The Gospel of Service," etc.For those in search of the ideological roots of black life in post-slavery times, this text will be a reminder of where the American nation has come from and, arguably, where it is going.

chapter 1|5 pages

Two Sides of Life

chapter 2|7 pages

Helping Others

chapter 3|6 pages

Some of the Rocks Ahead

chapter 4|4 pages

On Influencing by Example

chapter 5|6 pages

The Virtue of Simplicity

chapter 6|6 pages

Have You Done Your Best?

chapter 7|4 pages

Don’t Be Discouraged

chapter 8|4 pages

On Getting a Home

chapter 9|6 pages

Calling Things by Their Right Names

chapter 10|6 pages

European Impressions

chapter 11|4 pages

The Value of System in Home Life

chapter 12|6 pages

What Will Pay

chapter 13|6 pages

Education that Educates*

chapter 14|6 pages

The Importance of Being Reliable

chapter 15|6 pages

The Highest Education

chapter 16|8 pages

Unimproved Opportunities

chapter 17|6 pages

Keeping Your Word

chapter 18|6 pages

Some Lessons of the Hour

chapter 19|6 pages

The Gospel of Service

chapter 20|6 pages

The Negro Conference

chapter 21|6 pages

What Is to Be Our Future?

chapter 22|6 pages

Some Great Little Things

chapter 23|4 pages

To Would-Be Teachers

chapter 24|4 pages

The Cultivation of Stable Habits

chapter 25|6 pages

What You Ought to Do

chapter 26|6 pages

Individual Responsibility

chapter 27|4 pages

Getting on in the World

chapter 28|6 pages

Each One His Part

chapter 29|6 pages

What Would Father and Mother Say?

chapter 30|4 pages

Object Lessons

chapter 31|3 pages

Substance vs. Shadow

chapter 32|3 pages

Character as Shown in Dress

chapter 33|6 pages

Sing the Old Songs

chapter 34|6 pages

Getting Down to Mother Earth

chapter 35|8 pages

A Penny Saved

chapter 36|4 pages


chapter 37|6 pages

Last Words